Tonight I find myself alone, my boyfriend/housemate/tech support (call him what you will, he answers to most names) being away for work for six weeks. This also leaves me alone to clean for the poor innocents who are being brought around to view our flat tomorrow with a view to taking over renting when we move into our actual house which we will (fingers crossed) finish buying in August.
The part of this cleaning which might interest you involves rediscovering the contents of the suitcase I took on my work trip to Berlin at the start of June. Beyond that it explains where lots of my clothes had gone, beyond that the raisins were still edible, you might be interested to hear about the atrocity that I picked up in Gatwick Airport for my flight out.
If you are among those who judge a book by its cover (and we all are to a greater or lesser extent, that’s why publishers pay cover designers, marketers etc to come up with something appealing) you will appreciate the initial appeal of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. An attractive young lady apparently asleep on a pillow of chamomile flowers, an exotic font for the title, heck, an interesting title even. That’s before you pick the book up and feel the special cover lamination which is very slightly rubbery, pleasantly so, which I would take into work for people to feel, to love, to consider for our books if it wouldn’t mean letting on to the office that I’d bought such a book because (dear readers) this book is an abomination.
The book is translated from a novel originally written in Japanese and derived from a series of instalments written for a student magazine. In 1967. It has since been adapted into graphic novels, anime films and even a TV series, but this is translated from the original novel. And it shows.
Both description and dialogue were wooden, though that might be a fault of the translation, and the plot is more dated than anything else I’ve ever read, except maybe pony club stories when I was about seven. It’s meant to be written for young adults but I don’t think it would keep an average eleven year old occupied for very long (that isn’t any sort of hyperbole- I taught English at a secondary school for two years, remember…) let alone a teen with a million and one other things on the go.
I got it into my head at the time of reading that this had been translated from a graphic novel. As a comic it might work well. As a novel it was too fragmented and shallow to have any real appeal to me.