Read Sayonara, Gangsters by Genichiro Takahashi Michael Emmerich Online


If you've ever despaired of expressing yourself, you'll read Sayonara, Gangsters and understand. Set in a facetious near-future that is both mind-bendingly bizarre and achingly familiar. Sayonara, Gangsters is an inventive novel about language, expression and the creative process that unfolds through hilarious sketches. The peaceful if bizarre life of a poetry teacher is fIf you've ever despaired of expressing yourself, you'll read Sayonara, Gangsters and understand. Set in a facetious near-future that is both mind-bendingly bizarre and achingly familiar. Sayonara, Gangsters is an inventive novel about language, expression and the creative process that unfolds through hilarious sketches. The peaceful if bizarre life of a poetry teacher is forever transformed by a group of terrorists called "the gangsters" in what is, incredibly, a semi-autobiographical novel. On this literary gonzo trip in which a man of letters finds out, too late, that flirting with extremist politics can have unsavoury consequences for one's mind, we encounter the likes of Virgil, the refrigerator (a memorable three-dimensional character) and "Henry IV" the feline aficionado of books. Endlessly resourceful, relentlessly erudite, but always accessible, Sayonara, Gangsters is a unique masterpiece of literary postmodernism that aims to entertain rather than to intimidate. From the outrageous beginning, which reads like an oblique reference to the war on terror but is no such thing (it was written more than twenty years ago), to the sobering, devastating end, through the lyrical, poignant middle, Takahashi's legendary first novel is candy for your brain. Sayonara, Gangsters is a must-read for all fans of world literature, available for the first time in English....

Title : Sayonara, Gangsters
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781932234053
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 311 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sayonara, Gangsters Reviews

  • TK421
    2019-05-08 08:02

    Sometimes writers like to experiment with form or style or storytelling, which is fine by me as long as the story itself isn't sacrificed in the process. Takahashi goes one step further; it's almost as if he is not only experimenting with the writing style, but also with how a person will read his novel. I wish I could give a better description of what I mean. Within the pages of this novel you will find heartache, murder, hilarity, the absurd, Virgil the refridgerator, a cat who likes Thomas Mann, poets, a bleak world, and even moments of redemption. A sad love story, a revenge thriller, and a poetic treatise on the subject of being alive, this novel gives more to the reader than normal tales, but at the same time limits understanding. Does it all work? No. But, trust me, take a look at this title. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  • Quân Khuê
    2019-05-13 00:54

    Hệ thống sao của Goodreads có vẻ vô nghĩa với cuốn này, vì nó không giống bất kỳ cái gì ta đã đọc trước đây cho nên thích hay không thích đều không nghĩa lý. Ba sao cho những băn khoăn.

  • Kyle Muntz
    2019-05-18 06:43

    I've said a lot of good things about this book, but after reading it for the third time (even accounting for the huge change in my tastes over the last few years), I'm pleasantly surprised to find it lives up to all of them. Sayonara Gtrangers is deeply strange, formally conscious and smart, but also compulsively readable, endlessly funny, and held together by a strong sense of human tragedy. There are too many good parts to list, but "The Fat Gangster's" speach and everything involving Caraway, Henry the 4th, and Song Book are a good place to start. Reading this book about six years ago had a big effect on how I view literature, experimental fiction, and the virtues of writing simply even if your subject is endlessly strange or complex--and also, though I'm not sure how useful comments like this are, it was one of main formal influence behind two novels of mine. I'm so glad to have gone back, though I still think it's a shame no more of Takahashi's writing has been translated, since there's so much of it and it all seems so interesting.

  • Nicholas Kebbas
    2019-04-24 04:56

    This is unlike anything I've ever read, and it was influential and amazing because of it. To put it in perspective, when writing this novel, Takahasi was struggling to regain his understanding of language after a traumatic experience in prison. This resonates throughout the novel, which feels chaotic and eccentric, all because it is from the perspective of an intelligent and learned individual who is just learning the meaning of "truth," perspective, and the complexities of reality. I by no means understand the majority of this book, but each time I look through it I find something new and incredibly interesting, which is what makes this so great to me. There are countless elements to be found in this, and I highly recommend it if you have an interest in Philosophy and Psychology. Also, if you didn't like it or feel you didn't understand it at all, I'd say to give it another shot and to try and make sense of something within it.

