Author: Haruki Murakami
Publication Date: 2003 (1997)
Source: Xmas Gift
In spite of the
perpetrators' intentions, the Tokyo gas attack left only twelve people
dead, but thousands were injured and many suffered serious
after-effects. Murakami interviews the victims to try and establish
precisely what happened on the subway that day. He also interviews
members and ex-members of the doomsdays cult responsible, in the hope
that they might be able to explain the reason for the attack and how it
was that their guru instilled such devotion in his followers. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Underground is a serious piece of journalism and not the usual Murakami fare. I'm too young to really have picked up on anything about the gas attacks when they happened, so I came to this book with no preconceptions. I found it a very interesting and fairly harrowing read as I went through the stories of those caught upon in the tragic events. I found the interviews with the Aum people later in the book a little duller; although, I can see why Murakami would want to include them and it does give the book balance.
I got this impression I was missing certain nuances, knowing so little of Japanese culture, but this was still a moving and memorable read.
Not for everyone perhaps, but I'd recommend it to those interested in more modern history.