Page-Turner

In the words of the authors of Making Sense of Japanese Grammar – A Clear Guide Through Common Problems: Since any grammar book, alas, is far from a thriller, we do not recommend that you read ours from cover to cover on a rainy afternoon. (If you tried, your eyes would swiftly glaze over, especially if you like to read in a reclining position!). I guess you can say that about any book with grammar written in bold letters on its cover, even such excellent references such as A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. And yet this is what the book I have read a second time through. Today I got finished with it, and it took about 2 weeks, give or take 1. Doing it was a good decision. As it turned out, there have still been some holes in my understanding of some grammar points, that are now buried once and for all. Now that I got done with this one, I will soon move on to reading A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar a second time. The outcome will be a more in-depth understanding of grammar, and the possibility to use what was learned in a natural Japanese style.

From the time I started reading the last 58 pages until I got finished several hours went by. Before I realized it, and only after a short glance at my clock, it was past midnight. The wind was blowing against the windows, and I could hear the otherworldly sound of wind-bells hanging over my neighbours door. This got me in the mood of reading some more. Since I finished reading a long series of articles about Africa on 朝日新聞グローブ The Asahi Shimbun Globe website, and because I only read there for reading practice and the acquisition of new vocabulary, I started looking for something else. I choose a book called 悪霊がいっぱい!? that turns out to be a real page-turner. Here is a short summary of the book.

どこの学校にだって怪談の1つや2つはある。でも、あたしが通っている高校のはとびきりよ。旧校舎をとりこわそうとすると、機械は壊れる、人は死ぬ、お化けはでる…。思いあまった校長先生、ついに霊能者に助けを求めたの。で、やってきたのが、性格わるくてナルシストのゴースト・ハンター、ナル君。なぜか助手をつとめることになったあたしの前でも怪現象が続発。つきとめられた意外な正体!これがあたしとナルの恋の始まり。

I can’t say that I am particularly fond of horror books, quite the contrary. It is not that I haven’t read them in the past, for instance IT, Insomnia and Misery. Back in school I sometimes bought horror magazines, but only when I decided to walk home, instead of taking the bus. This was a 20km walk from here to there, and the magazines, which are called Groschenromane in my language, lasted just long enough before I arrived home. The book I am writing about here got me captivated right from the first line. There is horror, voices that are seemingly coming from nowhere, strange lights, screams, ghastly shadows, poltergeister, the sounds of footsteps in the dark, toilet ghosts, demons, and other strange figures. This line, taken from the prologue, describes best what this book is all about. 周章狼狽 [しゅうしょうろうばい] 、阿鼻叫喚 [あびきょうかん]。 Falling into panic, pandemonium. I hope that it will remain as thrilling as it started.

I wish I could get back to the book immediately. Unfortunately a whole bunch of cards are waiting to be reviewed, so I will have to get them out-of-the-way before. It can’t be helped I guess, back to Anki it is.

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