Reading lists

Nicolás Obregón on the influence of Truman Capote and creative non-fiction

Nicolás Obregón's upcoming book, Blue Light Yokohama, tells the story of a murder so disurbing that it drove its first investigator to suicide. From Raymond Chandler to Anthony Burgess, the author picks the five books that most influenced him.

In The Miso Soup

By Ryu Murakami 

A terrifying and beautifully-written book about a tourist guide, Kenji, who is contracted by Frank, a strange American with plastic in his face, to show him a good time in Tokyo’s sex scene. Kenji is disturbed by Frank from the off, wondering if he’s responsible for the gruesome murder reported in the news. I think The Guardian described it as ‘like script notes for American Psycho — the Holiday Abroad,’ but while the two books do share some themes, I think they’re very different experiences. It’s true that In the Miso Soup does have shocking grotesquerie on the page, but it’s also a philosophical book, funny, contemplative, quickly addictive, lonely. In Frank, I feel Murakami has created one of the greatest antagonists in fiction. And for all of his exploits and disturbing traits, what’s really so unsettling and compelling about this book is that, ultimately, Kenji tries to understand him.

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