  • Tuệ Trần
    2019-05-03 04:47

    Avant-Garde, nếu muốn dùng một mỹ từ để kể về cuốn này. Kiểu như nhạc của Jean Louis, nhạc của Quiet Sun, nhạc của Gong. Rất nhiều tình tiết không tưởng mà có vẻ nằm ngoài luôn cả cái cliché "kiểu Nhật". Ẩn dụ và không-ẩn-dụ loạn cào cào. Mới đọc có vẻ vui, nhưng khi nghĩ lại thì chỉ muốn tránh xa nó ra. Nó đáng sợ.

  • Jonathan Lee B.
    2019-05-22 01:02

    Sayonara, Gangsters is a Richard Brautigan book if Richard Brautigan was still alive and Japanese.

  • Sam
    2019-05-10 08:51

    Who doesn't like novels about people who work in poetry schools, give each other new names after passionate sex, feed cats milk and vodka, and then face down a group of unbelievably murderous gangsters? Occasionally precious but usually charming and hilarious: Sayonara, Gangsters.

  • Bắp
    2019-05-14 04:42

    Rất khác người, rất kỳ quái, rất hóm hỉnh. Và rất duyên..

  • Chậu Tưởng Kí
    2019-04-27 04:54

    Kì cục kẹo hết sức :v Mình thích bài thơ đầu tiên, đoạn các gangster chết, và tất cả các trang ít chữ nối liền nhau.

  • Rosie Nguyễn
    2019-05-13 07:39

    Đây là một cuốn truyện rất khó nhận xét. Vì chẳng biết nó viết về cái gì.. Đọc nó trong một buổi. Chứng tỏ nó rất cuốn hút. Hài hước là điều chắc chắn. Và quái dị. Và điên rồ. Nhiều đoạn đọc mà cười sằng sặc rồi rú lên: cha nội tác giả này bị điên. Điên sao mà được giải thưởng văn học danh giá nhất nước Nhật thì mình cũng muốn bị điên kiểu vậy.

  • Xiao Fang
    2019-05-11 08:49

    Một cuốn sách không phải để hiểu. Có cố mấy cũng không hiểu đâu, đừng cố.Nhưng tôi thích cái sự khó hiểu của nó. 5* vì đọc không hiểu gì nhưng lại không ngưng được. Cũng có lúc tưởng như hiểu rồi, lật trang sau, lại mù mờ như cũ. Túm lại trong một chữ: QUÁI!Tuy không hiểu nhưng vẫn cảm được. Cái kiểu nhức nhối với xã hội, cái kiểu khép kín trong suy nghĩ, cái kiểu triết lý tưng tửng nhưng lại rất hợp lý. Cái gọi là lớp học y như nhà tù, nhà tù thì nghe như trại tâm thần. Hẳn đây là thế giới nội tâm của tác giả. Biết là được, không cần bạn hiểu đâu. Không biết sau khi viết xong cuốn sách này tác giả đã khỏi bệnh chưa nhỉ? Hay chuyển sang một bệnh khác?Khi đang đọc đến mấy trang cuối, em gái hỏi: "Cuốn này nói về gì á?" Tôi chỉ có thể nói: "Sách của một bệnh nhân viết trong quá trình điều trị tâm lí.""Bà đọc gần hết mà không biết nội dung à? Thế sao bà mua?""Bìa nó đẹp."

  • Edward Rathke
    2019-05-09 03:43

    Oh, this is the kind of book I like. It's funny, it's chaotic, it's smart.I guess I don't have a lot to say about it. It's a very western feeling novel, but with enough japanese oddness to keep it fresh and interesting.Yes, definitely recommend, if only so you can enjoy a pretty wild ride.

  • NhaThuyen
    2019-05-03 03:03

    Quá lâu rồi tôi mới đọc một mạch một cuốn tiểu thuyết. Lí do? Để đỡ hại não, tôi chỉ đọc những cái gì ngắn. Và thơ. Đọc xong cuốn sách, tôi đã nghĩ, giá mà nó thử thách hơn nữa, khó hơn nữa, xáo trộn hơn nữa, quên nhớ hơn nữa, thơ ca hơn nữa.

