Sunday, August 30, 2009

Paradise, by Koji Suzuki

(hb; 1990, 2006: translated by Tyran Grillo)

From the inside flap:

"In the arid badlands of prehistoric Asia, a lovelorn youth violates a sacred tribal taboo against representing human figures by etching an image of his beloved. When the foretold punishment comes to pass, the two must embark on a journey across the world, and time itself, to try and reclaim their destiny. A mysterious spirit guides them towards a surprise destination that readers may indeed find close to home.

"Published a year before Ring, Paradise was Koji Suzuki's groundbreaking first novel that launched his career as a fiction writer. Winner of the Japan Fantasy Award, it was immediately made into an animated TV series. . ."

Review:

Excellent, memorable science fiction/fantasy novel, this.

Paradise spans thousands of years; from the quest of Tangad artist Bogud, who pursues his kidnapped pregnant wife (Fayau) across land and ocean, to the travails of eighteenth century sailor Jones and his Hau wife (Laia), to the mid-1990s soulmating of Leslie Mardoff (an avant garde composer) and book editor Flora Aideen, there's a common spirit, or spirits, that joins them all.

Crisply written, concise, and spectacularly resonant work: check it out.

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