I love small books, novellas….I can read them at a setting and take in an entire story. With the classic The Wild Geese by Ogai Mori, written in such an old style, which must have lost so much in translation…I took several sittings.
Not because it was a difficult read, quite the contrary. But I wanted to savor the book’s very Japanese and also very old-world charm, celebrate each sentence and scene for all its worth.
Wikipedia provides an interesting synopsis:
But to me the intensity of the book lies in its somewhat tragic end, where a coincidence and a cruelly ironic yet commonplace incident spoils the reader’s hopes. Not the hopes in the writing, which is luminous, nor the story, which is masterfully told, but in how the reader wants the story to end.
And those, I think, are some of the best books, where you want to re-imagine the ending, want to appeal to the absent author to set everything right with the world.
But as in life, this does not happen in the book, and you leave it with a bittersweet feeling.
I picked up this book on an impulse, and I’m glad I did.