Read Parade by Shūichi Yoshida Online


Comme à la parade ! Quatre jeunes gens, qui partagent un appartement dans Tôkyô, se racontent à tour de rôle : sa vie, son passé, ses amours, ses travers, ses folies, ses manies, ses secrets. Et lorsqu'un cinquième entre par hasard dans le jeu, son intrusion change la donne et révèle ce qui se trame sous les règles tacites de la communication humaine. La petite musique deComme à la parade ! Quatre jeunes gens, qui partagent un appartement dans Tôkyô, se racontent à tour de rôle : sa vie, son passé, ses amours, ses travers, ses folies, ses manies, ses secrets. Et lorsqu'un cinquième entre par hasard dans le jeu, son intrusion change la donne et révèle ce qui se trame sous les règles tacites de la communication humaine. La petite musique de Yoshida Shuichi excelle à décrire ce qui se joue dans le phénomène de la colocation, cette communauté de vies qui est le reflet de la société tout entière. Il s'entend à orchestrer le drame silencieux sous la futilité apparente du monde et nous ramène constamment au mystère de l'autre : celui que nous côtoyons et croyons connaître, celui que nous jouons vis-à-vis d'autrui et de nous-mêmes, entre norme et transgression, peurs et attentes, solidarité et violence....

Title : Parade
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9782809701500
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 264 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Parade Reviews

  • Leah
    2019-05-09 18:29

    Strangely discombobulating...Four young people are sharing a small flat in Tokyo, each having drifted there in a casual, unplanned way. Forced into a kind of physical intimacy by this living arrangement, each remains emotionally isolated and, as we discover, damaged to varying degrees by their pasts. Naoki is the eldest and something of a big brother figure to the rest - he originally shared the flat with his girlfriend, who left him for an older man but still pops back to visit and stay in the flat on occasion. Mirai works hard and plays hard, spending her evenings getting drunk in gay bars. Kotomi stays home all day watching TV and waiting for her soap-star boyfriend to ring. Ryosuke is a student and as we meet him he has just fallen in love with the girlfriend of his older friend and mentor. Then one morning a fifth arrives, Satoru - no-one really knows who invited him but in this casual set-up he soon becomes accepted as another flatmate, even though no-one is quite sure who he is or what he does when he works late at night.Although this is billed as a crime thriller, it really falls much more into the category of literary fiction. There is a crime element but it's almost entirely in the background for most of the book. There's not much plot as such - this is more an examination of the somewhat empty and alienated lives of these young people. Each section of the book is narrated by a different character, so we get to see what they each think of the others and also to find out a bit about what has brought them here and made them who they are.Whenever I read Japanese fiction, I find it a strangely discombobulating experience - it always seems to reflect a society that is uneasy in its modernity, with a generation of young people who have thrown out the values of their elders but haven't really found a way to replace them satisfactorily. There is always a sensation of drifting, of free-fall almost, and a kind of passivity that leaves me feeling as if there's a dangerous void in the culture, waiting to be filled. But since I don't know anything about Japan except through their fiction, I don't know whether this is just a style of writing or whether it's an accurate picture of the society.I find Yoshida's writing quite compelling and although I don't always feel that I understand why his characters are as they are, I find them believable and fully rounded. The somewhat shocking ending of this one took me completely by surprise, and at first I felt almost as if the author hadn't played fair with me. But a few days on I find the book is still running through my mind and I am seeing in retrospect what was hidden during the reading - which means that my appreciation for the ending has grown as I've gained a little distance from it.Although this shares a translator, Philip Gabriel, with Yoshida's first novel, I enjoyed the translation of this one much more. It is still Americanised but without the clumsy slang that irritated me so much in Villain.On re-reading this review, I feel it isn't giving a very clear picture of the book, and that's actually a pretty accurate reflection of my feelings about it. I'm not sure I totally 'got' it (which happens to me a lot with Japanese fiction) but I am quite sure I found it a compelling and thought-provoking read. And I will most certainly be looking out for more of Yoshida's work in future. 4½ stars for me, so rounded up.NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Random House

  • Iantony
    2019-05-06 18:53

    I read this book back then in 2015 during an easy night shift on my job. A lot of free time and being away from civilization but still got internet connection, I randomly purchased it through my friend's Kindle. This is my first Shuichi Yoshida book, perhaps 'the strangest' Japanese author after Haruki Murakami for me. At the very least, this book did help me to stay awake.This book has a kinda slow-paced story, not kinda, slow-paced story that at some point you would start wondering 'where the story goes?' or something like that. Still, the ending of the story would shock you. As for the characters of this book, each of the 5 characters seemed to have a mental problem (or mental health problem, depended on how you see it) of their own. All of them are troubled, twisted people who tried to act normal at some point of the story.Yeah after slow-paced story build up, mentally unhealthy characters, changing point-of-views which might confusing to some people, in the end you would find a very shocking ending, which would made you think about the whole story for some time after reading this book, thus this book is a really good eye opener! Definitely gonna recommend this for most book lovers, especially if you were into some thriller, mystery or just strange stories. Now I want to read another novel from Shuichi Yoshida. 4/5 stars from me, 4.5/5 stars if the early to mid part of the story weren't feel dragging.

