All The Lovers In The Night: Exploring the Psychedelic Patterns of Human Behavior and Nature in Mieko Kawakami’s New Book

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Book review of All The Lovers In The Night by Mieko Kawakami

All The Lovers In The Night

Review by Neelam Sharma, Booxoul.com

Author: Mieko Kawakami
Narrative
Writing Style
Language
Storyline

Summary

Fuyuko Irie is a freelance proofreader in her thirties. Living alone, and unable to form meaningful relationships, she has little contact with anyone other than Hijiri, someone she works with. When she sees her reflection, she’s confronted with a tired and spiritless woman who has failed to take control of her own life. Her one source of solace: light. Every Christmas Eve, Fuyuko heads out to catch a glimpse of the lights that fill the Tokyo night. But it is a chance encounter with a man named Mitsutsuka that awakens something new in her. And so her life begins to change.

As Fuyuko starts to see the world in a different light, painful memories from her past begin to resurface. Fuyuko needs to be loved, to be heard, and to be seen. But living in a small world of her own making, will she find the strength to bring down the walls that surround her? All The Lovers In The Night is acute and insightful, entertaining and captivating, pulsing and poetic, modern and shocking. It’s another unforgettable novel from Japan’s most exciting writer.

5

Ever read a book so subtly coy yet so kaleidoscopic in essence that it threatens to thwart all sense of judgement you hold into inane nothings? I just finished something that astounding people.

Just read the calmest book All The Lovers In The Night by Mieko Kawakami and boy oh boy, was I left speechless!!  Let me begin to start to attempt to explain to you all why.

 See what I mean? I am absolutely gobsmacked by how a quiet novel (not to forget translated too!!) is such a stunner that it slowly gets inside your heart and mind, infusing your nerves with wonders, showing you the prismatic colours of life, staying with you for long, even after you have finished reading it.

A character study of sorts initially by the main protagonist, Fuyuko Irie, this one delves into her self -introspection into her own life, one where she realizes that she is the perfect example of a miserable person, lonely and detached. In an attempt to fight and ward off this isolation and melancholy she befriends Mitsutsuka, a man much older than her and who, like her “supposedly” shares a common interest in the science of light. They muse upon how light, which is scientifically one of the most powerful forces, absorbs as well as vanishes from our lives. Yes, there is where I could completely relate to and feel the metaphorical reference Mieko has put forth through the references, the comparatives put across having been done for the purpose of not only a metaphor but putting across a much deeper, intense reality-the inadvertent universal trajectory of life and death aka vanishment. 

This being my 3rd Kawakami book, I have long since admired her ease of projecting multifaceted metaphors and putting them across effortlessly, with the ease of one explaining something calmly yet crystal clear. In fact, I have always felt that there is an uncanny approach she always has adopted, giving us seemingly random third-person perspectives which eventually blend into the main idea being put across, a moral or a concept perhaps, which she wants us to take note of. The brilliant interweave she manages through these seemingly random monologues might seem erratic at one point but by the end of the read, one can not only fully comprehend them but resonate with them at all levels. 

All The Lovers In The Night- Exploring the Psychedelic Patterns of Human Behavior and Nature in Mieko Kawakami's New Book

The style of writing being musing of sorts and introspective, Mieko has brought out a parallel tangent, presenting this novel in a steady yet meandering manner. It appears as isolated of sorts, aloof and non-indulging in a manner of sorts, not allowing anyone to get close. There are even points in the narrative I felt, which will seem as if you are caught up in that continuum alongside Fuyuko, between the web of now and here, bidding away your time, to reach… nothing or nowhere next. But then, that exactly I‘d say is the strength and beauty of Mieko’s writing. To be able to get us along to that pinpoint and suspend us at it, poised towards nowhere, making us fully comprehend and understand the protagonist and her current mindset, her plight, her struggles and so on. I personally resonated with how she seemed to be living life at many points on autopilot, cold, robotic and unyielding almost to the point wherein these qualities which should have been merely the tool markers for her professional ground seeped and bled themselves into her personal marring her personality in a detached way. Yes, her detached manner of experiencing books made her start keeping emotions at bay. She even has been portrayed to follow the emotions of Hijiri, her boss and perfect antithesis at a point. Isn’t that akin to what we all too resort to in our lives, competing yet subconsciously idolizing those whom we love to hate? Indeed, a wise extract from beyond ages I’d say because introvert or otherwise, Kawakami has hit the bullseye in depicting the intricacies of complex, deep human emotions and done so in a beautifully intricate manner leaving us wondering and grasping the magnificence of it all.

