Veritcal, Hardcover, 9781932234053, 311pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2004
On this literary gonzo trip in which a man of letters finds out, too late, that flirting with extremist politics can have unsavory conequences for one's mind, we encounter the likes of Virgil, the refrigerator (a memorable three-dimesional character) and "Henry IV" the feline aficionado of books. Endlessly resourceful, relentlessly erudite, but always accessible, "Sayonara, Gangsters" is a unique masterpiece of literary postmodernism that aims to entertain rather than to intimidate.
From the outrageous beginning, which reads like an oblique reference to the war on terror but is no such thing (it was written more than twenty years ago), to the sobering, devastating end, through the lyrical, poignant middle, Takahashi's legendary first novel is candy for your brain. "Sayonara, Gangsters" is a must-read for all fans of world literature, available for the first time in English.
MICHAEL EMMERICH graduated from Princeton University. After completing research in Japanese literature studies at Ritsumeikan University in Tokyo, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Columbia University. He is the highly acclaimed translator of Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabatas
First Snow on Fuji; Banana Yoshimotos Asleep, Goodbye Tsugumi and Hardboiled & Hard Luck; Genichiro Takahashis Sayonara Gangsters; Mari Akasakas Vibrator; and Taichi Yamadas In Search of a Distant Voice.
"Fabulous...Think of Pynchon with an editor, Donald Barthelme but funnier, or Italo Calvino just as he is." - The Japan Times
"Sayonara, Gangsters is a light, poetic, enjoyable read, full of crafted imagery." - The Onion A.V. Club
"Sayonara, Gangsters, a thrillingly unhinged perpetual-motion machine full of absurd sex and violence, greased with the awesome confidence of a writer so committed to thumbing his nose at convention that he discovers caverns of wonder deep within said schnozz. (...) The least that can be said is that you never know what's coming next." - Ed Park, The Village Voice