  • Dilushani Jayalath
    2019-05-08 17:48

    This was my first book by Shuichi Yoshida. As a matter of fact this was my first Japanese novel ever. I guess a part of me picked this book is because I'm kinda partial towards jap stuff butI kept trying to read it off for a very long time though. I really don't know how to start this review. Partly because this books was deep in a non-serious way but also kinda stupid or lame.Fist of all I'll talk about the plot. The plot was pretty much slow-paced one could say. Throughout most of the book I kept asking myself "is there any point in the story?" because it pretty much didn't. most of the book just told how these 5 people were living in the apartment and the stories from their points of views. it was nice in a way to have multiple POVs but also sometimes confusing. Like I told before the story was slow paced for me but the end was just like a shocker for me. By the end I had even forgotten that there was supposed to be any crime in it. I had started to think that this was just another literary piece and forgot the crime element in it. After the major revelation in the book it pretty much ended abruptly. but in a way it felt good. Leaving a better impact on its audience.Next I'll talk about the characters. Each character had a mental problem of their own I guess. I really don't mean to be rude but that's the most simple way one can say it. Rather than problem I would even say their unique mental state. For me each person was troubled in their own way. So the story becomes intriguing. Mostly because each person acts perfectly normal towards the world. they act so normal sometimes you forget they are all twisted in some way. Yoshida-sensei has shown in a way how people in the world pretty much act. I like how realistic in a way the story was. One could not actually relate to them but in way it was nice reading about people who wasn't fully complex but simple in a rather disordered manner. I know it sounds pretty confusing but one has to read this in order to fully get the concept of it.Thirdly I'll talk about the ending I guess. Like i mentioned before, the ending was pretty abrupt but it ave the audience the intended effect I think. It was pretty shocking to get to know it and what Yoshida-sensei has done to build up the moment to reveal the truth was pretty good. I like how he brought up the conclusion in a manner that I haven't seen anyone else doing it. I guess that's the reason why he has become quiet a good author. Like i told before it was a shocker to the maximum.All in all this was avery good literary piece. When I was like in the middle of the book I wouldn't have rated the book a 4 stars but now when I have finished I guess even 4 stars seem inadequate in a way. But rather than a 4 star I would say I like to give a 4.5 stars. It was very satisfying reading it in a different way. After the many contemporary romance and other suspense books i've read, this was without doubt a good read. I would very much like to tell anyone who loves reading books and who is open enough to read any sort of good literary texts that they should try this out. Real ratings= 4.5 stars

