It was voted high up in the "Japan Top 100 Novels", I'd already seen the movie and liked it, so I decided to read this short book. It's a smooth and easy read. However, maybe it's due to the fact I saw the movie first, or to the fact that the movie is very far removed from Katayama's original novel, I preferred the movie best. The movie has moments that pull on your heartstrings, albeit sometimes cheesy. The book lacks in moments of the two main characters before her death, rather it seems to dwell more on moments after her death for too long.
The story of the book is a simple one: a boy meets a girl at school, they fall in love and want to spend every moment of their lives together. They share views together, steal dead people's bones together (for a good cause, obviously), and walk home together from school every day (they take the extra extra long route, obviously). But the girl falls ill with leukaemia and ends up spending her days in hospital. The boy tries everything he can do to keep her spirits up, but the girl becomes more and more depressed as she learns of her fate. Bored at hospital and eager to go back to high school, she studies about Australian Aborigines. The boy promises to take her there when she gets better. The boy does keep his promise, and the girl does eventually get to go to Australia, even if it is after her funeral.
The synopsis of the movie is somewhat different. It concentrates on the grown up 33 year old man and his new girlfriend. The story is told through his new girlfriends discoveries and the man's memories. The person who was the boys grandfather in the book is now his uncle in the movie. The movie is shot beautifully and if you had to chose between the two, I'd recommend watching the movie rather than reading the book.
The book is an easy read for JLPT N2 and above.
投稿者 karekora 時刻: 6:12 午前