Rashomon: And Other Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In a Grove: A man is found stabbed to death in a grove. Some people of interest and the key players give their accounts.
Yeah, I'm a fan of this. Lots of narrators with varying degrees of reliability. If the other stories are this good, this collection is going to be stellar.
Rashomon: A samurai's servant sits under the Rashomon during a rain storm, pondering whether he should become a thief or starve to death.
I didn't like this story as much as the first but it was still interesting. I never thought of making wigs in that way.
Yam Gruel: Goi, a samurai who is the butt of everyone's jokes, has a life-long craving for Yam Gruel. But what will he do when he's offered all he can ever eat?
This was an odd one, more like a fable than the previous two. I felt bad for Goi and really hoped he'd go on a killing spree but, alas, it was not to be.
The Martyr: When the umbrella maker's daughter becomes pregnant, everyone suspects, Lorenzo, the orphan raised by Jesuits.
Huh. This was an odd one about protecting the people you love at all costs.
Kesa and Morito: The tale of a love triangle from two of its participants. This was another story with unreliable narrators. It was well written and fairly twisted.
The Dragon: An old man tells the story of a big nosed priest named Hanazo and the prank he played on a village that backfired.
All in all, this was an enjoyable collection. By far, my favorite tales were In a Grove and Kesa and Morito, the two unreliable narrator tales. The others were good to mediocre. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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