7.75 with 8 out of 12 members stating they would read another book by this author.
Curiously it was the members with little or no expectations that rated the book the highest. Most members stated that the plot was ingenious and that they were surprised and amazed by the ending. This was not a 'Whodunit' per say. It was a howdunit. A multi-layered puzzle created by the very clever author.
The novel contained one after another brilliant and unforeseen twists that appealed to many. It was commented that there was little character development and a rather choppy flow to the narrative - but we speculated that this might have been caused by the translation from Japanese to English.
The protagonist Ishigami was a mathematician and his character was dispassionate about most things with his heart entirely taken up with mathematics and his obsession, his beautiful neighbour, Yasuko.
Ishigami was a solitary man who had little if any social life. His genius set him apart from society. As Oscar Lavent said, “There's a fine line between genius and insanity".
Some members said that they were disappointed that the novel did not give a more detailed description of Japanese society. One member said that the novel portrayed an interesting snapshot of society. Perhaps that was to show that no matter where we live some things remain constant. Love, hate, abuse, despair, loneliness, homelessness, poverty etc.
This novel is highly regarded in the author's native Japan garnering numerous awards, including the 134th Naoki Prize, which is a highly regarded award. The novel also won the 6th Honkaku Mystery Grand Prize, which is one of the most prestigious awards in the mystery novels category in Japan. 2006 Honkaku Mystery Best 10 and Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2006, annual mystery fiction guide books published in Japan, ranked the novel as the number one!
The English translation was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Barry Award for Best First Novel.
Read my personal review on my blog: Fictionophile
Congratulations go out to the winners of this month's book giveaways:
The next Whodunit Book Club meeting will be held on June 30th - when we will discuss the stand-alone historical novel "The last Dickens" by Matthew Pearl.
There will be NO meeting in July.