Godness of Curry《咖喱的女神》
This is the first novel I read by Hamanaka Aki, and I was particularly surprised. This collection of short stories actually does not have many elements of reasoning, but it keeps up with current events and critiques social irrationality very well.
The amazing thing is that this is probably a book that 1. I will want to come back to in ten years to look at history and society; 2. has a time limit to enjoy. Unlike Kiyoharu Matsumoto's detective fictions that are still attractive after decades, the new generation will not be able to understand this book at all or get the pleasure of reading from it. But on the other side, as a book with a time limit which cannot be understood by the next generation, it becomes even more interesting for the current generation to enjoy their own unique moments in reading.
There are some downsides though, firstly, most of the reversals can be guessed thus weaken the reading pleasure, and it would be better to be more concise; secondly, the topics that Hamanaka Aki wants to explore are wonderful, but similar ones can be found from the mainstream critical viewpoint, and some of Hamanaka Aki's insights are less magnificent than those of his peer writers, such as Yonezawa Hironobu's grand historical view and focuses on the most painful social problems such as rural decay. Nevertheless, these are all nitpicks, on the volume of how short these stories are, they are already absolutely 5 stars out of 5. I can't wait to read Scream and see what Hamanaka Aki is exploring in his long novel.
Note: if you haven't yet finished reading the "Goddess of Curry", it is not recommended to continue reading this blog, from here all through the bottom.
- Secret seaside: the shadow of the family of origin lingers and becomes the unnamable. The domestic violence and its own fear of passing it to future generations almost destroyed the man. This kind of dark side from within oneself, in the ghostly transmission of chill to the reader, is very much like the topic Haruki Murakami likes to write. I even thought I was reading a new short story by Haruki Murakami haha.
- Godslayer: The world's #2 Go master admires and loves the #1 Go master but killed him in the end. The motive for killing him is to keep him from being defeated by the AI.
- Presumption of innocence: What should be done with people after distorting and forgetting the memory of their own crimes when the public memory is also untrustworthy? If one's own memory of innocence is false and the crime is not witnessed by a third person, how can one make a determination of guilt? This one is a bit like the idea of the White Bear episode in Black Mirror.
- The living will: Grandpa made a will to die with dignity if he were in persistent vegerative state (PVS). After grandpa lost his footing while fishing and ending in PVS, his sister-in-law was turned around by greed to not obey the living will of dying with dignity to get money for years. In these years, grandpa resented it at first, but after a long time of thinking about it, he turned around and eargered for live. However, his grandson who found the living will from the cloud shared the news with doctor and "murdered" the grandpa to "obey" his living will.
- Goddess of Curry: The boy is abandoned by his mother and is not sure whether she loves him or not, and the curry for his last dinner tastes peculiar; meanwhile, a new curry store opens and he eats a familiar taste that he has not seen for a long time. The strange "goddess" chef says the special recipe is purple orchid, and the language of flower is "I will never forget you", but the reversal is that the original curry store owner was killed by a debt collector (the Goddess of Curry). The special taste is a corpse, and the purple orchid story was totally made up.
- Politically Correct Police Novel: Political correctness is an overkill to the new point-of-views, which vanishes all ideas to ash in the end. It's the same thing with Xu Zhiyuan's "look at the world with prejudice", "if you do not carry stereotypes, then you do not have a way of looking at the world."
很神奇的是这大概是一本1. 我会想十年后再翻出来看历史社会的书；2. 同时也是一本有时效的书，不同于松本清张那样几十年不褪色的精彩，我的后一辈应该是完全不能理解这本书也无法从中获得阅读快感的。就这么一本具有时效性的、不能后一个世代理解的书，想起来反而因为有种私密感而更有趣了。
- 弑神者：围棋第二以围棋第一为崇拜爱慕对象，杀掉他的动机，是为了不让他被 AI 打败。
- 冤罪推定：对自身犯罪记忆扭曲与遗忘之后的人应该如何处置，公众记忆与自身记忆可能都是不可信的。如果自身无罪的记忆是虚假的，且罪行无第三人目击的话，如何做有罪判定？这篇有点像黑镜里「白熊」拷问的 idea。