"Death by Choice," or perhaps more literally "Self-Death Penalty" concerns seven days of a thirty-five-year-old young man who has committed to killing himself, and all the intensification of sensory detail, choice-making, and wrapping up of personal history that ensues. beginning with an porn-star and her pale-faced junior friend and eventually involving Yoshio Kita's past love, an idol past her peak, a hitman, and various other death-profiteers, DBC presents a tautly written, madcap, Japan-centric story that reflects on the nature of contemporary Japanese society and reveals a cynical, knowing stance on life. written by a member of the same artistic circle as Ryu Murakami, author of Audition, DBC is perhaps most closest to that book in feel, if different in topic matter. if you are a huge Ryu Murakami fan, you might very well consider this book as equal to the third or fourth best book in the RM ouevre, and its sort of decadent, media-knowing perspective will be familiar to that end of Japan fanatics.
if Shimada had the opportunity to go pure-play surreal and/or 'post-modern,' he provides instead a knowing overview of the entertainment industry and the causes and motivations of many anomie-filled, worldweary Tokyo-ites. fantastically tight prose, striking incident, and a rogue's gallery of human failings. ハードボイルド デカダンス
thought the first 20% amazingly fantastic, and then the book as a whole 5/5. wouldn't it have been amazing to get deeper and deeper into Zombie and Mitsuyo?!