Read Slum Online by Hiroshi Sakurazaka 桜坂洋 Joseph Reeder Online


Etsuro Sakagami is a college freshman who feels uncomfortable in reality, but when he logs onto the combat MMO Versus Town, he assumes the personality of "Tetsuo," a karate champ on his way towards becoming the most powerful martial artist around. While his relationship with new classmate Fumiko goes nowhere, he spends his days and nights online in search of the invincibleEtsuro Sakagami is a college freshman who feels uncomfortable in reality, but when he logs onto the combat MMO Versus Town, he assumes the personality of "Tetsuo," a karate champ on his way towards becoming the most powerful martial artist around. While his relationship with new classmate Fumiko goes nowhere, he spends his days and nights online in search of the invincible fighter Slasher Jack. Floating in between real and virtual, at last, Etsuro finds himself face to face with his most powerful opponent......

Title : Slum Online
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781421534398
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 210 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Slum Online Reviews

  • Pygmy
    2019-01-02 18:17

    Not as compelling as the author's other book, All You Need Is Kill. Taking place in modern day, the story follows a laconic, stoic young fellow with the compelling personality of a brick as he ploughs through an online game to become the greatest virtual fighter in that game. Somehow along the way, he picks up a girlfriend. I'm a little baffled how, but at the same time, I can sort of fill in the blanks as to how that may ocur in an extremely subtle, understated sort of that's not really my main problem. The primary hurdle to overcome was trying to visualize all the fight scenes. They are written in terms of what you would input into a controller. So the fights boil down to a series of tap-tap-block-throw-interrupt-dash-kick-sidestep rather than a fleshed out, visceral viewing experience.And there are a lot of fights. so.The story rounds itself off, ending at just the right amount of time. Then it continues in a sort of epilogue from the view point of another character, fleshing out details of said character, injecting new information, and then culminating the whole experience with the true ending, one which is mild but quite satisfying. All in all, not bad. You probably won't feel a pressing need to reread it, but it passes the time well.

  • Tim
    2019-01-19 20:08

    There have been plenty of stories about characters inside video games in recent years. Slum Online was rather ahead of its time in that regard, having been published in 2005, and showing intricacies of coping with a person's real life and their MMO one. For the record, World of Warcraft, undoubtably the biggest craze in terms of MMO gaming, came out in 2004, just one year before the publication of this novel. It's rather fascinating for that reason alone. It stands out in other ways of course; the concept of a great quest inside a video game being the main focus of the story while reality plays out in a more mundane way around it is extremely entertaining.The aspect that appealed to me the most though was its relationship with other media. It's actually rather deeper than the plot description lets on. The classic movie buffs reading the novel will instantly catch all the references to the 1961 classic "The Hustler" staring Paul Newman. If you haven not seen the movie, then you'll actually be missing out on some of the nicer details in the novel. They draw so many parallels between our protagonist's quest to find the infamous Ganker Jack and Fast Eddie's desire to beat Minnesota Fats that they flat out mention the movie on more than a few occasions. Comparing the two stories is part of the fun of the novel.The book was a nice short read. Entertaining, but with many faults. While the story was deeper than I was expecting, some chapters seem to end rather abruptly and then suddenly two weeks of time will pass in-between the chapters. Also the constant use of "FX" as describing sounds in the real world got annoying. I understand that it was supposed to show how the main character felt more at home in the video game world, but it still was overdone.For the American release there's a bonus short story after the novel, from the point of view of a side character. It's a nice little addition, and to be honest, in some ways it's better than the actual novel. It flows slightly better and ends on an interesting note that makes the reader re-evaluate some details of the story.All in all, well worth a look.

  • Colin Barnes
    2019-01-04 17:23

    Brilliant book. A story told in first person narrative of a young student balancing his life between being the best fighter in the MMO game Versus Town and managing his studies and relations with a kind of girlfriend. There's something I love about Japanese fiction and their take on technology. This story acts as an interesting and thought provoking philosophical look on what gaming means, whether it has any meaning, and how that impacts on people's real lives and personalities. It places technology and gaming into the heart of culture and examines what drives gamers to pour in endless resources and questions if this has value. Above all that, it's a sweet quest story that works on two levels. A quick read, I finished it in a single sitting and can't wait to read more from this author.

  • Eric
    2018-12-30 18:19

    I don't think Etsuro Sakagami ever confuses virtual reality with real life (RL), but he does get a little distracted. Eventually he figures out what's important (hint: a girl is involved). Ultimately he concludes: "You can live your life, fall in love, grow old, and no one will point and laugh at you for never having played an online game."

