“Sensitive, refined and graceful, Yoshimoto’s writing is simple and clear.”



Within this book are two short stories, the first is Hard Boiled and tells the story of a unnamed woman, it centres around her hiking and the night spent within a hotel. While she remembers a past relationship with Chizyry and the relationship she had with her step mother growing up.

Just before getting to the hotel she comes across what she believes to be a shrine with numerous amounts of black rocks, the shrine gives her a bad vibe and although she quickly moves past it she soon finds while trying to have something to eat, that one of the stones has made its way into her possession.

Discarding the stone at the restaurant and continues to the hotel with what could be coincidental consequences. While at the hotel she has some strange dreams of the relationship with Chizyry, but things don’t get any less weird while she’s awake, as she finds herself talking to a lady who haunts the hotel on the same night every year.

The second story is Hard Luck about a young woman and her experiences during the time before her sister is due to be taken off the respirators, after having a embolism, it tells of the times that the sisters spent growing up, along with the relationship that she begins to form with the brother of her sister’s former fiancée.

Of the two stories I preferred the second, a much more touching story, the only problem I found with both of these short stories was the writing itself, I’m unsure if it was the translation or the original, I found them very basic in the way they were written.


Reviewed by:

Mathew Hooper

Added 20th November 2015

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Mathew Hooper