There’s a stillness here that’s like the stillness you find in the snowy, bleak plains of Siberia.
— Taguchi, Randy (2012-11-20). Fujisan (p. 3). AmazonEncore. Kindle Edition.
I read ‘The Blue Summit’ as the first of the three short stories in Randy Taguchi’s book ‘Fuji-san’. This book has taken Mt Fuji as the central theme as far as I can see after having read the first story and the introduction, and tries to present a few narratives around this central character. I originally thought that it sounds like quite a good idea — after having read the first story, I am no longer as confident.
Why I am not as confident is that the story felt forced. It was certainly interesting, but I also felt that it didn’t have flow as I expected a story to have. Reading it felt like reading something the author wrote because he had to write it — not because the story wanted to be told. In general, I am not a fan of authors who write like that.
Maybe this feeling was as prevalent because the story tried to be more serious than it should have been. By this I mean that while the story was serious, my main problem is that this seriousness felt forced — as I mentioned in the paragraph above. I think Mr Taguchy would have done far better if he had tried to write a somewhat lighter story.
It is not even that the author writes badly — there is a lot of material in this story that could be considered “quotable”. It’s just that I don’t get the feeling that these words enjoy having been put down on paper, and that certainly diminishes the joy I get from reading them.
And that is part of the reason why I’ll read someone else next. I’ll get back to the two remaining stories in this book for they are not long and I want to take a look at them, but before that I’ll read something that I know wants to be read.
As far as words go, there are two kinds in my book: words used for conveying some meaning, and words used for other purposes. I am able to understand words used for conveying one matter or another, but I am unable to understand words used for any other end. Or it may be that I refuse to understand.
— Taguchi, Randy (2012-11-20). Fujisan (p. 17). AmazonEncore. Kindle Edition.
EDIT (30/06/2013): I somehow managed to write the author’s name down wrong in the title. This unfortunate error has been fixed now.