  • Joanne Hong
    2019-05-01 22:38

    minor SPOILERS + RANT AHEAD ( don't worry, I've hidden the major ones ) One day, when I was at the book store, I was contemplating whether or not I should buy this book instead of Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver. Both summaries were very appealing, as were their covers, however in the end there could be only one winner and that was Parade. Even before I brought this book to the counter, I went on Goodreads to see if the reviews for this book were fairly okay just to be sure that I was making the right decision. Lo and behold, they were.Feeling satisfied, I proceeded with my purchase.Oh how I regret not choosing Vanishing Girls instead. The decision I made that day is actually eating me up inside till this day. Do you know what I was promised? Let's look at the summary shall we: ... In the next-door apartment something disturbing is going on. And outside in the streets around their apartment block, there is violence in the air. From the writer of the cult classic Villain, Parade is a tense, disturbing, thrilling tale of life in the city. I was promised a tense, disturbing, thrilling tale of life in the city but what I got instead was a snooze-worthy tale of life in the city. I was promised that there was something disturbing going on next door, but it turned out to be such a lame plot twist that it made this book 50% more dull than it would have been had the plot twist not existed in the first place. (view spoiler)[ If the author actually wrote it as a brothel and not a fortune-telling place, the story would have been much more interesting, as creepy and disturbing as having a brothel exist next door is.(hide spoiler)]"Okay," I thought after having read the plot twist, " Maybe things won't go downhill from here. I mean, there IS another mystery to solve, a perhaps much more thrilling mystery than the one of the next door neighbours. You'll be okay. This story will be okay." I was wrong.I was promised "violence in the air" but it wasn't as prevalent as I'd hoped it would be. It was always in the background, coming to centre stage a few hundred pages later, only to disappear once more (view spoiler)[ until THE VERY END OF THE BOOK.(hide spoiler)] I was hoping to hear more of it, but I never got what I wanted. All I got was the characters going about their daily, miserable lives which weren't as intriguing as the things that were happening around them. The characters were bloody awful, each and every one of them. (view spoiler)[ Ryosuke is the type of person to steal his friend's girlfriend; Kotomi is an immature and pathetic human being who waits for her boyfriend every bloody day and goes to have sxx with him whenever he calls, eventually deciding to have an abortion when she gets pregnant; Mirai is a mentally disturbed woman who collects rape scenes and watches them from time to time to calm herself down; Naoki is the bastard behind everything; Satoru is a weird teen who does prostitution for a living, breaks into people's houses not to steal things, but to drink their tea and lie on their beds, and can be an accomplice in murder if he wants to be.(hide spoiler)] All of them seem mentally disturbed to me to be honest, I sincerely think that they need to get themselves checked out. I wanted character development ya' know? It would have been nice for these strangers who regarded each other as strangers even after all those years of living together to sort of, form bonds that didn't feel fake. Their interactions just seemed fake and let's face it, they were. From my perspective, they weren't sincere with each other, they were just using each other to get through life and that's probably what the author had intended on showing us, although that's just simply NOT good enough in my book. Is it really possible for a group of people to not regard each other as friends after living together for such a long period of time? Is it really? They were living together yet at the same time they weren't. Everyone was living in their own world, occasionally crossing over to each others' world to have a chat before proceeding to ignore each other again once they're back in their own world. ( Man, I'm using a lot of "each other's" today... )You know what could have been a great plot twist? If Satoru wasn't a prostitute but something else instead, like a murderer or a spy or something. THAT would have been a great plot twist. I mean just imagine it: Teen boy shows up at their apartment out of the blue, claiming he has nowhere to go and begs to stay with them, only to be the murderer in charge of the killings and wanting to get rid of the witnesses to the murders - that would be our 4 main characters - stalks Mirai on the night of her drunkenness and successfully earns himself a chance to stay in their apartment under false pretences. Then, he changes his plans and decides to torture them mentally instead, breaking their bonds by making them question each other's motives for staying together even though they could live in separate places just fine ( although it would be much more expensive than staying together ). THAT, would have been a 4 to 5 star worthy twist for me.(view spoiler)[ Naoki's twist at the end however, isn't. It was just, blah, for lack of better word. I admit, I SHOULD have seen it coming since Naoki was acting a bit differently from the rest of the group ( coming home late isn't strange but it wasn't the norm for their group, well, except Mirai ) but in my defence, it wasn't so bad that I would consider him a murderer. You know what would have helped? If Mirai noticed there were bruises on his knuckles or a tiny patch of blood on his shirt or SOMETHING that would make the reader consider him a likely suspect in the killings. THOSE sort of hints would have helped. Then throw something in to divert the reader's attention, put in the plot twist and BOOM, mission accomplished. That's how most mysteries are right? The one who turns out to be the criminal isn't someone you DON'T SUSPECT AT ALL, but is someone you LEAST SUSPECT.(hide spoiler)]Wow, now that I've got everything off of my chest, I feel much more relaxed now. In conclusion, I would recommend this book to people who don't mind reading about other people's boring, daily lives, people who can withstand a book filled with horrible characters and an almost non-existent plot and people who want to know what it's like to read a book from a Japanese author.Will I re-read this book? NO ABSOLUTELY NOT.Will I proofread this review? Maybe in a couple of months, I don't know.

  • Susan
    2019-04-26 18:29

    This is the second novel by Shuichi Yoshida which has been translated into English, following his hugely successful literary thriller, “Villain.” Parade looks at the lives of several young people who share an apartment in Tokyo. There is twenty one year old student, Ryosuke Sugimoto, unemployed twenty three year old Kotomi Okochi, who spends her time waiting for her boyfriend to phone, twenty four year old Mirai Soma, who manages a store, longs to become a successful illustrator and drinks too much and the eldest, twenty eight year old Naoki Uhara, who works for an independent film distributor. This book examines their past, lives and dreams as they each tell their story. The apartment block the four live in is meant to be for young married couples, so they are wary of complaining about apartment 402, which they suspect of being involved in illegal activity. As well as concerns about their neighbours, they are aware of violent attacks happening to women locally. Then they are joined by a young boy, eighteen year old Satoru Kokubo. Nobody at first seems sure who he is or who invited him to stay, but he is gradually accepted by “these-people-playing-at-being-friends.” Gradually, Satoru changes the delicate balance which has existed within these almost random group of housemates and his story intertwines with theirs. Why is such a young boy living on the streets and how does he earn his living?Although there are undercurrents of a crime story, this is really more a portrait of a place and the people living there. These are all young people who live in the city of Tokyo, and who have been brought together almost by random events. It is about anonymity, friendship, family and alienation amongst young people. I found it an incredibly fascinating picture of Tokyo, especially the younger generation who exist on the margins of society and the fact that so many people, especially in cities, know so little about their neighbours or friends and have to accept them on face value. I am not sure it worked so well as a thriller, but as a literary novel it was extremely interesting, even if the ending was a little abrupt and I would certainly read more books by this author. Lastly, I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, for review.

