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So I hate myself, this was confirmed long ago. But ever since I stopped reading this book I've maintained a sick interest in it, just thin enough for me to be unable to leave it alone for long (Actually it's totally been a year since I stopped reading it).
I will be reading Rana Dasgupta's Tokyo Cancelled (Yes it is not a Light Novel <_<) and relaying to you, my dear IJBM-ers, what happens in each story.
Of course I don't care enough to actually re-read each story so the first five I'll just explain based on what I remember.
But first! Some history:
Tokyo Cancelled was already on the shelf when I started working at [removed, but it's a book/video game store]. For some reason (hahaha weaboo Nippon obsession) it stayed on my mind as long as it was. Eventually, our ten copies dwindled to two and on a whim I bought it, even though it was barely set in Tokyo.
Like any good hipster lit person, I was initially entranced and excited by the premise(s) (Yes, I was even convinced that the story about Robert De Niro's half-asian kid conceived in a midday laundromat "encounter" would be good) I soon realized that Mr. Dasgupta wrote with the same hipster lit-ism I expected only readers to display.
The book is made up of short stories that tired and annoyed passengers decide to tell each other (Despite this, Mr. Dasgupta just cannot resist showing off his "skill" with confusing speech prose/annoying way with confusing speech prose and one story, actually set in Tokyo, has perfectly numbered segments for no real reason).
Some of these stories are kiiiiinda NSFW, actually possibly every story aside from the first two (And even the set up prose between stories has it's creeper moments, so keep that in mind). But I'll try to gloss over that/chastise and move on when I get to those bits.
Okay, now we begin with The Tailor.
This story is actually somewhat decent start until the last bits.
Anyways, a huge amount of time is dedicated to describing the wealth of the prince of Saudi Arabia and his friends (Wearing Dolce and Gabbanna and in expensive cars) who don't actually appear again until the last page as they arrive in a small desert town. Then the Prince comes to a poor old tailor, who he tells to make an outfit for him in the style he's made some old outfits. He doesn't leave a deposit or anything (or even actually prove he's the prince), but the tailor is like "That young annoying looking guy is totally legit." and borrows a bunch of money for the best fabrics and stuff.
Of course, the Prince never shows up again, so the tailor sells his other stuff/house/etc to pay back the money he borrowed and then buries the beautiful suit* in the sand in case the prince comes back. Instead of like, selling it to the highest bidder.
*Not a black tie suit or anything, but like a super dressy/garish thawb.
He goes to the city and becomes a hermit, going to the Prince's door every day to seek an audience and always being refused. Then after like ten years the prince spots him but doesn't want the robe anymore. So one of the prince's nicer friends escorts him to go and get the suit with the intention of buying it. In the only actual funny moment in this book, he finds out that the spot he buried the suit under has been built on because rapid Middle East expansion. (Woah misremembered) In a sort of funny situation, he finds out somebody dug up his suit and they've turned the entire location into an archeological dig because nobody bothered checking if the suit was actually all that old. He cries.
Irrelevant stuff happens for a bit and then he gets another audience with the king, who suffers fools much better than his son, who tells him to prove any of this story... telling a story! Because liars don't tell good sto-
waaaaaaait a minute
Anyways the tailor tells him a story about yet another prince who is about to get married and his tailor asks him about his wife's eyes so the suit can complement her eyes but he can only see his secret lover's eyes because that's how memory actually works. The tailor tells him to not get married because he can apparently see his eyes seeing his secret lover. End of story.
The king is so convinced and moved that he gives him some money and tells him to go away forever.
Seems normal enough? Just wait till story 3.
Story 2 is legitimately the best story in this book (though it still makes no sense it is just really fun). Will write about that next time.