  • Blake Carrera
    2019-05-01 05:09

    Sayonara, Gangsters is not made for a reader expecting a straightforward narrative. Unlike a river that runs straight through a narrative, this is like a landslide where each of the elements crash against each other, leaving a cloud of dust and extreme destruction. Without a doubt, it is a postmodern novel that should be read much like Pynchon, Kafka, and even Vonnegut. There are elements of poetry, classic literature such as Ovid and Virgil, and an extended (I think) joke about Thomas Mann. It is obtuse, confusing, nonlinear, and speculative. It isn't science fiction, but it certainly isn't realism. It's surreal in many ways, but also a tragic commentary on life, literature, and language. You know that you are diving into a very specific type of narrative when it begins with the idea of naming. Takahashi uses the idea of names and naming not in such a way as Althusser and his ideas of signs and signatures, but instead as a way of coping with the extremities of language. If our names are arbitrary and only given to us by our lovers and sometimes our parents, do we have a greater freedom of self or are we more constricted because we do not have something so concrete to cling to?Unfortunately for the reader, this is about as clear as the novel will ever present itself to be. In some ways, this is a compilation of collages surrounding our many-named narrator. He has conversations with lovers, gangsters, Virgil (in the form of a refrigerator), and a cast of characters who stray from reality as much as possible. No one is reliable, including the insecure narrator himself. Even the form is out of this world, as it includes glyphs and changes in font. As a reader, I found myself wondering if I should try to understand this book or simply try to get through it. One thing that was especially interesting - and that made me question the lines between postmodernism and modernism - is how fractured the narrative was. In that way, it reminded me of the literature of the 20s and 30s. Takahashi seems to openly question whether we can ever tell a straightforward narrative or portray a straightforward consciousness. Even in the most linear points of this book, the narrator's thoughts and conversations are still surreal, obtuse, and challenging for the reader to keep track of. This frustrated me, but also intrigued me. Even the concept of death in this book was incredibly abstract - he seems to ask us to question whether death is an end or if death is even something that we can truly understand. While there were several highlights of this book - none more than the section with the Gangsters and the events that follow their poetry lesson with the narrator - it was ultimately too scattered for me. I appreciated it as an experiment - I would never have the tenacity to approach a story like this or approach language like this. However, its opacity made it a text that is worth a read, but might require nine or ten to come close to an idea of what exactly this "book" is.

  • Karmologyclinic
    2019-05-03 04:39

    To talk about this book is to put meta- and post- before each thing you'd like to say about it.It's experimental in all the ways possible. Often such experimental books tend to be difficult to read, understand or feel. Takahashi makes it so important in his writing of his book, that you thoroughly enjoy the process of reading it. Maybe because he himself was struggling at the point with expressing through language. It is a big lesson at how postmodernism can work along with simplicity. A bigger and more important lesson at how postmodernism, often dry and self-absorbed, can work with feelings. Oh, the feelings of reading this book! Some stories are pure poetry, the story about the lost man phoning the teenager and asking her where is he, for example. It was so pretty and I must have read it more than 5 times to enjoy it. The symbolism in the book reminds me of zen spirituality and meditation. It feels like it has a flow, it's not forced, it's simple, yet so, so, so very nice, very nice, very nice and poetic. Like if you had a poetry school and the room next to your class, a room without entrance or exit doors, was home to vampires. Like, there is Virgil, the roman poet who had justifiably become Virgil the refrigerator. Like, there are people choosing their names and choosing names for each other too. And if you are to die, you know that beforehand. The author elaborates on the themes of identity, memories, love, loneliness. Where he is at his strongest point is when he encounters the theme of death, it is a filigree theme wrapped around the whole narrative, from the early Caraway story to Henry V at the end.You have to read this book to know what it is about. It's indescribable but if the book had one question that it could answer, it would be 'what is poetry anyway'? And if that doesn't convince you, there is an alcoholic cat that loves its milk and vodka.

  • Jacob van Berkel
    2019-05-08 03:08

    Awful. People who want to become artists but find they have no talent for it always tend to flee into weirdness for the sake of weirdness, betting on the public reaction: 'It's incomprehensible, it must be profound!' ...Good bet, bad book.

