Saturday 3 February 2024

Book Review: Blue Bamboo by Osamu Dazai (Fantasy/Modern Classics)

Title: Blue Bamboo
Author: Osamu Dazai
Publisher: Kurodahan Press
Publication Date: 2019 (1993)
Pages: 204
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy/Modern Classics
Source: Xmas Gift

A glimpse into the humorous, sardonic world of Dazai Osamu, presenting a new and very different look at a one of the recognized masters of Japanese, and indeed global, literature. These works from the middle years of his brief career show a skilled hand, with angst muted and his penchant for subtle comedy deftly displayed. Scholars and fans often divide the career of Dazai Osamu (1909-1948) into three periods: early, middle, and late. The early and late periods tend to get all the attention, but in fact Dazai was at his very best in the middle period, which corresponds roughly to the years of the Pacific War. All the stories in this collection, with the exception of the early "Romanesque," were written during that time.


Blue Bamboo was a fun collection of tales. Overall, I would say I prefer Osamu Dazai's novellas and novels to his short stories, but it was still interesting to see a different, more humourous, side to his writing in this volume through fantasy elements and quirky characters. It's a more lighthearted read than his standard works for certain. As with any collection such as this, some stories pleased me more than others, but there were none I would say I disliked. I am therefore giving this book 4.5 stars.

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