Happy birthday to this blog, plus a note on Tokyo Year Zero
I begin the new blog year with another post about Tokyo Year Zero, this time about its technique. Author David Peace has interpolated memories, presumably the narrator's, and sound effects of the decaying and rebuilding Tokyo into the novel's text. The interpolations are set in italic type, which fairly screams Technique! The same is the case with the frequent repetition of sentences, sometimes with minor variants in word order.
But Peace has put the technique to exceedingly good use. The constant ton-ton-ton-ton of hammers and the repetition are highly effective ways of translating the noise, squalor and monotony of a war-ravaged city into terms a reader can understand and feel. The devices are far more effective than exclusively descriptive passages would be, though Peace offers plenty of those, too, and does it well. Peace makes the squalor a part of the very texture of the narrative. He does as good a job of describing war's effects on people's minds and daily lives as does Yasmina Khadra in Morituri.
© Peter Rozovsky 2007
Asia crime fiction
Japanese crime fiction