  • Mark Alvarez
    2019-05-04 08:42

    Sayonara Gangsters is a pretty great first (published) novel by one of the godfathers of the Japanese postmodern novel. It reads very 1960s, from Richard Brautigan's forlorn whimsy to Woody Allen's comic absurdities. I cannot read Japonese, but the translation seems to take a lot of its voice from Richard Brautigan (no complaints -- so did I!), and the ever-mutating structure reminds me of the best of Mark Leyner -- but much less frenetic. The best way to describe this might be as a funny Borges, much cuter and less metaphysical than the Argentine badass, but similar in the ever-shifting short narratives and dense webs of references to intellectual culture. There's also a bit of Bartheleme.If you like any of the cute/funny pomo writers, post-structuralist reflections on language, nice, surreal images, and talking alcoholic cats, you'll like this.It's a good time.

  • Victoria
    2019-05-18 06:04

    This is such a random but good book. The plot is interesting and my favorite thing was that you receive a warning saying when you're going to die but you can talk after it happens. There were some sad parts but they were quickly forgotten. Very easy to read because of the extremely short chapters.

  • David
    2019-05-24 06:05

    Cute at times. Pretty annoying at others. Po-mo-lite.

  • Huy
    2019-04-27 08:58

    Hài hước, quái lạ và điên hết cỡ. Dù không thật sự hiểu tác giả muốn viết gì, và viết như vậy với mục đích gì?

  • HealthyUnhealthyCat
    2019-04-26 01:49

    Loved this. felt very original.

  • Phạm Ngọc Hà
    2019-04-28 04:49

    Chẳng hiểu gì cả. Dở hơi sao á.

  • Jamie Shrewsbury
    2019-05-24 07:55

    Sayonara, Gangsters plays by its own rules. The novel, written by Genichiro Takahashi, is a futuristic tale where people are no longer given names and where illustrious gangsters are revered. The story does follow a cohesive timeline, but the scenes are absurd to the reader yet normal within the realms of its own universe. Sometimes these scenes come off as humorous, other times it comes off as tragic.The plot follows a man named "Sayonara, Gangsters;" this name is given to him by his girlfriend, who he named "The Nakajima Miyuki Song Book," or "Song Book" for short. In this version of the future, lovers name each other. The two live together with Henry IV, a literature-and-vodka-loving black cat. Sayonara, Gangsters (SG) is a poet and a poetry instructor.Before he met Song Book, and before he became SG, the man lived with another unnamed woman. Surprising both of them, the woman gave birth to a baby ("I hadn't even known the woman was pregnant. As a matter of fact, even the woman hadn't known she was pregnant.") The man named her Caraway, but the woman called her "Green Pinky." In this world, City Hall knows the exact date that everyone will die, and sends out postcards on the day it is supposed to happen. One morning, the man gets a postcard about Caraway from City Hall, and found out that she would die that same night. He tied a red ribbon on her shoulder, the indicator for dying children, and took her out for one last walk. They walk together to The Children's Graveyard, where he places her body inside of a cork-lined box that comes out of a wall like a filing cabinet. The woman is so distraught over the death of her daughter that she goes out to look for her and never returns.In part two, the reader learns about how SG met Song Book, his life as a poet, and his career as a poetry teacher. The "Poetry School" (note: only one small classroom) is in quite the multi-functional building, with the world's largest grocery store taking up the first three floors, a cabaret on the fourth floor, a sex parlor on the fifth, and a large river on the sixth, complete with "sunlight" and "strong winds." SG goes on to explain that he doesn't necessarily teach poetry as much as he counsels and listens to his students, in hopes that the relaxation of it will help them discover what they want to write. He talks about some of his students; including an old lady with a shape-shifting Gila Monster, androgynous quintuplets, a teenage girl getting unwanted calls from a man lost in a song, a stargazing young boy, the ancient Roman poet Virgil (who has been turned into a refrigerator), Some Incomprehensible Thing, a man from Jupiter, a confused guard, and, finally, four gangsters.Song Book, who used to be a gangster herself (hence the name "Sayonara, Gangsters"), is present when SG is teaching the four gangsters: "The Beautiful Gangster," "The Fat Gangster," "The Mute Gangster," and "The Short Gangster." They ask her to come back, and when she refuses, they shoot her. However, gangsters can't die unless their faces are hit, so she comes back to life. The police then surround the building and kill all the gangsters except for The Beautiful Gangster and Song Book, who escape to a platform so they can each kill themselves.Henry IV is heartbroken without his mother, and after searching for a book for him by a nonexistent author, SG finds a postcard from City Hall for the cat. After the cat dies, he dresses like a gangster and goes to kill a grocery clerk and an already-dead statue of the gangster expert, then attempts to set off bombs at The Children's Graveyard, which only kills the woman at the front desk. He then kills himself to prove that he's a gangster instead of a poet, and we are left with the image of his rotting corpse being visited by disappointed boys.The vignettes are all so bizarre that they seem as if they could stand on their own as flash fiction pieces. There is a theme of identity crisis: People don't have names, a guard isn't sure of what his job is, Song Book tries to get away from the gangster lifestyle only to be pulled back in, and SG confuses his identity of poet and gangster in the end. Other than that, there's not much analyzing that can be done: it is up to the reader to construct meaning, just as the students in the poetry school, we are not taught anything explicitly.I went into this reading with an open mind, and I was surprised and amused by everything going on in it. To enjoy this book, you have to be okay with an unconventional story and not being spoon-fed "meaningful" literature. This is a book to have fun with, one you should let climb into your brain and hang out there for a while.

