I spotted this book on another book blog and was instantly intrigued. Part of the intrigue lay in the fact that the blogger hadn't actually written an English review--only one in Dutch!
Anyway, I got a copy rather quickly and devoured it the day after the readathon. Which is saying something, I think.
Strangers takes place in Tokyo and is the story of an aging TV scriptwriter who has just finalized his divorce with his wife. Left a bit poorer as a result, he has moved into his office as it's the only place he can afford. Most people use the apartments as offices and the story opens with our narrator feeling the building is unusually quiet.
On his birthday, he decides on a whim to go back to Asakusa, the place of his childhood home. He hasn't been there since his parents died in a tragic accident when he was still quite young. While there, he sees a man who is the spitting image of his father. Is it his father? And if so, how did he get there without aging a day?
Strangers drew me in immediately with it's strange atmosphere and somewhat tragic voice of Harada. Throughout the story, I certainly had my own suspicions about what was happening and what was going on, but I just couldn't stop turning the pages. I took a short break to do some shopping, and longed to get back to the book. And even after turning the last page, I was still thinking about it. Yes, on the surface this is a ghost story, but I really just think it's so much more than that. It's a story about loneliness and isolation, it's a story about putting the past to rest so the future has a chance. In fact, it's a heart twisting portrait of the way the past drains us until we let it go.
This isn't really a scary read, though there is an overall eerie factor to it, but it is a worthwhile one. I think I will be thinking about it for a long time to come.
Things You Might Want to Know: ghosts. oh and a very very very little bit of sex.
Source of Book: I bought a used copy on Amazon.