Whenever my emotions or whatever kick, in my world goes blank-like something’s taken over me. Then I start doubting everything, like what if my whole life was just a quote from something else, only I never realized it? That’s where my brain goes.

A brilliant read, yes melancholic agreed but yet profound and mirror-like, slowly working its way, warming up the cogs of your heart, only to burn down the tiny superficial over expectations you might have dared to harbour in that tiny little self of yours, which stays surreptitiously hidden, away from the bright shackles of light and ground realities and home truths. Leaving you with a couple of my favourite lines from this book:

I became unsure of how to leave the mirror, how to leave me in the mirror behind.

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So, hope you guys enjoyed this book review aka my musing and thoughts on All The Lovers In The Night by Mieko Kawakami. Do let us know in the comments below which other books would you like us to read and review. Do keep tuning in to catch the best from the field of entertainment, travel, beauty, food, lifestyle, tech and gadgets and all things bookish.

Related:

‘This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.’

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20 Comments

  1. Harjeet Kaur May 26, 2022 at 9:29 am

    Well well, what a positive review. You have given 5 stars to Narrative,Writing Style,,storyline and language. There are few books that leave us overwhelmed. This is one of them I guess. I am ordering this right away.

    Reply
  2. Flavia Cutinho May 27, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    Yes I have had such a feeling, what I have known is all totally different. Talking about the book from ur review it does sound overwhelming and worth a read

    Reply
  3. Sonia dogra May 28, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Your review is mind blowing. It feels like a movie reel. I’m intrigued. Adding this to my cart right away.

    Reply
  4. Shail Thosani May 28, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    Your review itself is so interesting I am so tempted to read the book. A very different and philosophical genre but will definitely try to get a copy.

    Reply
  5. Ritu Bindra May 28, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    An all star read! I haven’t read any books by Kawakami yet and this one seems to be the first book to start with. Loved your review.

    Reply
  6. Neeta Kadam May 29, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    What a beautiful and philosophical review. How she met that person and how her life has changed, I want to read this. It is most like a suspense movie. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful book. I don’t know this author but now wanted to read the book.

    Reply
  7. Pooja Jha May 29, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    I totally loved the review, After reading your review, I feel it’s a must read book. I am gonna read this next.

    Reply
  8. Sindhu Vinod Narayan May 29, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve read few books that leave me thinking that way this is an interesting read

    Reply
  9. Madhu Bindra May 29, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Great review. I don’t read non-fiction anymore but your review is tempting me to read this one.

    Reply
  10. Meetali Kutty May 29, 2022 at 4:58 pm

    This sounds like a super beautiful read and the review was even more lovely. You have a way of getting under the skin of a novel.

    Reply
  11. sonu chouhan May 29, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    Very honest review.informative post.

    Reply
    1. Sivaranjini May 29, 2022 at 9:36 pm

      You bring really interesting books of different genres and the protagonist finds it hard to find meaningful relationships I think this is also a good read like the poetry book you shared last week.

      Reply
  12. Aurora M May 29, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    I had a visualization of all of your words while reading. Seems interesting specially the kind of story and the depth in it

    Reply
  13. Raghav Dudeja May 29, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    I mean book can come later, your review was itself an art for me. I could sense that you like the book from line zero! You convinced me to read the book big time!

    Reply
  14. Brinda May 29, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    Wow this is a lovely review which leaves me astounded! You have clearly brought out the beauty of the book. So much so, that I’m now jumping to get a hold of this book. I guess Japanese writers have a way of getting to our souls! Looking forward to reading it…

    Reply
  15. Monidipa Dutta May 30, 2022 at 3:31 am

    The review is so good, its really sounds a good book. Will check it out soon.

    Reply
  16. Kaveri Chhetri May 30, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    What an excellent review Neelam… your vocabulary is amazing… i actualky feel like goving a review of your review😃.
    I love books that leave me hungover… I think I will read this one as the only Japanese book I have read is Norwegian Wood.

    Reply
  17. Kavita Singh May 30, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Your review was mesmerizing to say the least. There is a book review and then there is a review straight from heart because you feel connected with the book. Absolutely loved it. I am going to pick this book for my next read.

    Reply
  18. Abha Mondal May 31, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    This book sounds very interesting. Loved your detailed review. Would love to read this one.

    Reply
  19. Noor Anand Chawla August 4, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    Wow the book seems lovely from your review! Japanese writers have an uncanny knack for infusing their works with an eerie sense of beauty…

    Reply

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