  • Mia Aguilera
    2019-05-18 01:54

    AnnotationsThe inside jacket of my edition of the book describes the setting as a "facetious near-future." I think "facetious" is the key adjective to use for Sayonara Gangsters. I would describe the world in the book as dystopian; the gangsters have gained control of the government and are dictating who survives, and the ways of the past have become legend. However, unlike the classics 1984 and A Handmaid's Tale, the narrator describes things flippantly and there is quite a bit of humor throughout. Ovid is dead drunk. Colonel Sanders talks. People get to choose their own names or have others decide for them. Some are long and formerly names of other things such as "The Nakajima Miyuki Song Book." And "Caraway" like the seed. Some are always put in quotation marks like "Henry IV." Does it mean it is not fitting for the person/animal?Capitalized nouns: GANGSTERS, CRAYON, JOVIAN, PLUTO, PINKY SWEAR. The last three are in a passage about the Jovian concepts (180). Are the first words that have been given new meaning? Things from the past?First non-note image is on page 91. I think the image of the lotus adds beauty to an otherwise depressing time in the book. Other images help visual learners. Comic book stresses the attribution of names is in pop culture. I suppose famous poets (Emily Dickinson, Charles Bukowski, Anne Sexton) have created the thought that poets are eccentric and very strange. They are outcasts. Sayonara, Gangsters seems relatively "normal" but perhaps we are learning about this world from a poet because he views things through a more curious gaze?

  • Weldon Ryckman
    2019-05-23 01:43

    Sayonara, Gangsters feels like a story less interested in telling itself and more interested in discovering itself. The constant naming and renaming of lovers suggests a preoccupation with identity and its mutability. As characters are named again and again, over and over, ad nauseum, they begin to lose shape and return to their formless state that they occupied in the story’s beginnings.It feels like a book that invites interpretation but also one that moves against interpretation. Is it a thing that the books that appear overwhelmingly interpretable are actually traps, and cannot be interpreted? I’m not sure. Similar to inviting interpretation, the novel appears to invite association, with allusions running around without pause. I wonder how much of this, too, is a trap. In Clarice Lispector’s, Hour of the Star, the narrator is a lampooned intellectual, and after a few pages his philosophical droppings become heavy-handed. There is an initial self-fulfillment in recognizing references and allusions, but as they become to appear parodic, I begin to feel slimy in my awareness of them and even slimier in my enjoyment of them. In S, G, the flood of references may make one feel slimy, too, as if Takahashi wants an associative and clever reader to feel duped. I think the reading experience of this book is better off if those graspings are relinquished. It’s fair to wonder if all reading experiences could follow suit, and that this book is a radical, hyperbolic example to reorient a reader’s base-level approach. Kind of like when you tense a muscle to remind yourself what it feels like to relax.