  • Becca-Rawr
    2019-01-03 23:03

    Hrm...The blurb for this book gave me the impression I could expect anything, but after finishing it I'm not entirely sure what the point was. I'm feeling strangely lukewarm about this book. I gave it 3 stars as apposed to 4, but I don't know why... I didn't exactly hate this book, it just failed to make me care either about the characters or the plots.I'm going to try to avoid spoilers in my review, but there might be mild ones...So when I was going through high school and college most of my friends were huge video game addicts. Several dates I went on were with guys who could only see me as long as it didn't conflict with their online role-playing schedule. For that reason, I feel very strongly against people who can't spate real life from virtual life. When I first started to read this I thought this would be a redeeming tale of a young man who learned to live in the real world, who abandoned his obsessive and childish habit of hours spent in front of a computer screen. I was disappointed.I was also disappointed by just how much online gameplay there was. Especially since the plot in "Versus Town" was just boring. I really didn't care about his reputation in a place that literally didn't exist. And the fight scenes just got ridiculous. To be honest, they weren't actual fight scenes, but rather the main character just hitting buttons and using a joystick...As for the characters, I couldn't get to a point where I cared about them at all. Etsuro is an oblivious gamer and this doesn't really change. I don't understand his relationship with Fumiko at all. He spends most of his time playing video games and utterly slacking in class, and she turns into a condescending control freak who's usually critiquing his albeit lazy attempt at gaining an education. There is nothing between the both of them that even hints at a healthy relationship.And the end? (view spoiler)[ He doesn't change. At all. Maybe he logs on a little less, but there's no indication that he becomes anything more than a grown man who plays games all night and by day falls asleep at his desk in university. None of the characters change. And while I think I'm supposed to have a feel good ending, I just felt sad for everyone involved... (hide spoiler)]A handful of small, annoying details later, all I can say is that I'm glad this book wasn't any longer. It was just bland to me and I couldn't be sympathetic towards the characters if I tried.

  • MC
    2019-01-09 01:21

    Slum Online is an interesting journey into the psyche of a young man who is a dedicated player of an online MMO game that is basically an online martial arts fighting game.At least one source I read described there being "cyberpunk" in the story. I don't really think it is there. It has some elements similar in the main character Etsuro (Tetsuo is his avatar in Versus Town) being on the fringes of society at first. That said, it is not a dystopian work, and there is no real fantastical element.Then again, perhaps this was the genius of the author (who also wrote the popular All You Need Is Kill) in how he wrote the story. We have a first-person, deeply personal struggle on Etsuro's part to examine his life and to balance being true to his own self with a possible budding romance with a young girl he knows, named Fumiko. He has a goal to reach in the game, but does have feelings for Fumiko.Fumiko his opposite. Yet they get along well. In the end, the two learn to balance each other out and accept each others' idiosyncrasies. Of course, this is only possible because he opens up to her finally and they move forward.One thing I liked was how this book did not portray online gaming as necessarily bad. Other hobbies (like Fumiko's love of movies is not bad either). What makes these good or bad are how we balance them with the rest of our lives.I truly recommend this engaging and thoughtful book, to folks who are intrested in Japan or gaming. Or just those that want a fun slice of life story of a young man's growth into, perhaps, a better person.

  • Maverynthia
    2019-01-03 23:19

    So imagine a fanfiction about fighting games. OK.. now open your eyes! Yes this is a book that is basically about a dude that somehow gets a girlfriend and treats her like trash, but she sticks with him anyways. That's after you are left wondering how they even hooked up and when they started dating as she's mentioned so little past a part that you see on the cover where she's squeeing for a stuffed animal and of course dudebro gets it for her. Also she's terrible at fighting games of course.Expect TONS of info dumping about how the fights are going, tons of info about button presses and how generally polygons are rendered. Tetsuo/Etsuro (KANEDA!) also describes real life sounds as "sound FX". Then in the end it's alluded that Jack's player is a woman and OF COURSE then this whole book turns into a man's quest to best a woman that is super awesome. Like a crap ton of narratives I see out there.Overall super boring novel about a guy that plays video games online too much.