  • Tenma
    2019-04-26 17:42

    This novel reminds me of "confessions" by Kanae Minato. Both novels are divided into sections, each narrated by a different character to give the reader an overview of the story from contrasting points of view. However, while "confessions" is serious with a dark tone, "parade" is lightly hearted and funny. I felt the synopsis on the back cover to be slightly puffed up. I was expecting the story to verge and develop into a sort of crime novel with a climax, but that never happened. This is rather a plotless and simple novel that tells the happenings and story of five youngsters in their teens and tweens while sharing a small flat in Tokyo ... It should appeal to anyone interested in "slice of life" novels ... I really liked this book, at least a big chunk of it... What I did not like, or rather hated, is the side story about a series of assaults that occurred in the vicinity of the apartment ... This side plot was so poorly developed that it felt completely out of place .. It had no artistic value and only served to spoil a rather elegant novel... I would have given this novel a rating of 4 or 5 if it was not for this unnecessary intrusion ...

  • Nek0 Neha (BiblioNyan)
    2019-04-30 15:58

    “I went on crying. The tears wouldn’t stop. It was like there was another me, totally separate, ignoring the real me, and crying like crazy.”I can’t think of a better description for what this book represents than this quote right here, up above this review, which I hope comes out sounding coherent. Parade by Shuichi Yoshida is a story about four distinctly different individuals who all reside in a small two-bedroom Tokyo apartment. How these four came to be together is a matter of happenstance due to life’s quirky humour. They end up developing a friendship that they don’t even realize exists; their connections to one another that much more attuned than they could have imagined, and it’s brilliantly executed. You have Ryosuke Sugimoto, a college student who ends up starting an affair with his best friend’s girlfriend. Kotomi Okochi is a young woman who devotedly sits by the telephone awaiting a former boyfriend’s call so they can go have random sex. Mirai Souma is another young lady who goes out drinking every night, sharing late night theatrics with a bunch of gay men. Finally, there’s Naoki Ihara, the responsible one of the four-some, who works long hours as an aspiring filmmaker. This hodgepodge of individuality forms the blob that resides in apartment 401. Day in and day out they share the details of their daily lives, no matter how scandalous, like a distant relative asking for you to pass the butter at the breakfast table. While their conversations are casual and relaxed, beneath the glaze of each of them, resides dark secrets from their pasts that have been meticulously incubated through trials and tribulations of being an adolescent and then an adult. The result of this pregnancy reveals itself through actions that are taken during the two-hundred-thirty pages of this novel. The book is written in five chapters with each chapter being the perspective of one of the characters, and an extra mystery person who shows up in the first half of the book. Talking about this stranger would be construed as giving a spoiler, so I’m not going to touch it. I will say that it is someone who tosses the precarious balance that the four-some have developed into array, which then creates a cause-and-effect type of situation that makes the reading even more bizarre. Each perspective is expressed in great detail, taking into account the ambience of city life. Everything is very fast-paced and bustling. There is a scene described where one of the roommates is watching the autonomy of cars stopping and going at a lighted intersection. This natural order of things is an element of the city that fascinates him; these cars moving and stopping without ever getting into an accident. There’s another scene that takes place in an office, where folks wearing suits, ties, and stockings shuffle papers and answer phone calls, illustrating the atypical work-day of another character. These come together to formulate an in-depth look at how functional and routine city living are for most people. While this can sound down-right boring, and it just may be boring as fuck for many readers, I found it to be positively engrossing. Even though I live in a small city (so to speak), I rarely step outside of my own home. To be able to get a glimpse of how things work in a totally different environment than what I know as “comfortable” is quite riveting. It also helps establish the working order of the small household in apartment 401. The prose is careful, intellectual, and scrupulous with anecdotes and life-lessons hidden away in drunken or vulnerable situations. On some level, I began to formulate a sort of love-hate relationship with each of the characters. I grew to love specific traits (such as bluntness and kindness), but I just couldn’t help myself and began to loathe the poor decisions that these kids continue to make out of comfort or fear. It can be excruciatingly frustrating, yet simultaneously it’s enlightening. I was bitch-smacked in the face with my own fears and denial about certain aspects of my life that I’m just not ready to face. The people, each of them, end up inhabiting some titbit of empathetic morsels that you never truly see coming. Makes you realize that you really can’t know everything there is to know of any one person.Parade is a deeply provocative novel with complex characters, but it is a slow read. I’m already a slow-reader to begin with, so it took me much longer to finish these two-hundred pages than normal. The diligently way it’s written, makes you want to focus on every word to get every inch of the larger picture, which isn’t a bad thing, but it can stir boredom or restlessness for long reading sessions. The book is also a bit anti-climactic. You go on and on absorbing information about four people, hoping for some kind of catastrophic explosion at the end, but it never arrives. There is a huge shock that does occur eventually, however, it’s in the last ten pages and way that it’s dealt with is very unsatisfactory.While it works for this book, it’s not something everyone can pick up and enjoy, and not something that will work for other books. If you need more action, or fast-paced occurrences within a novel to hook your interest, then you should pass on Parade. The bulk of the “action” just won’t be worth it to you. Nonetheless, if you are the type of person who enjoys reading about wholly complicated people with some deep, dark shit hiding underneath their mask of smiles and how-do-you-dos, then definitely pick it up. 3.5 rainstorms out of 5!

