The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Paperback – Jan 24 2012
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About the Author
Born in Osaka, Yasutaka Tsutsui is particularly well known for his science fiction. After graduating from Doshisha University, he founded Null, a science-fiction magazine. His short story 'Oo-tasuke' ('Help') won him the recognition and respect of Rampo Edogawa, the father of Japanese mystery writingA". In 1970s Tsutsui began experimenting with a variety of styles, from slapstick to black humour. He is the winner of various awards including Izumi Kyoka Prize, Kawabata Prize and Yomiuri Literary Prize.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Unfortunately, this is not a great translation. The prose ends up sounding like it was written for grade-school readers, and there's very little nuance or character development; none of the joy of playing with the power of time travel that I so enjoyed in the animated movie. It was worth reading, to see the source, but I doubt this is a novella I'll return to again in the future.
The characters are developed a little bit at the beginning, but overall I found that the book was more plot-based. It's not exactly a book that you can analyze in-depth, but the story is good overall.
You also get a second story in this book (or at least I did) that is about facing fears. It doesn't go particularly in-depth either, but it's still a good read.
I do recommend at least reading the book if you are at all interested in science fiction. Yasutaka Tsutsui is supposedly very famous in Japan, and this is a good book to use as a jumping point into other Japanese literature.
For starters, it was a short and quick read. I could've finished it in one day if I didn't have other things to do. The book also consists of two stories, although I didn't know it at first.
The first story, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, is just your typical time travel story. It's about Kazuko, a third-year middle school student who accidentally acquired the ability to leap through time and space. Although other people would be delighted to discover they have such powers, Kazuko wasn't at all happy with it. She looked for the cause and wanted to get rid of these abilities because she did not want to be different. The plot is very simple and I think the only twist in the story is when Kazuko discovered where and from whom her ability to time travel came from, albeit indirectly. The pace is fast, not boring and I must say it's an okay read. I only wished the author did not make Kazuko and Kazuo's names sound so similar. It's a bit confusing sometimes.
The ending is a bit sad for me. I was looking for more. It was sad that Kazuko did not see that 'person from the future' again and that her memories of him were also erased. I would have wanted them to meet again, maybe when Kazuko's a bit older, you know, so they could be together. Although that's impossible, right? Because they live in different times. *sigh*
In the second story, The Stuff That Nightmares Are Made Of, is where my frustration started. I was like, "why did the story suddenly change?" I even thought that it's a continuation of Kazuko's story. But no, it was a totally different story. One I didn't really get. It's about Masako, a teenager who's afraid of heights and Prajna masks. She also has a younger brother who's a scaredy-cat, but Masako helped Yoshio conquer his fears so she thought she might as well conquer hers. There's not much conflict in this story. For a while I even thought it's horror. Until now I'm still not sure what it is, though. But I think what this story is trying to tell us is we all must at least try to face our fears. And that we should always be careful of the words we speak in front of children. We never know how they affect them.
I have some reservations about this book but I liked it still. If you're looking for a quick read that's still enjoyable, try this book. But if you want something a bit more complicated, this book is not for you.