Scandal – Shusaku Endo

Reading Shusaku Endo’s Scandal is a little like being the priest in a confession box. While the pious christian is spilling out his guilt and burning with doubt and shame, you sit bored in the other half of the confessional chamber stifling a yawn.

The analogy is even more apt when you realize Endo is a devout christian, like his protagonist. He lays it on thick with the big B and quotes randomly from it. The problem is that to non believers it does not have the same essence. So while there are a lot of passages with expositions on guilt and rage and sin, since they are all tied to the morality of the Bible, it is one dimensional.

Jekiru San and Haidu San.

This is the second successive book I struggled to complete. But with a little bit of reckless reading (like how when you start breaking speed limits towards the end of a long road trip) I managed to turn over the last page. Some books read that way. A not so bad start, a little slippery middle and a sliding shuddering halt. There is no satisfaction in closure and all you get is a post recording the completion of a book.

Somewhere in between is thrown a little history with the likes of Gilles De Rais just for the shock value. But the next book is valuable. So it is a pity that I have to refer to the next book. No offence Endo san, but Tanizaki is calling.

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