In the Miso Soup

By Ryu Murakami, Ralph McCarthy (translator),

Book cover of In the Miso Soup

Book description

From postmodern Renaissance man Ryu Murakami, master of the psychothriller and director of Tokyo Decadence, comes this hair-raising roller-coaster ride through the nefarious neon-lit world of Tokyo's sex industry. In the Miso Soup tells of Frank, an overweight American tourist who has hired Kenji to take him on a guided…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked In the Miso Soup as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Ryu Murakami is a musician, writer, and film director. He deals in surrealism and the dark side of a rigid Japanese society – drugs, sex, alienation. 

In this book, Murakami relates the tale of Kenji, a young man who makes his living guiding foreigners through Tokyo’s red-light district. Kenji’s new client is an extremely odd American named Frank.

As Kenji leads Frank through a labyrinth of hostess bars and peep shows, he comes to suspect that Frank may be the serial killer who has been on a rampage, murdering and dismembering teenage girls.

Can there be redemption from crimes almost too sickening to describe? What turns a man into a monster? Deep down, do we share some of those dark impulses? These are questions raised in Ryu Murakami’s gruesome, but also gripping and sometimes funny page-turner. Kenji is a directionless young guy who makes his living on the fringes of Tokyo’s huge sex industry, guiding foreigners around the strip joints, lingerie bars, and bordellos. Until one of his clients turns the tables and guides him through a whole different world of experience. This one will stay with you, I guarantee.

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