Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Atsuko Chiba, beautiful and brilliant psychotherapist, is one of the best and brightest working at the Institute for Psychiatric Research. She deftly uses the cutting edge psychotherapy devices that allow therapists to view patients dreams and even insert themselves into or manipulate those dreams to aid therapy. When helping private, rich clients, Atsuko disguises herself as Paprika to conduct therapy sessions in secret. Trouble starts when someone steals one of the psychotherapy devices to use it maliciously and drive people insane. Atsuko must differentiate between the rapidly overlapping worlds of dream and reality to find the culprit.

I was super excited to read Paprika. The plot sounds surreal and amazing plus I've only heard good things about the anime film based on the book. Despite my excitement, I just struggled to finish it. It had a lot of potential. The technology and the innovation with dreams and therapy is incredibly interesting and had the makings for wonderful scenes of surrealism. I just couldn't get past the language and the unlikeable characters. I'm not sure if I didn't like the author's writing or if it was a bad translation, but it was downright painful and stilted. It was as if the translator didn't want to use any pronouns and just repeated everyone's name every time a person was referenced or spoke. It didn't flow well and it grew arduous to read. The characters are terrible. Despite being professional adults who might win prestigious international awards, they are the most petty and immature group ever. Everyone just talks about Atsuko's beauty instead of her abilities or her intelligence. Her colleagues are very childish and whine about their own looks and how everyone hates them. Grow up! You are adults and there are much more important things happening than their middle school level drama. Even Atsuko's therapy was just very ham handed and really seemed like the patient was really diagnosing himself half the time. I grew bored by the end of the novel and just skimmed the ending.

Paprika had a lot of potential with the technology and surrealist elements, but the writing and the intolerable characters just ruined the book for me. I would try to read another book by Yasutaka Tsutsui because it may have been a bad translation.

My rating: 1/5 fishmuffins

1 comment:

fredamans said...

I can't even be bothered reading the synopsis.... that cover is terrible!!!