Book Review: Spark by Matayoshi Naoki (Contemporary Fiction)
Title: Spark Author: Matayoshi Naoki Publisher: Pushkin Press Publication Date: 25 August 2020 Pages: 160 Format: eBook - PDF Genre: Contemporary Source:ARC via NetGalley
Tokunaga is a young
comedian struggling to make a name for himself in Osaka, when he is
taken under the wing of the more experienced, but no more famous,
Kamiya. But as much as Kamiya's indestructible confidence inspires him,
it also makes him doubt the limits of his own talent, and his own
dedication to comedy.
Spark was a mixed-bag read for me. I found some of the scenarios funny, and it offered an interesting discussion on the nature of comedy, alongside intriguing character portrayals of Tokunaga and Kamiya. However, in reading this book with zero knowledge of manzai, I probably missed a lot of cultural references and undertones, as the story failed to fully grip me. It might be interesting to check out the Netflix series if I get time, as seeing the comedic styling in action would probably help, to get a sense of how it comes across. I'm glad I gave this book a try, as it was something different and new, but it's not one I would race to reread. For me, it's a 3.5-star read, as it had some good moments and would probably mean more to readers who are familiar with manzai.
I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.