“This chaste book could be titled The Story of O. Ryo Yamaguchi rhapsodizes, if more quietly, in the mood of Keats when he exclaims “O for a Life of Sensations rather than of Thoughts!”:
O machine, O accord, I no longer ask the things I need
not ask . . .
the slow atmosphere of story has refused too long
to seat my rhythms, and I
have refused to elaborate myself through its lines.
His drama of sensate consciousness is based on the refusal (ergo the title) to follow the suit of narrative poetry, in favor of the mind’s free play. Yet one may legitimately ask, as we sometimes do of historical novels, whether the writer courts anachronism or rather renews the proposition. In the case of Yamaguchi, the answer is complex. . .
Read the review at Cleaver Magazine.