  • D.M. Dutcher
    2019-01-08 01:13

    You'll connect with this in proportion to your knowledge of fighting games and MMOs, but it's marred by some impossibilities that bring it down.Etsuro is on the borderline of being hikkikomori and a normal college student. He spends his nights fighting in a place called Versus Town, an online Tekken style MMO, fighting and scheming to beat the top player in the world, Pak. One day he hears rumors about a fighter even stronger than Pak. Ganker Jack. While he searches to fight the elusive Jack, he finds a classmate Fumiko trying to enlist him in the search for a blue cat ghost in Shinjuku. What will happen?This is a book that you won't really get if you aren't Etsuro, or even a little in spirit. Life is pointless to Etsuro, who strives for mastery in the community of Versus Town. Sometimes he worries that he will slip down and join a friend he once knew, to fully shed real life. But his spirit is expressed in the search for Jack to defeat him-to reach the ultimate goal. This is actually the goal of many serious players I think in gaming-they want to transcend their ultimate limit and achieve their one goal. For one friend I knew it was an piece of virtual armor called the Ace's Helm: he sacrifice so much to get it. For me, my own goal was getting a difficult solo job, the Beastmaster, to the level cap by myself. All serious players of varying skill levels have a grail to find. This is a book about one person finding his.It's done pretty well. The fighting system is based on either virtua fighter or tekken, with the focus on fighting by juggling with air combos. Like another reviewer mentioned, this makes it hard to visualize fights as he thinks of them in the controller motions many times. If you play fighting games though you'll get it.It's also nostalgic as hell depending on your gaming history. I don't remember if they specifically date when this happens, but it feels like sometime in the Saturn or Dreamcast era-the Japanese players use consoles to go online, rather than PCs, and they use keyboards to chat instead of voice chat. A lot of the images you really get if you played MMOs-how everyone runs and never walks, people roleplaying in a bar, streets so filled with debris that people zig zag through them, arguments about rock paper scissors and scrubs, and other things. The difference between arcade culture and face to face connection and online, too.Finally, the ending works well, especially if you gave the games up or are on the verge of it. Something special you share, but that only will happen once. MMOs are this in spades, because the game itself can change even if the players don't.The one flaw in the book is a huge one. Ganker Jack is described as being able to react almost instantly to moves, but there is something called latency that prevents this. Even in the best connection, latency exists to prevent moves displaying as they are seen on your screen. This can cause small amounts of lag that would make most of what Jack does impossible, and makes it hard to believe him as a threat when he throw cancels people almost instantly. Network conditions even now aren't that good and may never be that good. Even fighting games in general can suffer from latency, ranging from hard to notice to near unplayable, which makes a lot of what happens in the book a little unrealistic.Still, I enjoyed it a lot. I'd think it would lose a lot of impact if you aren't familiar with the ideas, and they are pretty esoteric. But if you like that sort of thing, it can really speak to you.

  • Peter
    2019-01-21 22:04

    A college student has a secret double life, playing in a multiplayer fighting game online. He wants to become the very best, and sometimes that quest means that school, his new girlfriend, and other concerns must fall by the wayside. Also catching his interest is the growing legend of a mysterious character challenging, and winning against, the best players in the game, in the unranked matches outside of the arena. I'm not sure I'd consider this a science fiction novel. Yes, it deals with technology and how it impacts the world and people in it, but none of the technology is noticeably beyond anything we have now... or, for that matter, anything we've had for the past fifteen years, before the book was published. There's no outlandish hooks like "die in the game and you die for real!" it's just a game like any other. The particular game they focus on may be invented, but it's thoroughly mundane and easily plausible as something that could have existed at some point. If somebody told me it was based on a real game I'd simply never heard of, I'd have no reason to doubt them. Therefore, if this is science fiction, we'd have to call the romantic comedy "You've Got Mail" a science fiction movie, and I'm not prepared to do that. That said, it does have a certain charm. It's another type of book that shouldn't work... fundamentally it's about a kid playing video games, trying to be the best at something that doesn't really matter. It doesn't really feel like there are any stakes... why should I as a reader care if he wins the championship? Even the main character doesn't seem to care if he flunks out of school because of this quest, so why should that matter to me either? And yet, I did want to see how it would turn out, and the journey did wind up going in some different directions than I expected. The technology, as I said, is thoroughly mundane, but at least it's also treated more or less realistically. It's not like a typical TV treatment of video games where they talk about things like "points" in a game that doesn't have points, or "getting to the next level" while an open world game, with no set levels, is on screen. In this book things sometimes hinge on details like the exact placement of pixels, and it's somehow neither boring nor fake. The seemingly pointless endeavors like finding secret ways to jump impassable walls or practicing endlessly to use an obscure glitch to get an edge ring true. I've done similar things myself in some games. Occasionally the amount of control of the character offered by a simple gamepad might stretch the bounds of credibility, but not by much, and you can often even write it off as the character reading things into the game that aren't there. And, beyond the game itself, the character interactions and the rest of the story held my interest very well... the plot sometimes seems to wander and not know exactly where it's going, but in this way it feels like it echoes the adolescent life style deliberately rather than merely being a writer with no plan. And the book makes a few interesting observations on why people behave the way they do. Probably the thing I'm iffiest on is how the main character related too many mundane things to the game (like referring to sounds in his class as 'FX'), which at times came off a little gimmicky, but not enough to really annoy me. The story's didn't blow me away or anything, and I'm not sure I'll even remember much about it in a year's time, but it was fun enough reading and better than I was expecting.