  • Arthur
    2019-05-13 08:04

    Possibly either the most narratively cohesive book of poems or the most schizoid multi-part novel you've ever read. 1.2.5. I teach poetry at a poetry school. It makes me feel very odd to say "I teach poetry at a poetry school." It makes me feel sort of like a bellboy at the old Imperial Hotel in Tokyo trying his best to maintain a posture as stiff as a rod while holding a tray with a chilled beer on it when right next to him Katharine Ross is carefully rinsing out the inner recesses of her vagina with her portable bidet. 2.1.5. [There is a cat named "Henry IV"] "Opening one of my eyes just a crack as we kissed, I saw that "Henry IV" had grown weary of thinking and that the vodka had put him in a very mellow mood and that he had curled up into a ball and was now sound asleep. "Nei-i-i-g-g-h-h," said "Henry IV" in his sleep. "He's dreaming he's a horse," I said. "Ble-e-e-e-e-e-e-eat," said "Henry IV" in his sleep. "He's dreaming he's a goat," Song Book said. "Henry IV" said something in his sleep that I was completely unable to decipher. Neither Song Book nor I could make heads or tails of it. Really, neither of us had the faintest idea what it was." 3.1.12 "We did not let it go to our heads, nor did we fret, when imitators began to appear; we felt no need to lecture them. It seemed to us that they would discover soon enough just what the consequences of imitating us were." 3.2.32. I heard a voice. "I wish I knew whether it was morning or night now. If it were morning, I'd get up and take a walk, but if it were night I'd go to sleep." Thinking it over, I realized the voice was mine. 3.2.51. Laying my pen down on the desk, I stood up from my chair, and yawned. There's really nothing left for me to write. I've finally managed to catch up with the present.

