WELCOME TO DECEMBER PROJECT!
boilerplate mission statement:
for the past two years, i’ve set december’s project aside to do my own version of a short story advent calendar. it’s not a true advent calendar since i choose all the stories myself, but what it lacks in the ‘element of surprise’ department it more than makes up for in hassle, as i try to cram even MORE reading into a life already overcrammed with impossible personal goals (live up to your potential! find meaningful work! learn to knit!) merry merry wheee!
since i am already well behind in my *regular* reviewing, when it comes to these stories, whatever i poop out as far as reflections or impressions are going to be superficial and perfunctory at best. please do not weep for the great big hole my absented, much-vaunted critical insights are gonna leave in these daily review-spaces (and your hearts); i’ll try to drop shiny insights elsewhere in other reviews, and here, i will at least drop links to where you can read the stories yourselves for free, which – let’s be honest – is gonna serve you better anyway.
HAPPY READING, BOOKNERDS!
links to all stories read in previous years’ calendars can be found at the end of these reviews, in case you are a person who likes to read stories for free:
scroll down for links to this year’s stories which i will update as we go, and if you have any suggestions, send ’em my way! the only rules are: it must be available free online (links greatly appreciated), and it must be here on gr as its own thing so i can review it. thank you in advance!
“Now; you are a real frog, am I right?”
“Yes, of course, as you can see. A real frog is exactly what I am. A product neither of metaphor nor allusion nor deconstruction nor sampling nor any other such complex process, I am a genuine frog. Shall I croak for you?”
Frog tilted back his head and fled the muscles of his huge throat. Ribit. Ri-i-i-bit. Ribit ribit ribit. Ribit. Ribit. Ri-i-i bit. His gigantic croaks rattled the pictures hanging on the walls.
“Fine, I see, I see!” Katagiri said, worried about the thin walls of the cheap apartment house in which he lived. “That’s great. You are, without question, a real frog.”
“One might also say that I am the sum total of all frogs. Nonetheless, this does nothing to change the fact that I am a frog. Anyone claiming that I am not a frog would be a dirty liar. I would smash such a person to bits!”
well, jeez. even though i have yet to be absorbed into the cult of murakami, after reading this story i at least understand why the cult exists. it’s a coy little flip of literary fabulism about a lonely man with a shitty job who is approached one day by a six-foot tall conrad-and-tolstoy-and-dostoevsky-referencing frog who appears in his apartment one night asking for his help fighting capital-w worm in order to prevent an earthquake and save tokyo.
is one way to read it.
‘course, we are told more than once that “What you see with your eyes is not necessarily real,“ giving the reader the freedom to doubt as much or as little of the story as suits. truth, allegory, fever dream, fable? have it your own way!
it’s weird and funny and full of grotesque imagery, so maybe i will give him his third chance with a short story collection? three strikes and you’re out, though.
earn me, murakami.
read it for yourself here: