Helter-Skelter
Author: Ko Nakamura
Specifications: ISBN  978-4167679835
204 pages
10.6 x 15.2 cm / 4.2 x 6.1 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Bungeishunju Ltd.
Tokyo, 2004
www.bunshun.co.jp/
Awards: Noma Prize for New Writers, 2004
Buy now: amazon.co.jp

Synopsis

This work comprises two novellas. The title story kicks off with the narrator handing in his notice of withdrawal from university. Like pressing the reset button on a game machine, he restarts his life, determined to do only what he wants. He decides to do two things: work like crazy as a cram-school teacher until the next spring, and start a rock band. He posts an ad on an Internet notice board: "Looking for wickedly good musicians to play hot but cool, crazy but clever, original but classic, gruesomely gorgeous rock'n'roll to make people laugh and cry." Quickly assembling a bassist, a lead guitarist and a drummer, he appoints himself lead vocalist. He books a rehearsal space where he plans to run through the Beatles' "Helter Skelter" in every possible style with his new bandmates. At this point he's contacted by another 20-year-old guy who wants to be the band's singer. The narrator finds that the other young man is his doppelganger?everything about him, from dropping out of college to his life-philosophy, is the same. That's when the narrator makes up his mind not to go to the first rehearsal of his own band . . .

The second novella describes what happens when the guitarist and drummer of the band in the first story bump into one another at the optical equipment maker where they both work. A superb pair of stories with sparkling, witty dialogue.