“No matter how long the night, dawn is bound to come.”
A college student spends an evening out, unwittingly attracting the attention of various men whose paths she crosses. One in particular, an upperclassman who has been nursing a crush on her for some time, has chosen this night to make his true feelings known.
Will the two come together, or will this girl just keep on walking…? (Goodreads)
“In a world full of actors trying to cunningly maneuver themselves into the lead role, she was the star of that night without even trying.”
Oh, how I love that opening line!
I chose to pick up this book because I first saw the animated film, though I wasn’t able to finish it because it had a lot of trippy and fantastical scenes that was a bit confusing for me. I thought that I would better understand the content if I read the novel.
“What we see in others is a reflection of ourselves.”
Same as with the film, there is a lot of silliness contained in this novel. I think that a reader’s enjoyment of this book would really depend on his/her tolerance for all things silly. I, for one can’t recommend this to just anyone. It’s not something easily enjoyed, and the sense of humor is a bit hard to grasp.
“There’s no one with more time on their hands than someone who says they’re busy. They feel guilty for having nothing to do, so they go around saying how busy they are.”
I liked the quirky characters a lot, including the supporting characters. They are definitely personalities that I have never seen before. However, most of the magical realism elements were a miss for me. My eyes would just glaze over a lot of the pages.
“We’re dust for a much longer period of time than we’re human. Which actually means it’s normal to be dead, and being alive is a brief exception. Why are we so afraid of death?”
Still, I can say that this had a very powerful opening. I loved the “friendly fist” lesson, the exploration of nocturnal Japan filled with lit up bars, unique cocktails and “Funteresting” drinks. There are only four chapters, and each are quite episodic, with a different story arc but same characters involved.
“When a book passes to another person, it gets to live again. In that sense, books are reborn over and over, connecting people as they go.”
Looking back I realized it is also full of wisdom about life, based on the number of passages that I saved. I loved the second chapter which I felt is mostly a tribute to bibliophiles. It is really the narrative that was a bit hard to follow for me but I can see how this will be a favorite for many readers. In a nutshell, it’s a long-winding love story full of foolishness of youth. It’s also about endurance, finding courage and knowing to what distance one would go for love.
Big thanks to NetGalley and Yen Press for providing a copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review.
Overall Rating: 3/5
About the Author
Born in Nara Prefecture, Tomihiko Morimi graduated from Kyoto University, and his works often has Kyoto as setting.
The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
by Tomihiko Morimi
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Yen On (first published 2006
ISBN 1975383311 (ISBN13: 9781975383312)
Edition language: English
Original title 夜は短し歩けよ乙女
Literary Awards 本屋大賞, 山本周五郎賞 Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize
Genres: Cultural – Japan | Fiction | Asian Literature | Japanese Literature | Fantasy
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