Coin locker babies – Ryu Murakami

Surrealist apocalyptic goodness – that’ how I can describe in 3 words Ryu Murakamy’s Coin locker babies.

It’s a fucked up book (in a good way) that starts like this:

“The woman pushed on the baby’s stomach and sucked its penis into her mouth; it was thinner than the American menthols she smoked and a bit slimy, like raw fish.”

So, if you can handle the graphic first page, you can probably manage the rest also.

Coin locker babies is a dark and desperate story of two brothers. Well, almost two brothers.  Both Hashi and Kiku, abandoned by their mothers in bus station coin lockers as infants, are discovered and sent to the same orphanage, where they become inseparable. Adopted by the same couple, they grow up together but along the way, one grows up to become a decadent pop star and the other, a disciplined pole vaulter.

Through their adventures the author has a way of building up the action and then suddenly drop a bomb on you, something terribly grotesque or horrible happens and you are left mouth open like “oh my god …”

In this sick and perverted story you love Kiku because he’s smart in a logical kind of way and you get captured by Hashi, the androgynous bisexual rock star always wondering if they are going to destroy or save the world.

Thing is, at some point, you realize there could be no happy ending to this story, which is fine, because by the time you get to the end of this book it’s hard to even want a happy ending for the protagonists.

A very fine read for the days when my psyche takes a break and the ideas of matricide, self-mutilation, hard-core sex and mass murder seem to make sense.

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