Thursday, November 4, 2010

In Search of a Distant Voice by Taichi Yamada

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vIn Search of a Distant VoiceIn Search of a Distant Voice was written in 1986 by Japanese author Taichi Yamada then translated into English in 2006. The story evolves around the life of a young man named Kasama Tsuneo. He has a steady career as an immigrations officer and soon becomes engaged to be married. While his life is somewhat mundane, at least it seems to be under control. That is until one day, on the job, he has an incident in a graveyard when a suspect gets away. From that day his life is changed. He has several strange emotional fits and begins to hear a woman's voice call out to him. Kasama thinks it is a ghost communicating with him from the graveyard. Kasama and this mysterious woman have regular conversations. He wants to know more about her and he eventually wants to meet her in person.

This novel dealt with the struggles and stresses of Japanese life in the 1980's. Kasama was a workaholic and very dedicated to his job. He felt his life was okay, and typical, and he was satisfied with that. He had even found a suitable bride. His friends and coworkers thought the stress of his career and upcoming marriage were beginning to take their toll on his mental health. Throughout this story the reader wonders who this woman is. Is she really a spirit from that graveyard, a figment of Kasama's imagination, or something else entirely?

In Search of a Distant Voice is eerie and mysterious like Yamada's Strangers. Any reader interested in Japanese culture or horror movies should read these books.

I give this novel a Thumbs Up.

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