SBP Blog

'A Shameful Life' reviewed by Japan Visitor

Michael Palmer - Wednesday, September 04, 2019

"Listed by some as the second-best selling novel of all-time in Japan, behind only Natsume Soseki's Kokoro."

Thanks to Marshall Hughes at Japan Visitor for his review of Mark Gibeau's new translation of the Osamu Dazai classic, A Shameful Life: Ningen shikkaku.  

"While the book certainly has its own literary merits, it is extremely popular in Japan, after all, it can also serve as a discussion starter between Japanese and, for example, expats who want to explore the somewhat common idea in the West that Japanese are a fatalistic people."

"It has also been serialized in anime, a 3D anime film and manga works. Dazai's book is a challenging, important part of Japanese culture, but by no means easy or pleasant to read."

Although it is true that the book can be unpleasant to read at times, there is a reason that it has become a classic, adored and lauded as a voice for many who feel lost in this world. And even though Dazai's came to an unpleasant end, his thoughts and feelings live on in an oddly inspiring way, giving hope to countless young people who feel alone and isolated.

Grab a copy of A Shameful Life here:

Read the full Japan Visitor review here:

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