Snow In the Desert by Isaka Kotaro (砂漠 – 伊坂幸太郎) is a coming of age story spanning the four college years of five friends. Surprisingly, it never showed up on any of the lists of recommended books on Audiobook.jp—I was only able to find it by searching for Isaka Kotaro directly—so I would like to recommend it here for anyone searching for fiction on the site. I’m guessing it is not a great seller as an audiobook or they would be promoting it more heavily, but on Amazon.co.jp the reviews were decent. I wasn’t too excited about the book, as the synopsis didn’t draw me in, but from the very beginning, I found it enjoyable to listen to because of the narrator, the characters, the relaxing tone. Also, it reminded me of what it was like to have plenty of free time.
(ガソリン生活 – 伊坂 幸太郎）
The times I have been to Japan, most of my transportation has been in the form of trains or buses, but the setting of this novel, Sendai, is actually closer to what my life is like in the United States. I’m not particularly interested in cars, but they are a necessary part of my way of life. Gasonline Life was an opportunity to read about people in Japan with a more familiar lifestyle — told from the perspective of their car.
A green Mazda Demio narrates the story based on what he overhears from his passengers and many conversations with other wheeled vehicles, from the all-knowing freight locomotives to unintelligible bicycles.
I’m usually reading one e-book and one paper book at any given time. Lately, I picked two long books, and I haven’t been able to get through either. I’ll be back to write about those later. In the future I’ll be careful to choose something easier to finish in one format or the other.
Since I have missed having something to write about, I tried browsing around on Amazon.co.jp for something shorter, and I found a new Kindle Single, by an author I enjoy, that came out on the 14th of this month. It’s called ロングレンジ by 伊坂幸太郎 (Long Range by Isaka Kotaro). I took the opportunity to grab something I could finish quickly and write about while it’s still current.
This is the second book out of three in the Youki na Gyangu series. I previously posted a review of the first book. You definitely need to read the first book before picking this one up because the characters are not explained and there are many references to the previous plot. I thought this one would be about bank robbery as well, but that turned out to be a minor part of the plot. The central plot was about the four criminals saving someone they happened to see being kidnapped during one of their bank attacks.
A “gang” of four bank robbers pride themselves on robbing banks in the correct way. They have rationalized to themselves that they aren’t harming anyone, which is ridiculous, but makes a good stage for an interesting plot. This was a lot of fun to read and moves very fast.