There are so many books that are recommended to us on the daily. But which one should we actually read? For people who are not avid book readers it may be hard to decide which book they should pick up as they do not wish to start a book they would have to discontinue reading midway. For this reason many times we wait for our relatives, friends or trusted allies to read that book first and then give us a review on it. Or sometimes we might read the reviews written in magazines or newspapers that other people write. The issue in these reviews though, is that most of the time these reviews say way more than the readers comments. It might contain even a summary or synopsis of the story which may stomp your will to read the book altogether.
Today this article won’t be of such nature! This book review only brings forth the highlights of the book and reasons why this book is a must read for anyone who’s currently lacking book recommendations. Then without further ado, let’s jump right in!
Today I’ll be talking about Dazai Osamu’s No Longer Human. Yeah, you’ve probably heard of this book before, have had it recommended to you or maybe read the name somewhere. It is one of the most well recognized pieces of Japanese literature worldwide. So what’s so special about this book and why should you read it? Nothing.
Nothing about the book itself, its characters, its setting is at all out of the ordinary. It’s not a fantasy story, not an in-depth psychological analogy into the protagonist’s mind and no it does not make you “smarter” like some books claim to. But still it’s one of the best books out there for sure. Curious to know how? Read on then!
The entirety of the book circulates around the main character Oba Yozo and we see everything happening though Yozo’s eyes, in first person perspective. We see how Yozo sees the world, how he acts around it, how he behaves with others. What’s also evident throughout the book is how much dislike and disgust the main character bears towards himself. What we don’t see directly from the book, however, is how Yozo thinks, what he thinks of others, why he acts the way he acts. All of that becomes obvious to the reader only AFTER they are done reading the novel.
So despite its mediocre description of the surroundings, sparse depictions of culture and less poetic phrasing, No Longer Human stands out as a narrative masterpiece as it takes the readers through every emotion the protagonist feels with seemingly no effort.
The way the book is written is the reason it deserves to be read by masses and deserves all the praise and attention. So if you have time on your hands and need to put your feet up to comfortably settle down into a good read, No Longer Human is definitely what you’re looking for.
But people’s opinions on everything, including books, vary. You may read the book and have thoughts that differ from mine. And that’s okay because no matter how many theories there have been over the years regarding this book, in the end the readers own interpretation of his text is what the author had intended. So give it a read and maybe share your thoughts on it too!
Writer: Maheka Mahmud