  • Rise
    2019-04-27 14:29

    I did this again: bought a random book and started reading it without having any idea what it's all about. This is my first time reading Shuichi Yoshida's novel. The way he writes is smooth that I ended up spent my whole Sunday reading this book (after all I have nothing to do today).In the beginning of the book, there are two pages dedicated as the introduction of the characters: three guys and two girls living in a two bedroom apartment in suburb Tokyo.The story started from Ryosuke's point of view, a junior in university. After that the point of view switched to other characters: Koto, Satoru, Mirai, and Naoki.I didn't expect the story would end like that. It really surprised me. Anyway, about 40 pages before the ending, I somewhat decided to listen to "Je veux vivre dans ce rêve" by Maria Calas. I can say that it enhanced the reading experience towards the ending. I am still speechless with the ending somehow.

  • Sam
    2019-05-01 14:44

    This is the first book by Yoshida that I've read and damn has it made an impression. It starts off with a gentle introduction to each of the five people who live together in an apartment in Tokyo but gradually we find that there is a lot more going on under the surface with events taking ever increasing turns into the dark side of the human condition. Despite having been translated into English the writing still flows well and seems to capture every aspect of the characters and events that follow, drawing you in before giving you a vivid and violent wake up call that you just don't expect. An excellent read that may be a little slow to start but quickly pulls you in.

  • Dasha M
    2019-05-08 21:42

    So... about 80% of the book was a Japanese "Friends" setup. Then the disturbing ending was like a punch in the face. Completely did not see that coming.

  • Dini
    2019-05-09 19:44

    I initially expected the worst thing about this book to be merely that nothing much happens, as it's a slice-of-life story about modern urban people. But some details about the characters don't quite add up or are not explained clearly, and there are also other small inconsistencies within the storytelling (simple things like a TV being turned off before a character leaves a room, but in the next scene the TV is somehow on again in the empty room without explanation). Despite that I was actually considering giving this an extra star at some point, mainly because I liked the relationship between the characters: five young men and women gathered together by circumstances to share an apartment in Tokyo. Although they say they are "playing at being friends", underneath that there seems to be something genuine between them. But then the ending serves a unsettling twist which made me question what I had thought about the characters and their relationship. I guess that was probably the point of the whole book, to unnerve and disturb the reader, but it still didn't make me like it.

  • Maria
    2019-05-04 17:44


  • Sam Still Reading
    2019-05-09 16:49

    Thank you to Vintage Publishing for the eARC.Parade is the kind of book my friends would say is stereotypical of my reading habits – ‘set in Japan, not much happens and then it gets all weird’. While I wouldn’t say that Parade is ‘all weird’, there are a few kooky and creepy revelations in a novel that is character driven, rather than by plot. I love this kind of book, especially when it’s set in Japan. I don’t know why, but a big Japanese city location with characters that are fighting their inner demons is the makings of a great story for me. I think Japanese novels (this book has been translated into English by Philip Gabriel) and their characters open themselves more completely to the reader, revealing both the positive and negative sides of a person. It’s refreshingly honest.Parade is centred on four occupants of an apartment in Tokyo. All are young and all have problems of their own to face. The flatmates, two boys and two girls, hang out quite a lot in between work and study. They are quite different, but appear to get on well together. Each chapter is told from the third person perspective of one of the flatmates. First is Ryosuke, who is studying in Tokyo to try to make something of himself. He’s not really enthused about university, more about his increasing affection for his older friend’s girlfriend and whether he should make a play for her. Then there’s Kotomi, who left a good job in Sapporo after realising that she’s not happy. Now she sits on the couch in the flat waiting for her college sweetheart (an up and coming actor) to call, day in, day out. Mirai is an artist on the weekend, a store manager by day and heavy drinker at night. Unknown to her, it’s Mirai that brings Satoru home one drunken night. Satoru’s young and works by night in the park – but what does he do? Nobody really knows much about him (and Satoru tells them all different stories), but all the flatmates are eager to help him out. Finally, there’s Naoki, the eldest and original occupant of the flat. He’s got an on/off girlfriend, a great job and a secret. Eventually, this group will find out they do more than share an apartment…I really liked the way we got to know each character in detail from ‘their’ chapter. Yoshida also gently introduces more about the next character to come, so by the time I got to Naoki’s chapter (the last one), I felt like I knew him. The characters are all quite dissimilar, but each has something you can identify with, such as Ryosuke’s determination to please his parents or Kotomi’s search for happiness. Due to their ages (late teens to late twenties), there are also plenty of activities that you can identify with (both good and bad): excessive drinking, lazing away, films and TV. Kotomi’s age and naivety also assist in establishing that there’s something weird going on in the apartment next door, where men enter and schoolgirls exit, crying. This subplot is both creepy and amusing, which gets the flatmates completely unsettled, missing the bigger picture.You may be thinking that all the flatmates sound like cosy, good friends but it’s Satoru, the outsider who identifies that they’re not – more ‘playing at friends’. Dig deeper and you find that each person is hiding something from the others, trying to keep something hidden in a place where there’s very little privacy. Some of the flatmates do it better than others – but can they hide their true selves? I can’t say that I saw the ending coming at all, but the reaction of the group was very interesting. Given their jumpiness over the apartment next door and its possible activities, their reaction to a crime was almost non-existent – passive and accepting. Is this a reflection on young people today not caring about society or self-absorption? Is it a comment on the changing face of Japan, a society that thinks of the group before the individual?I found this book fascinating for what it revealed about these characters and about society in general. With that slight sense of uneasiness, it was a perfect read for me.

