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Old 08-10-2019, 08:01 PM   #16
CRussel
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I expected the sexism, especially given how slow Japanese society has been to adapt to more equality for women. I worked for >10 years for a Japanese managed company (NUMMI -- New United Motors Manufacturing Inc, the GM/Toyota joint venture), and even though women worked at all levels of the plant, there were never any as part of the Toyota management. Exactly none. And none of the engineers or trainers or anyone else that Toyota sent over were women. So I can hardly be surprised by the attitudes in this book. Which doesn't mean I enjoyed that aspect.

However, I could probably have gotten around the sexism if I had actually found it particularly funny. Oh, there were some funny scenes. But too few, and too much of the same old shtick. I admit, I abandoned at about 35%.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:18 PM   #17
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Well, I finished the book. Tedious is the best word to describe it. I would have liked more of the cat insights and less of the human dialogue. I missed the cat's interactions with other animals in the latter half of the book. The discussion amongst the scholars just went on too long at times which took away from the insight of the passages and what could have been funnier. By continuing to the end, it did complete some of the threads of the stories - like the burglar is caught and we find out if Coldmoon marries Opula Goldfield. And, the scholars even laugh at themselves for dragging a story on longer than necessary!

I don't regret learning about this author. Clearly he is important and considered one of the greatest authors in Japanese literature. His portrait was on the Japanese 1000 yen note for 20 years. That's a long time! Haruki Murakami has said Sōseki is his favorite author. Since this month's topic was about debuts, I also wanted to learn more about the author and his works. I thought this article in the Times Literary Supplement is a good overview.
https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/p...-umami-soseki/
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:27 PM   #18
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According to Wikipedia's entry on I Am a Cat, the novel has been adapted into multiple formats, underscoring its popularity in Japanese society. I imagine that they could have been more entertaining than the novel.

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In the mid-1970s, the prolific screenwriter Toshio Yasumi adapted Sōseki's novel into a screenplay. Kon Ichikawa directed the film, which premiered in Japanese cinemas in 1975. The novel was also adapted into a film released in 1936, and an anime television special aired in 1982.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:31 PM   #19
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Karma to you, Bookworm_Girl for finishing the book! And thanks for the TLS article which I shall read with interest. It certainly seems to be an important work in Japanese artistic circles. No doubt we missed a lot of references to Japanese attitudes, beliefs etc, but I do agree with you that it was tedious to read.

Ah well, we have to expect some misses amongst the hits!
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:22 AM   #20
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The author's other good book is Botchan. I heard it being discussed in an anime from last year.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:54 PM   #21
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I threw in the towel early on, too, but I can’t entirely blame the book. I have the attention span of a 3-year-old these days. One of my 2 book groups meets tomorrow to discuss a book I apparently recommended (“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”) — and I still haven’t read it! So I watched the movie instead. I know; bad form. I don’t suppose “I Am a Cat: The Movie” would’ve been much of a blockbuster?
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twitchly View Post
I threw in the towel early on, too, but I can’t entirely blame the book. I have the attention span of a 3-year-old these days. One of my 2 book groups meets tomorrow to discuss a book I apparently recommended (“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”) — and I still haven’t read it! So I watched the movie instead. I know; bad form. I don’t suppose “I Am a Cat: The Movie” would’ve been much of a blockbuster?
I don’t know - the book was long enough to turn into a Cecil B de Mille epic! Though admittedly, not a lot of action in it.
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