In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

Cynical Kenji is at the centre of this book, and so is loneliness. Frank is a serial killer who is vulgar in his demands of Kenji and the Shinjuku district. Kenji is hired to take him on guided tours but finds out more than he bargains for when he discovers he is on a rampage of murder. Kenji tries to understand what motivates Frank to murder and becomes associated with the murders as he tries to protect his friends. The intimate understanding of Japanese life’s futility and meaninglessness and the underbelly of the sex industry give us a point of view of Japan that is difficult to dispel.

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