  • Stefan Novakovic
    2019-04-28 20:50

    An easy, breezy read until the ending, which is fucking fascinating and bumps the score up an entire star.

  • Louis
    2019-05-10 18:39

    Well-meaning but lazy booksellers seem to rejoice in filing this book in the crime section, which does both it and crime fiction a disservice. There is a crime, and it is fiction, but readers picking this up expecting something like Villian (a rather straight-forward police procedural except it's obvious who the murderer is and the reader almost sympathises with him) are bound to be disappointed. I took two tries to get past the kindle sample chapter for the same reason: I expected something else. In the interests of not being that guy who reviews Dark Tower as if it were one of Stephen King's thriller novels, I shouldn't say anything else about the genre. Parade is the Spanish Apartment, except instead of highly-sexed Europeans it's a band of self-obsessed twenty-somethings from all over Japan living together in an unlikely semi-foreign apartment. They go about their lives, get drunk and watch videos, and all the while there's a subtle sense that they're all too self-obsessed to care about anyone else. One criticism of a lot of Japanese literature is that it's ineffectual - the characters sit around and do nothing while their cat disappears, large-breasted teenage girls invade their beds, and their spaghetti burns. Parade has the same issue - in fact that's what it's about; the disconnect between people and what's going on around them. Parade just squeezes it into a 2LDK shared by 5+ 18-28s. Their lack of concern for anything is haunting, but somehow the characters (and for the most part their speech too) are believable, which makes up for it. Don't pick up this book expecting Villian 2: Villian Harder. It has a lot of the aspects that attract me to crime fiction, but this is certainly not crime fiction.

  • Chaitra
    2019-05-26 18:49

    I'll get this out of the way - I didn't like the ending. It didn't exactly come out of nowhere, but it felt as though it did. I also thought it was unnecessary, or could have been resolved in a different manner. But I dearly loved what came before it, that I couldn't bear to dock any stars for this. The novel is a look at 4 twenty-somethings in a Tokyo flat, none of who know each other too well, all, as another character describes them, "playing at being friends". You'd expect their lives to change when a barely legal boy enters their flat in a mysterious manner, but it really just goes on the way it was, quickly assimilating the new entry. A slice of life novel rather than a crime thriller, it just chronicles the thoughts of these young people in Tokyo, unchecked by the influence of anyone older or wiser than them.It's an interesting perspective. Almost all of my knowledge of Japanese culture comes from its novels, and what I've learned from it is that it's a culture that lends itself to melancholy. On the other hand, while some of Parade is sad, and even sordid, there is so much hilarity as well. It's much more balanced than the deep sadness that I've been reading about. Again, I don't mean to imply that I thought Parade was more accurate than other novels set in Japan. It's just that I enjoyed it in a different manner.I've not read any book by Shuichi Yoshida before, but having loved Parade, I'm not going to stop at one.I received a copy of this book for review, via NetGalley.

  • John
    2019-04-27 19:54

    3.5 stars. Usually when you compare a book and its adaptation, the fact that in the book characters thoughts are articulated works in the book's favour. Here I felt the the opposite, the fact that in the film the characters are just present without narration really works in its favour.The adaptations also really sticks quite close to book overall so reading the book didn't expand the world and characters a lot. So yeah I'd recommend watching Parade by Isao Yukisada :)

  • Rage
    2019-05-23 14:43

    I loved "Villain" so much that when I saw there was a translation of another work by the author, I had to read it. I found this book compelling - even though there's not much going on, I wanted to keep reading to find out more about the characters. Except for Koto, it seems like each character is keeping something dark hidden, and the book doesn't entirely and clearly reveal anything. It's the sort of book where, having read to the end and seen everyone's perspective, I kind of want to go back and re-read it, because I have different angles now for understanding what each character reveals about themselves. If you're most intrigued by the description of this book as a mystery, with a hint of crime and violence constantly coloring the tone of the book, I think it might be a disappointing read. It's a story about four young adults who've moved to Tokyo to try to do something different or be a different person, and they kind of all remark on how living in the apartment they share allows them to feel closeness and intimacy without requiring them to be honest with one another about who they truly are. It's compared to "living in a chatroom" several times, because of the sense of not being alone and yet remaining anonymous. The ending definitely came as a surprise to me, and I wasn't sure how to make sense of it.

  • Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
    2019-05-08 22:43

    This is a seriously odd book. It is, however, similar in style to other contemporary Japanese drama/thrillers I have read, so I don't think it is unique in it's odd style.The only way I can describe it is: A slice of life with sinister overtones punctuated by casual violence.The crimes are like a back story, a passing thing referenced but never dwealt upon, and I was almost surprised when they resumed focus. For example police knock at the door and are then forgotten, a character picks up a safety flyer at the train station etc and the main plot appears to head in a different direction.The structure of the novel moves in 5 segments, one for each of the 5 characters who are roommates. Oddly seeming to miss the most important dramas in their lives. For example on of the girls becomes pregnant, but only after her section has passed, leaving the reader with only the next character's superficial perspective on that issue.That device, amongst others, gives the novel a surreal, haunting feel. And just like the characters who are a little detatched from their realities, the reader feels so too.

  • Lit Review
    2019-05-03 21:54

    The characters of the book are indeed the whole point of the narrative, and Parade delivers where it matters. Each one is unique in their approach and outlook, contributing to a ghostly, abstract whole which is never explicitly mentioned, though it is implied. Loneliness, alienation, inability to connect and truly know someone, all these are aspects of this spectral sum, and ultimately what Parade is all about. As I mentioned, there is a nominal narrative (with a mildly surprising but not cheap revelation at its end) but finishing the book you really don't feel anything grand had occurred. The impression after the last page, from the perspective of the reader as well as from that of the main characters, is that of a world that is unchanged, unaltered, and slightly disturbing - if not for any other reason, precisely because of this lack of evolution.Read More:

  • Mobyskine
    2019-05-13 20:33

    The back blurb written that it was tense and disturbing but i didn't feel that way about this book-- except for Naoki's part but that was that. I love the book nevertheless. All 5 'parade', i actually fell for Ryosuke at first but then i thought Koto is cool, lovable and loyal while Satoru is a bit mysterious. I don't remember much about Mirai except that she knows how to draw and she loves alcohol (and that strange rape video).The connection and relationship between all 5- at a point, i kind of admire it. I love how the writer tells story on each of the character's point of view. Satoru's existence was a bit strange at first but then i realised how he brings balance in the group. I love the moment where Naoki went to the building across the street, gazing at their apartment from the metal railing and all the thoughts about them all came in inside his head one by one.Interesting and maybe a bit dramatic, a little creepiness and weird but i love the read.

  • Marina Sofia
    2019-05-24 17:55

    A promising set-up: four young people who share a flat and seem to have nothing in common. Each is slightly off-kilter, dysfunctional, but not in a very obvious way. As a picture of disaffected youth, of the anonymity of city living, of friendships of the 'chatroom type' (even when people are living together) and of the darker side to Japanese society, it works perfectly. As a crime novel or even psychological thriller with a coherent story arc, it does not.I felt cheated by the rather abrupt ending: it made me want to go right back and reread the book, to see if I had missed any of the clues. I had some suspicions, but the motivation is a little muddy.So I think this is wrongly marketed as crime fiction: it works better as a slice of contemporary Japanese life.

  • Lenlen Olano
    2019-05-19 18:46

    I was expecting an all out crime novel but it was more like "friends" gone the usual japanesey weird way. I felt the tension only towards its last few pages.

  • D
    2019-05-25 19:49

    I've never read any of Shuuchi Yoshida's works before (all two of his translated novels), and I actually wanted his other novel, Villain but decided upon looking at the preview that Parade might be more my speed for a first book. It's hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud at most of Ryosuke's and Mirai's chapters, there's just a lot of absurdity there, the kind that you get from people who have hit rock bottom and can only laugh it off. I actually loved all of the characters; they're a cold weird bunch and that's mostly what the novel was trying to say I think. So to be honest I finished this book and went all ??? because I had no idea what it really wanted to say. The ending sort of came flat and I don't even know if the reveal is relevant or if it furthers the character development at all. But after a night of thinking it through I think I do understand it better--or at least have my own understanding of it. Like Naoki said, the Satoru he knows is not like the Satoru everyone else knows. The book as I read it is probably not the same book other people have read simply because of the way people interpret things.And: Parade's a novel about people and interacting with them. One of the motifs/themes is how these four (and then five) housemates are like living in a group chat. They're all there, but they are also just showing facets of themselves to each other. This is actually handled very well with the shifting POVs per chapter. We see them from their own perspectives, and then see them from other people's perspectives to get a whole picture. There's also a lot of subtlety here. Ryosuke is probably my fave character--he got the first POV in the first chapter, which means his story I feel progressed further than the others did. (Simply because we know what he'd been thinking first.) We find out about his old friend Shinya who died in an accident. Mirai mentions that Ryosuke was sad about something once but never told her why, but based on the convo we guess that it was when he found out about Shinya's death. We know that Ryosuke wants to try again and that's why he decided to tutor Satoru for uni exams. But we never really get the full picture because the character seeing these events changes as the actions unfold. Anyway I'm not gonna talk at length about the themes and whatnot, aside from the fact that it's actually quite lonely but at the same time comforting. Like shouting in the void and knowing the void listens and won't talk over you.

