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I enjoyed this two-story anthology from Banana Yoshimoto somewhat less than Kitchen and Goodbye Tsgumi. Although Yoshimoto’s writing is simple, unpretentious and flowing (as I am accustomed to from her previous books), allowing me to finish this book in a 24-hour period, the stories for one reason or another did not grip me. Despite having some sublimely lyrical segments, the first tale, Hardboiled, was too fantastic and coincidental to captivate me, which diminished my enthusiasm greatly for the message the author was trying to convey about loss and remembrance. The evolution of the story was also quite rapid and unpredictable, yet in the end I was left unimpressed. The second tale, Hard Luck, was quite different from the first, although it also deals with the same theme of loss and remembrance. This story was a somewhat more emotionally detached treatment of a heavy topic. I again found myself missing the engagement needed to care more than superficially about the characters and what happened to them. Overall this opus of Banana Yoshimoto is not her most unforgettable. Hardboiled & Hard Luck is a decent, light read for anyone interested in experiencing the full breadth of Yoshimoto’s literary works.              

Have you read Hardboiled & Hard Luck? or any of Banana Yoshimoto’s other works? What are your thoughts after reading her work? What do you find most intriguing about her writing? Thanks as always for stopping by! Please feel free to share your thoughts or reactions in a comment below. Also, if you would like to receive more updates about my writing please consider joining my newsletter mailing list by subscribing below.

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