What a character! The whole Lady Joker crime caper can go to hell. There is only one person whose point of view self is interested in reading about, and it’s Goda, the detective chosen to be the body man to the president of the Hinode beer company.
She wishes the narrative had focused on just him, instead of splintering into so many viewpoints: the president, the reporter(s), the criminal(s) etc. Because if you read this (hefty) tome by skipping over the sections not his, then what you have is a very enthralling character study.
Goda lives alone (of course). He doesn’t own a car. He stops at a grocery on his way home (he sleeps?) and buys bananas and milk. His supervisor doesn’t trust him and sometimes drops by unexpectedly. This is how the supervisor knows that Goda’s brother-in-law (or, rather, his EX-brother-in-law, since Goda’s 18-year-marriage has failed) sometimes drops by Goda’s apartment to vacuum, do his laundry, and iron his shirts. Goda’s brother-in-law reminds him to take better care of himself, then serves him delicious meals (“silken tofu from Kyoto, vibrantly green blanched spinach, grilled eggplant garnished with ginger and the finest silver dried herring measuring almost six centimeters in length”)
The reason for his brother-in-law’s most recent visit is that Goda’s picture has appeared in a tabloid: “When I saw you in that tabloid photo, it felt like something was insane. Besides, even though you’ve got a suit on like the rest of them, your shoes look different from a true corporate man. Your demeanor’s not the same. It takes a stiff brush to get the grime off the seams of your shoes.”
Do you see what self means? Isn’t Yuichiro Goda a fascinating character? Self wishes there were more novels written from the point of view of “body men.”
In this novel, his is only one of twenty viewpoints (sigh) which means: this will be a fast read. But, let her assure you, since she has taken the trouble to read ahead (just by a few pages), let her assure you: the best is yet to come.