Bouquets of Flowers Everywhere

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Bouquets of Flowers Everywhere
Author: Masaya Nakahara
Specifications: ISBN  978-4101184418
185 pages
10.4 x 15.0 cm / 4.2 x 6.0 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Shinchosha Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2001
Awards: Mishima Yukio Prize, 2001
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As of December 2011, this is the only novel that this gifted writer has written. It starts in a room in a building known as the Ugly Duckling House, where a man named Tetsuya is tied up and subjected to awful torture. Kobayashi, his obese tormenter, is a successful entrepreneur whose businesses manufacture everything from enriched uranium to plastic products and postcards. After enduring continuous abuse at the hands of Kobayashi, Tetsuya assembles a team of five men and trains them in assassination techniques. They ambush Kobayashi and leave him for dead. Revenge is done. Such is the outline of the book, but it's far from that simple. There is a huge cast of walk-on characters: Okada, a middle-aged investigative journalist with a monstrous penis, also in pursuit of Kobayashi; an engineer who rushes to crime scenes with a "blood pump" that sucks up spilt blood and cleanses it of impurities so it can be recycled; and a woman who is a champion cultivator of orchids. There are more than 40 fragments, each a freestanding episode, which gradually merge like the stones in a mosaic to form a single picture. In the book's final scene, a hot-air balloon (about which Okada had been reporting) comes crashing to the ground, inspiring a fiery panic and bringing the book to a dramatic, if contrived, end. The flowers in the title are garlands offered to the many who die in the course of the book's numerous brutal episodes.