After a few street festivals, you think you’ve experienced the full range of street festival foods: hot dogs, okonomiyake, yaki soba, chocolate bananas, cotton candy, plum sweets, takoyaki, and increasingly kabab (what we would call shwarma). The recent festival we attended had some novelties including Mexican tacos and churros, and even bagel dogs.
The churros had an unauthorized Disney tie-in. The bagel dogs were surprisingly spicy and delicious.
I just finished reading Lala Pipo by Okuda Hideo in English translation. Above is Chip Kidd’s cover for Vertical publishers. It’s always bittersweet to finish reading a really engaging novel.
Lala Pipo focuses on six inter-connected characters in Tokyo– all unlikable losers who are purchasers, voyeurs, sellers, authors, enablers and underground stars in the sex trade.
The first character is a peeping-tom freelance writer, the others a cabaret scout, a lonely housewife, a karaoke box attendent, an older porn author, and a fat woman who picks up ugly men at the library. The stories revolve around loneliness, despair, poverty, resentment, incest, arson, school-girl prostitution, boredom, humiliation and abuse. It sounds heavy, but it’s a total page-turner!
The husband saw at Kinokuniya that this book will soon become a movie in Japan. I can’t imagine this novel selling well or being made into a movie in the United States.
Has anyone else read Lala Pipo? Is anyone else planning to see the movie? And now that I’ve finished this novel, can anyone suggest another?!