Quick Book Review: “Strange Weather in Tokyo” by Hiromi Kawakami

This was a strange book. It’s an improbably love story between a woman in her late 30’s and her former high school teacher, in his 60’s. What starts as an acquaintance develops into a friendship, and ultimately, a love affair. The fluffy, dreamy writing is very reminiscent of another female Japanese author, Banana Yoshimoto, who’s a big big favorite of mine. However, the dialog between the main characters is so bizarre and stilted and implausible that it made for difficult reading. The book has no plot at all, and all the characters do is drink drink drink and exchange weird, two-word sentences. I’m sure some of the stilted nature of the dialog had to do with the translation, but still, the book never really resonated in the way that I had hoped (despite the glowing reviews elsewhere).

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