Train Man..sweet story

I just finished reading a book called Train Man. I bought it some time last year and only now I have gotten round to reading it and boy, did I miss something. It is a sweet, sweet book. It is a story that would make you smile and realize fairy tales do happen in the real world.

There is an online version of the story available here: http://www.rinji.tv/densha/

Densha Otoko, or ‘Train Man’ is the name of a very popular book published in Japan in early 2005, which tells the true story of a nerdy guy who falls in love with a girl who he saved from a drunk on a train. This entire story takes place on a Japanese bulletin board system called 2ch, or ‘ni-channel’, particularly in a thread called ‘Men Being Shot from Behind’, where single men get together and gripe about being single.

In typical Japanese fashion, after the tremendous success of the book, both a movie version and a TV drama series were released. ‘Densha Otoko’ is really the “it” book of 2005 for Japan. It’s a really great story and I hope that this translation helps you enjoy it, too.

I’ve heard of writers publishing their blog entries in the form of books but this is the first time I’ve come across a book that is comprise of forum postings. The replies from the other netizens are funny, ridiculous yet honest. It’s not scripted. Not plotted. Train Man is a simple story but what makes it special is the sense of community. You become part of the group, rooting for Train Man as he pursues his lady, Hermes. You are drawn into their discussions and at times you would disagree with them yet you see the fun side of things.

Give it a try and you’ll see why I am still smiling when I think of the book.

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Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book (Personal Review)

I picked up Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book in December 2008 and the story has stuck with me since then. I first came across Neil Gaiman from his earlier work “Stardust” and am now in the process of collecting his other books. I’m currently reading a collection of his short stories in a book entitled Fragile Things.

Anyway, back to The Graveyard Book. What’s beautiful about this story for me is the premise. It talks about acceptance. Accepting one whom you would not normally accept in normal circumstances. In this case a baby being accepted by the folks (ghosts) in a graveyard and being raise by them. The baby grows up and is taught the ways of the grave and in the lessons taught we see takes on real life in the mortal world. Issues like finding yourself, friendship and growing up.

It’s by far an interesting read and at times funny. There were instances, I sat back laughing at the imagery Neil Gaiman uses. What it does is, to give us this idea that a graveyard can be a thriving nation on its own, with its own set of rules and government. And within this nation are adventures that our human (Bod) encounters and ultimately leads to the discovery of his real identity.

Now, I understand Neil Gaiman’s style of writing may not appeal to some, this was evident when a friend of mine “tried” to read Fragile Things; but give it a shot.