The Kappa Child (2001) by Hiromi Goto

TheKappaChildIt hasn’t been since Babel-17 that I clambered onto the couch on a Saturday morning, just to read a few pages, and barely moved until I absolutely had to. Like its name suggests, this is a book that will inhabit you.

It starts with some silliness: A quirky driver in the midst of traffic chaos. Honking horns, clanking shopping carts, CB static; a lotta onomatopoeia. Some over-the-top quirkiness. This protagonist is quirky, the quirky narrative wants us to know.

So I think, aww man, this is going to be too cutesy for me. I don’t think I’m going to like it. Like a briny sea, it’s just too much quirkiness to sink below the surface. Consciousness of the act of reading keeps me afloat.

But then suddenly, I sink. It probably took me about 25 pages.

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