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[personal profile] alobear
The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada paints a picture of a strange but believable future Japan, which is completely cut off from the rest of the world and where the old age indefinitely while the young die off sooner and sooner due to increasing health issues. It's very funny in places, satirising changing use of language, attitudes towards foreignness, strategies for avoiding environmental disaster, and the division of the elderly into three distinct categories - young, middle-aged and old.

It's an odd little book, as not much actually happens. But it portrays a very beautiful and poignant relationship between 100 year old Yoshiro and his ten year old great-grandson, Mumei. Wierdly, though, the blurb on the back suggests a plot that never really comes to fruition. It's mentioned briefly in the last ten pages, and would have been interesting to explore, but the book ends before the plan to save Japanese youth actually gets underway.

Strange but intriguing, and very well realised.

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