  • Giang Nguyen
    2019-05-22 02:48

    Một cuốn tiểu thuyết cực kỳ, cực kỳ kỳ lạ, không thể dùng bất kỳ lời nào để diễn đạt lại nội dung của nó. Một cuốn tiểu thuyết không dành cho tất cả mọi người, đọc nó đồng nghĩa với việc vứt bỏ tất cả logic để cảm thụ. Ấy vậy mà mình cứ thế có thể đọc xong trong một buổi tối. Lúc đọc được nửa quyển mình có lăn ra ngủ, không phải là buồn ngủ vì quá chán mà là giấc ngủ đến từ từ một cách tự nhiên. Trong 1 tiếng ngủ ấy mình có mơ gì đó không nhớ nổi, đến lúc tỉnh dậy thì dường như đã có cả một phát kiến mới về Sayonara, Gangsters. Mặc dù không thể nhớ đã mơ thấy gì nhưng mình có cảm giác 1 tiếng đó não mình đã dành thời gian để cảm thụ nửa đầu của tiểu thuyết.Đọc Sayonara, Gangsters giống như đang nhìn vào một hộp đồ chơi mà tác giả Takahashi Gen'ichiro đang chơi đùa với những nhân vật trong đó vậy. Một thế giới giả tưởng sinh động chỉ dành cho những người "think outside the box" với niềm tin ngây thơ phi lý trí như trẻ con chơi siêu nhân. "Ngày sảu ngày sau, thời các gangster thống trị địa cầu...", gangster sẽ không bao giờ chết nếu không bị bắn nát đầu...(view spoiler)[Thế giới ấy chuyện người ta đem tên cha mẹ chất lên xe tải đổ xuống sông là chuyện bình thường, những cuộc chiến đẫm máu giữa người và tên tự đặt là chuyện cơm bữa, xác người và tên nằm la liệt đầy đường là hình ảnh thường nhật. Kết quả là trẻ con sinh ra bố mẹ thường không đặt tên. Cái tên của một người được quyết định bởi người khác thích gọi họ như thế nào.Trung tâm của thế giới ấy có một nhà thơ tên "Vĩnh biệt các gangster" dạy ở một trường thơ. Trường thơ nằm ở tầng hầm thứ hai của một tòa nhà có 7 tầng nổi và 2 tầng hầm, bên cạnh có ma cà rồng vẫn luôn đi vệ sinh và xả nước đều đặn. Tầng 1, 2, 3 là siêu thị lớn nhất thế giới, bán đủ thứ trên đời, kể cả "Thủ tướng", "Bộ trưởng Bộ Quốc phòng", "Đại sứ Liên Hiệp Quốc". Tầng 4 là hộp đêm, tầng 5 là nhà thổ. Tầng 6 là một con sông lớn dài vô tận. Và cuối cùng tầng 7 có bệnh viện không hề giống bệnh viện, trường cấp II không hề giống trường cấp II và nhà trẻ không hề giống nhà trẻ. Cái kết cấu này cứ làm mình liên tưởng đến nhà búp bê vậy.Công việc hằng ngày của "Vĩnh biệt các gangster" là tiếp các học viên muốn làm thơ và nghe họ kể chuyện của mình. Một bà già muốn làm thơ về con Thằn lằn Gila để mang tới cho hai ông chồng quá cố. 5 đứa nhóc sinh năm tranh giành nhau 4 cái ghế. Một cô bé lớp Tám liên tục nhận được cuộc gọi từ một anh chàng mãi lạc trong một chiếc đĩa hát. Một cậu bé làm thơ về quan sát thiên thể. Một chiếc tủ lạnh chuyên dụng là cha đẻ của các nhà thơ. Một Đần Độn đi tìm câu trả lời cho câu hỏi bản thân chính xác là cái gì. Một Người Sao Mộc muốn trở thành một đàn ông trung bình. Một viên cai ngục trăn trở về việc liệu nơi mình làm việc có phải là một nhà tù hay liệu bản thân có đúng là một cai ngục. Các học viên mỗi người một vẻ nhưng dù câu chuyện của họ có kì lạ đến đâu thì nhà thơ "Vĩnh biệt các gangsters" vẫn kiên nhẫn nghe và tư vấn trong khả năng có thể."Vĩnh biệt các gangster" từng có một đứa con gái tên là Carum hay Ngón Út Xanh Lục, có điều cô bé đã sớm qua đời. Trong thế giới này, tòa thị chính biết chính xác khi nào một người chết và sẽ gửi bưu thiếp thông báo cho họ và gia đình vào sáng hôm đó. Cô bé được an táng tại Nghĩa trang Nhi Đồng và dù chết thì con bé vẫn cất tiếng nói suốt trên đường đến nghĩa trang cho đến khi đã nằm trong tủ đựng thi thể. Sau đó nhà thơ gặp "Nakajima Miyuki Song Book" cùng với chú mèo "Henry Đệ Tứ" và chính thức có cái tên "Vĩnh biệt các gangster". S.B từng là một gangster, thích xem tranh truyện tranh hơn là đọc còn "Henry Đệ Tứ" là chú mèo thích uống sữa pha rượu, giải trí bằng Aristotle và có khả năng kêu đủ loại tiếng động vật. Cuộc sống vui vẻ của nhà thơ kết thúc khi S.B qua đời cùng với băng đảng gangsters của cô, "Henry Đệ Tứ" cũng phát điên rồi chết. "Vĩnh biệt các gangsters" quyết định trở thành gangster, cướp siêu thị, giết "nhà nghiên cứu gangster bị tay phát thanh đánh đến chết", đặt bom Nghĩa trang Nhi Đồng, tự sát bằng một phát đạn vào ngực và trở thành bức tượng "Gangster Cà Nhắc tự sát" vừa rởm vừa thối. "Tôi là gangster. Tôi không phải là nhà thơ. Tôi là gangster ngay từ khi mới sinh." Câu nói cuối cùng trước khi tự sát của "Vĩnh biệt các gangster" mình không biết nên cười hay nên khóc nữa. Thế giới trong này nhìn qua thì rộng lớn, vượt tầm nhận thức của con người nhưng lại gò bó một cách khó chịu. Có lẽ vì thế mình vẫn luôn liên tưởng đến hộp đồ chơi, cho dù họ có vẫy vùng thế nào thì cũng không thể thoát được cái thế giới twisted ấy. Một nhà thơ dành phần lớn cuộc đời mình cho thơ, vì thơ mà lãnh một vết bỏng lớn ở cùi chỏ tay phải, mất ngón út bàn chân phải, chân đi cà nhắc, dạy thơ ở trường thơ trong một thế giới mà người ta cũng chẳng mấy quan tâm thơ là gì (kể cả mình - người đọc cũng chẳng biết, chẳng hiểu những nhà thơ, tác giả, tác phẩm được nhắc đến) nghĩ gì khi phủ nhận bản thân là một nhà thơ chứ. Có một cảm giác tuyệt vọng khi anh nhận mình là gangster từ khi mới sinh để rồi sau đó chết vì một viên đạn vào ngực. Có một chút mỉa mai khi "Vĩnh biệt các gangster" lại theo con đường của một gangster. Và rồi châm biếm thay khi chết đi cũng chỉ là một gangster cà nhắc vừa rởm vừa thối. Và cả sự nghiệp thơ của anh cũng chỉ có ba độc giả mà thôi: bản thân (tự viết thư hâm mộ), mẹ (mỗi lần gửi thơ là mẹ tưởng xin tiền) và một gã nhà thơ tự xưng, tuy không nhớ có nhắc đến không nhưng cùng lắm là thêm được Nàng, Carum, S.B và Henry Đệ Tứ.(hide spoiler)]Hai kiểu văn khác nhau nhưng quyển này với "Tà Dương" của Dazai Osamu mình hoàn thành trước đó đều depressed quá. Cứ tưởng tượng ra cái cảnh Vòng Quay Khổng Lồ phải tự phá dỡ mình vì ông chủ tiếc tiền thuê người mà đau cả lòng, tuy là đồ vật được ví von đấy nhưng tác động về cảm xúc của nó chẳng khác với việc Naoji của "Tà Dương" tự hủy hoại bản thân bằng thuốc phiện và rượu rồi tự sát là mấy. Có khác thì ở chỗ chuyện Vòng Quay có thể trách ông chủ, còn Naoji thì chỉ có thể trách bản thân Naoji mà thôi, cũng chẳng thể đổ tội cho xã hội hay hoàn cảnh đưa đẩy được. Đọc một tác phẩm văn học như thế này, mình quan tâm đến hoàn cảnh sáng tác của nó hơn là một bài bình luận văn học chi chít chữ mà chưa chắc đã là chủ ý của tác giả. Tò mò quá, thực sự muốn biết Takahashi Gen'ichiro đã nghĩ thấy gì khi sáng tác câu chuyện này quá.

