The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman


 Denis Thériault

First Sentence:     Swirling like water

                                    against rugged rocks,

                                    time goes around and around

Beech Street, rue des Hêtres, was for the most part lined with maples.

Back of the book:

A beautifully tragic and thought-provoking tale, The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman is a moving book by a talented new voice.

Secretly steaming open envelopes and reading the letters inside,
Bilodo has found an escape from his lonely and routine life as a postman. When one day he comes across a mysterious letter containing only a single haiku, he finds himself avidly caught up in the relationship between a long-distance couple, who write to each other using only beautiful poetry. He feasts on their words, vicariously living a life for which he longs. But it will only be a matter of time before his world comes crashing down around him…

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A Riot of Goldfish

Kanoko Okamoto

First Sentence: Today again Mataichi scooped the tiny fish one by one into a shallow bowl and examined them carefully under a magnifying glass.

This is the story of Maitichi, the son of lower class goldfish sellers, who falls in love with the beautiful daughter of his wealthy patron. Maitichi is sent off to study goldfish breeding on the condition that he return and help his patron make his fortune. When he does return however, Masako is married with children and Maitichi has missed his chance with her. He then decides to devote his life to producing one ideal, perfect goldfish, to mirror Masako’s beauty. As the years go by this proves to be a lot more difficult than Maitichi had hoped. Overall I enjoyed this book as a short read but I don’t think I’d be recommending it to a lot of people. It’s a nice little fable with a sweet ending, but ultimately Maitichi has very few redeeming features and the writing doesn’t exactly leave a lasting impression. In fact, if it was any longer (it’s only 50 pages), I might not have finished it…

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