Earthlings

Earthlings

Book - 2020
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"As a child, Natsuki doesn't fit into her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut who has explained to her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. Each summer, Natsuki counts down the days until her family drives into the mountains of Nagano to visit her grandparents in their wooden house in the forest. One summer, her cousin Yuu confides to Natsuki that he is an extraterrestrial, and Natsuki starts to wonder if she might be an alien too. Later, as a married woman, Natsuki feels forced to fit in to a society she deems a "baby factory" but wonders if there is more to the world than the mundane reality everyone else seems to accept. The answers are out there, and Natsuki has the power to find them. Dreamlike, sometimes shocking, and always strange and wonderful, Earthlings asks what it means to be happy in a stifling world, and cements Sayaka Murata's status as a master chronicler of the outsider experience and our own uncanny universe."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, 2020
Edition: First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition
ISBN: 9780802157003
Branch Call Number: MUR
Characteristics: 247 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Takemori, Ginny Tapley

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Casiepaws
Apr 12, 2021

No. Just no. In the words of Dubbya, "that was some weird s&it."
I can't even rate this. How would I rate it?
That was some bizarro s&it.
Why would someone write this? Why would someone publish it, then decide to ship it across the sea, translate it and subject the English speaking world to this?
I was drawn to the outsider perspective and then felt great sympathy for the character's abusive family situation but then it just ... devolved.
Can I scrub my brain of this novel? Where's the undo button?

m
MikeEe
Jan 11, 2021

The novel is contemporary Japan’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Dark, funny and revealing. Mostly dark. The novel is impossible to put down once you start. So good. Anything Murata-san writes and Takemori translates is worth reading.

m
Missmrecommends
Nov 27, 2020

It starts out reading like a Miyazaki movie only instead of Totoro you get a horror show. Wish I had known about the triggers for abuse and skipping to the end was even more awful. Pet was far more satisfying a read to me.

fladdle Nov 18, 2020

Yikes! Um, strewth. Not sure what to say about this one. “Earthlings” starts with real life ordinariness and slowly devolves into everyday horror and magic realism. This isn’t for the faint-hearted, I think, maybe because the tone is quite soft even though the depictions are sometimes awful.

(I found the word “Popinpobopian” to be interruptive to the flow. Too bad for me, I guess.)

m
mclarjh
Nov 13, 2020

Childish, incoherent, bizarre, for preteens.

debwalker Oct 01, 2020

When you don't fit in. And your best friend is a toy HEDGEHOG!

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MikeEe
Jan 11, 2021

Natsuki “'I was keenly aware that I was unable to fulfill my duty as a tool for the Baby Factory. Being Popinpobopian, I just couldn’t understand Earthlings. On Earth, young women were supposed to fall in love and have sex , and if they didn’t, they were ‘lonely’ or ‘bored’ or ‘wasting their youth and would regret it later!’” Natsuki

Kise: "But now that I’m married, for the first time I’m able to lead a worthwhile existence. If my husband hadn’t found me, I never would have known such happiness as a woman."

Tomoya: "What I’m really scared of is believing that the words society makes me speak are my own."

Yuu: "I hear orders in my head. Ever since I was a child, I could hear adults telling me what they wanted me to do, even though they didn’t say it out loud. My mother especially was always telling me what to do without actually saying it. So I always automatically did as they said. I knew I had to in order to survive,’"

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