Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolás Obregón is a compelling, brilliantly moody, and layered novel that's sure to be one of the most talked about debuts in 2017 (available March 7, 2017).
Slogans, symbols, and suicide. Are they connected? If so, how?
“This is what Japan should be,” insists an insurance company slogan. “Creating Tomorrow Together,” boasts another. Vivus Construction offers, “The Good Life.”
But it’s not just companies that encapsulate their mission statements in catchy phrases and pithy sayings. A new religious movement is sweeping Japan, and bible quotes are on everyone’s lips. “The lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?” When does scripture become slogan?
And what are we to make of the oft-repeated line, “The lights of Tokyo are so pretty”? Is that a reference to the soothing blue lights being installed on the subway lines in an attempt to lower the suicide rate? And what of the black sun symbol that appears in the book’s opening, when a severely troubled woman commits suicide, and then reappears at the sight of a particularly grisly murder?