25 Women to Read Before You Die

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Patrick Simpson has commented on (3) products.

And Now You Can Go: A Novel by Vendela Vida
And Now You Can Go: A Novel

Patrick Simpson, September 23, 2007

This little novel has an interesting story arch; it begins big and morphs into an MTV/talking-with-a-friend pace the rest of the way. As the protagonist tries to make sense of her life after she was taken right to the brink of a woman's worst nightmare, I could not help but root for her. So many people try to care about her, but not so much that they forget their own narcissism. This rebuilding of a soul one tiny stone at a time is a small story, well worth the read for the warmth and familiarity this writer brings to its pages.
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(13 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)

Somersault by Kenzaburo Oe

Patrick Simpson, August 25, 2007

Apparently inspired by the serin gas attack on the Japanese subways, this story provides an exotic perspective on Christian fundamentalism: the perspective of Japanese rapturists. Oe's characters are, in the end, every man or woman who might be our neighbors at a PTA meeting or in line with us at the coffee place. Most have sympathetic backgrounds. They are deeply involved in a struggle over which of many frightening options to take to realize ostensibly laudable Christian goals. Part "it could happen here" object lesson, part fascinating doctrinal debate, Somersault requires us to work for what it offers. The syntax and subject matter do not make for a page turner, but they will feed a part of our reasoning abilities we might be taking for granted.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Out by Natsuo Kirino

Patrick Simpson, July 11, 2007

This is hard realism that will take you into the hard, marginal lives that millions of people in Japan lead every day. This is creepy sexuality that takes you places to which you would not voluntarily go. If you want happy Japan, read Banana's books because they're good too. If you want to step out of your comfort zone and walk in the shoes of people you probably did not think existed, try Out. Kirino, one of the most intelligent writers you'll ever read, will take you their with skill and artistry.
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(16 of 26 readers found this comment helpful)

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