If you haven’t heard of James M. Cain, you’ve most certainly heard of the films based on his work. Cain is a master at creating a feeling of disgusted disillusionment in his many horrible and fractured characters.
Looking at this book as being about a generation as whole is not really the way to get a complete picture of it nor of the statement it makes.
The Setting Sun presents a Japan that has lost its sense of identity as its population tries to pick up the pieces after the end of the second world war. It is a setting that has the sense of being in flux, but not in a positive way.
The film was released in 1947, and the book was published in the very same year and it was written by the same man who wrote the story for the film, Valentine Davies.
The Middle Parts of Fortune was published anonymously in 1929, only to be censored and re-issued as Her Privates We in 1930. I’m always on the lookout for good fiction around WWI, so I was excited to find this book on one of our trips to a small used bookstore for my birthday a few months ago.
It turns the audience into an eavesdropper, listening to thoughts said aloud when a character is alone.
When I think about the reader I am now and what influences guided me to become so interested in literature, I inevitably remember this book. It was one of the books I carefully preserved when I grew up. It still sits on my bedside table as an adult.
Don’t Read This! features scary stories from authors of diverse backgrounds from Zimbabwe to Japan to Spain. The stories strike many different notes as well from very scary to nearly humorous.
Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy was one of my favourite sets of books when I was growing up. I especially loved books that presented stories and the folklore they were based on.
Tišma makes death a haunting presence, coming in and out of focus, receding and approaching. It is always there and always palpable, and is never far away.