Monday, June 20, 2011

Audition by Ryû Murakami

(pb; 1997, 2009, 2010. Translated from Japanese to English by Ralph McCarthy.)

From the back cover

". . . Aoyama, a widower who has lived with his son since his wife died seven years ago, decides that it is time to remarry. Since Aoyama is a bit rusty when it comes to dating, a filmmaker friend proposes that he stage auditions for a movie he never intends to produce in order to cast the perfect woman as his bride. Only one of the applicants catches Aoyama's attention: Yamasaki Asami, a striking young ballerina with a mysterious past. Blinded by his infatuation, Aoyama discovers too late that she is a far cry from the innocent young woman he imagined her to be."


Short, taut and emotionally-effective novel. Audition begins as a personal drama about a lonely man trying to find love, a quest that results in sadistic and horrifying situations.

Murakami wastes no words in Audition. Between the author's deliberate, sharp focus and pacing, and an increasing sense of unease, this disturbing novel is unique and excellent. It is not for the squeamish.


This was released as a film in Japan on March 3, 2000.

Ryo Ishibashi played Shigeharu Aoyama. Eihi Siina played Asami Yamazaki. Tetsu Sawaki played Shigehiko Aoyama. Jun Kunimura played Yasuhisa Yoshikawa. Miyuki Matsuda played Ryoko Aoyama. Toshie Negishi played Rie. Yuuto Arima played "Shigehiko as a child". Ayaka Izumi played "Asami as a child".

Takashi Miike directed the film, from a script by Daisuke Tengan.

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