  • The Idle Woman
    2019-05-10 15:35

    My journey through faintly baffling Japanese fiction continues. This novel caught my eye with its promise of an insight into the dislocation and atomisation of modern Japanese society. And yet, once again, it has turned out to be one of those books that rather frustrates me: a study of the pointlessness of contemporary life, and the strange dynamics of communal living. In a small apartment in Tokyo, four flatmates have built up a delicate modus vivendi. Brought together by chance, they hang out, watch films, eat takeaways and give life advice to one another, but without ever revealing their true selves. Some are strivers, some wasters: a characteristic mixture of millennial types. One by one, they take over the narration of the story, offering us the chance to glimpse their inner lives and the way that they are both reliant upon and dismissive of their flatmates. And so the book quietly unfolds, following each of the characters in turn as they deal with the essential aimlessness of their lives. They try to create drama by theorising about the activities of their mysterious neighbour, while around them the grim realities of the wider world barely seem to touch them: the car accidents at the nearby junction are nothing but a strange fascination, while the spate of attacks on women in the local area are less important than the mythologies of their own lives.For the full review, please see my blog:

  • Melissa Cabbage
    2019-05-05 16:56

    I kinda don't get this book. Judging from the synopsis, I thought I signed myself up for a thrilling crime fiction story but nope. All I got were insights into the lives of 5 odd and disappointingly unlikable characters.I noticed one of the difference between Japanese authors and Western authors are their choice of characters. Western characters tend to be more.... crowd pleasers who are sometimes a little bit too shallow, whereas your Japanese characters are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. They are so deep that they become de-humanised and often I find myself thinking of them like monsters inside a human skin. It's so weird. It's like the Japanese disbelieve in the good people that they always have to make everyone a disgusting human being. Or is that just due to my choice of books? I have to say though, the Japanese authors excel in writing compelling (albeit hideous) characters. As much as I didn't like these 5 characters, I ended up flipping the pages pretty quickly. The characters in this book remind me of little slugs, who kinda know they are losers but still insist on keeping to this pace of life Unfortunately that is pretty much the whole book, watching these characters try to justify their messed up behaviour. I honestly can't decide if I like the Western characters or the Japanese characters more.

  • Mirko Liang
    2019-05-14 18:52

    This is a metropolitan novel about nothingness. Everything isalmost,kind of,about, which leads to the miserable and painful status of having the world revolving before your eyes without even counting as a person, the status ofwhatever . The youngsters submerged in the crowded Tokyo of Parade - a Chitose darkish life story - all live in an apartment that is not supposed to be for them, they're sort of friends but not really, more acquaintances, they don't have clear projects/perspectives, they pretty much move forward due to the inertia of breathing. Before the conclusion I was really hoping all those 200 pages would lead somewhere eventually, which they did, so I ended up liking the book overall, also thanks to the pretty good writing. Other than that, I wasn't crazy for the story itself, the characters aren't very likable, I didn't care much for any of them and the weird personal digressions here and there would mean close to nothing without that pretty powerful ending. Good narration though, I'll definitely look for other works of the same author.

  • Jennifer Susan Antony
    2019-04-28 21:45

    I'm speechless about this book. Four different individually shares two bedroom flat in Tokyo. Each of them have different background and personality. Then along came the fifth stranger shows up in their house and eventually becomes their housemates. Parade is not a thrilling tale as what' the cover promises, but it's about "Japanese" housemates lives together and hang out together; without revealing their true selves. At one point of time, you'll feel as though you are reading their personal diary. Creepy but interesting. In my opinion these five people are way creepier compared to their neighbors. Parade is just a two hundred something pages novel , so I was thrilled that I will finish this within one or two days but it took me much longer then I intend. Because of its complex character; I had to focus on every word to get the bigger picture.Each situation is written in great details considering fast phase life of Japanese. I'm still not satisfied with the abrupt ending . Thinking if I should re-read the story all over again if I miss any major point . Neh! I guess better not, just leave it as it is for now. Maybe another time.

  • Saffron Dennis
    2019-05-18 22:39

    Five young people, live together in a two bedroom apartment in Tokyo. How they all end up there together is a string of random events. Over the course of around six months, we read a view of each person from their perspective.This is a tale of the detached way some people live when sharing living accommodation. Non of them were friends before moving into the apartment so they only know what they have been told. How well do we really know anyone, especially when you just invite people in your home or move into someone else's.If you finish this book and do not want to instantly discuss it with someone I would be surprised. This for me is definitely a story to talk about if you can find someone who has read it, that is. Clever, disturbing and surprising, this group of young people have a lot going on that will keep you thinking for a long while after the last page.

  • Chi
    2019-05-07 22:40

    Maybe because I read this just after finishing a Higashino detective novel, I was expecting a mystery/case that surrounds the five main characters. Well, maybe it was also propelled by the synopsis: "In the next-door apartment something disturbing is going on. And outside, in the streets around their apartment block, there is violence in the air." But actually, this novel is just about five seemingly normal urbanites with their own problems, without any particular plotline, nor a definite conclusion. For me the disturbing ones here wasn't their neighbour, but themselves. All in all, this book gave me that exciting melancholy I sometimes get when being alone in the middle of a crowd.