Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer of the Ubume

Totally forgot this was out now. Anyone grab it?
A lot of us are big fans of the Moryo no Hako anime, for good reasons, and I can attest to the original novel being every bit as impressive. The novel was actually the second in a series, and The Summer of the Ubume is the first. It's a rougher, more imbalanced work than Moryo no Hako, but definitely worth a read.
Vertical's website mysteriously calls Natsuhiko Kyogoku the Neil Gaiman of Japanese mystery novels, which is hilariously wrong; he's the Neil Stephenson. He does a fuckton of research, and tends to put it all into the books, which can make them a bit dry at times, but nonetheless fascinating.


  1. "Vertical's website mysteriously calls Natsuhiko Kyogoku the Neil Gaiman of Japanese mystery novels, which is hilariously wrong; he's the Neil Stephenson."

    Is this an indirect recommendation? Haven't checked out anything of his past The Diamond Age.

    I've been horrible about getting around to my novel backlog, so I'll probably get around to this once I'm settled in at college. Wouldn't mind finishing Mouryou no Hako first, though.

  2. Stephenson's got some amazing stuff, but he also seems to be weighing himself down under the weight of minutiae as well. Cryptonomicon wasn't so good, but Snow Crash was amazing.

  3. I liked Cryptonomicon, but I thought the Baroque Cycle was better. Haven't read Anathem yet. Or, y'know, Summer of the Ubume. Nor did I finish watching Moryo! I'm just a big ol' pile of procrastination around here.

  4. They've got it all wrong! It's Kougyoku that's the Japanese Gaiman, not Kyougoku.

  5. Who's Kougyoku again?

    I think Kyogoku's writing suffers from some of the same flaws as Stephenson, but I'm attacked to it for the same reasons.
    Snow Crash was a blast, Diamond Age ruined by an awful ending, and Crytonomicon fascinating, if ultimately lacking in payoff. Likewise, Moryo no Hako is a blast, Summer of the Ubume fascinating, and the third book in the series never seemed to go anywhere in the first four or five hundred pages, at which point I gave up on it.

  6. Kougyoku Izuki, wrote Mimizuku to Yoru no Ou and MAMA and another title I can never remember how you read. Stupid kanji.

  7. That's who I thought it was. Remember hearing good buzz on Mimizuku when it came out.
    Looks like the third book is Yukikamakiri.

  8. Yeah, that's the one.
    蜘蛛 蜥蜴 蝙蝠 蟷螂
    Fuck them all!

  9. Don't worry, I just googled till I found this:

  10. Thanks for the heads-up, Andrew! I completely forgot about this as well. Will have to look into picking it up at some point, though I'm just like David when it comes to my novel backlog.

    Still waiting for the last episode of Moryo no Hako to be subbed ....