  • Tara
    2019-05-25 03:52

    I thoroughly enjoyed Takahashi's novel (while I hesitate to label it as such because it does not fit the norm), but that might be because the amount of anxiety that I read throughout the novel was relatable. The anxiety stemmed from mostly from the poetry teacher who finds himself contemplating what he is actually doing, and if he is doing enough. On a larger scale, Takahashi's novel expresses the anxiety linked to uncertain identity, expectations, how well you know people in your life, and your name. I think this story tackles these anxieties in an unusual manner because of the narration, but also because anxiety itself manifests differently in people. I think the most interesting way that the reader gets to see that anxiety is with the names that people are given in the novel because they are directly related to the person who gave the name much like the Nakajima Miyuki Song Book gave the name Sayonara, Gangsters to the poetry teacher. His name might serve as a reminder to her that she has said goodbye to her life as a gangster, While I'm not entirely sure what the overall goal of Takahashi's novel is, it is definitely worth the read.

  • Mekenzie Dyer
    2019-05-22 01:56

    Sayonara, Gangsters is a complex mix of themes like communication, love, identity, and the body. In this book we see the structure of society changing as the way people identify themselves changing. Eventually, this leads to a world where the only names you truly know are your lovers'. However, names have a more personal meaning, because they are chosen by your lover, not your parents. Unlike the traditional ways of naming, the name is defined by you, instead of you being defined by your name. I would say this book is mostly contemplative in nature. It is Sayonara's way of processing his life, the relationships he has had, the names that came with each relationship, and how he came to identify himself, from factory worker to poet. Its a reflection of his life.The plot of this book, while broadly linear, is sometimes difficult to follow. There is a lot of the bazaar happening in this book. At times I would say it feels like the Sayonara is on drugs/ always dreaming. There is a very ephemeral quality to the writing.

  • Jeanne
    2019-05-14 02:07

    I was so thoroughly drawn in by the foreword of this book, by the idea of a tribe of Gangsters killing Presidents no matter what they did to try and thwart their violence. Then, the book took a complete 90-degree turn and instead investigated the life of a single man who once had a daughter, who describes his sex life in detail, and who teaches poetry. I saw this book as a series of absurd vignettes. I saw the poetry pieces as a little pedantic. His extremely-thinly veiled symbolism about how to write and/or teach poetry fell flat for me, but reading those pieces did give me an urge to get up and write some poetry, so I guess that's something. I wonder if it matters what order you read this book in. It seems that you could start at the end and read toward the front and there might not be a huge loss of meaning. Or maybe you could pick up the sections at random and read each vignette as a separate entity. All in all, I think I enjoy my absurdism a little bit more linear or with a narrative arc.