  • Robert Fenner
    2019-01-12 00:20

    Etsuro's a college slacker who sleeps through class and stays up all night to play MMO fighting games. Fumiko's a star pupil with a hamburger-shop smile. Will they get along? Between a rock and a hard place, Etsuro's found he's bitten off more than he can chew! Tune in Thursdays, 9.30/8.30 central.Slum Online is a book that follows a dual narrative, chapters alternating between Etsuro's waking life and his nightly brawls as his alter-ego Tetsuo in the online fighting game Versus Town. The waking life chapters are meant to illustrate the build up of a romantic relationship between Etsuro and his classmate Fumiko, but Fumiko is so much of a nonentity that it would be laughable if it wasn't so cliched. All we hear about is what Etsuro is interested in; this makes some sense as the book is written from his perspective, but we learn almost nothing about Fumiko. She has some witty lines which shows she has a bit of an edge to her, but she's never fully realized, leaving us knowing almost nothing about the book's central female character except "she gets good grades and has a really nice smile".The MMO chapters concern Tetsuo's quest to be the best brawler in Versus Town, a quest that is quickly sidetracked when rumors surface that a mysterious player nicknamed Ganker Jack has been making waves by defeating the game's top four players without breaking a sweat. Tetsuo's focus turns to tracking down and defeating the enigmatic Ganker Jack. He meets a lot of unique player characters along the way and makes new friends, and these chapters contain an interesting Jungian dialogue about the dynamics between player and character and how they serve as an analogue to one's Persona in the real world. But there's also a lot of fighting. Paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of fighting.Ever played a best two-out-of-three round of Tekken? Imagine that novelized. Now imagine ten rounds novelized. It's not so exciting, is it.Most frustratingly of all, many of the book's most interesting characters disappear after certain events, never to be heard from again. Sometimes there's a reason for this, other times there's not, but none of these characters ever feel like they receive an appropriate level of closure for their individual arcs. It's a bit of a pain. Even an arc regarding the two main characters is dropped without fanfare: Much of the book concerns Etsuro and Fumiko hunting for the legendary Blue Cat of Shinjuku, something Fumiko really wants to find, although it may not even exist. One night (view spoiler)[Etsuro goes to an arcade where a supporting character points out a faulty fluorescent tube light that projects the image of a blue cat when it flickers. Etsuro's impressed, but he never tells Fumiko and the blue cat thread is never mentioned again. What the hell? (hide spoiler)]Despite these flaws, I did enjoy the book. It also includes a micro-novella written exclusively for the English publication; a Versus Town detective story from the viewpoint of a hikikomori that, while not without its flaws, manages to be more compelling than the full-length novel that preceded it.Sakurazaka shines brightest when weaving psychology and sociology into the narrative, and also brings some excellent metaphors to the table, but he seems a little bit out of touch when it comes to...well, anything else. That said, I'm still interested in reading his other works.

  • Carlos Garcia
    2018-12-28 01:17

    Slum Online es uno de los libros más nerdos que he leido, y por lo mismo me encantó. La manera en que se narra la historia de Etsuro como un estudiante común y corriente de la vida real, y el contraste de su avatar Tetsuo en un mundo virtual, es algo que no había visto (o recuerde) en otros textos.Mientras que la vida de Etsuro puede parecer aburrida, cada vez que entra al mundo virtual se convierte en un karateka que vive emociones extremas a cada vuelta de la esquina. El contraste no solo se ve en la manera de expresarse del personaje principal, sino en el texto mismo. La vida de Etsuro está escrita en primera persona, de una manera algo poética pero nihilista. La vida Virtual es narrada de una manera mucho más técnica, con términos que muchas veces no son claramente explicados, pero que son definiciones exactas de cómo debe sentirse vivir dentro de un videojuego.Es por esta razón que no puedo recomendar ampliamente el libro. Como videojugador y fan de los juegos de pelea (género del videojuego del libro) que soy, disfruté muchísimo leer cada parte de la vida de Tetsuo, cada paso y cada pelea. Como una partida de ajedrez, las peleas son narradas golpe por golpe, movimiento por movimiento. Y como una partida de ajedrez, esto no será emocionante para cualquier persona que no sea un fanático del juego.Si bien el lector promedio puede disfrutar de las aventuras de Etsuro mientras busca crecer como persona, seguramente se perderá en los momentos en que Tetsuo cobre vida y el mundo virtual (con todos los personajes que lo habitan) se convierta en la parte central de la historia.Si tienen una mente abierta y/o son jugadores, se los recomiendo mucho. Es un buen libro con personajes agradables y un final satisfaciente. Si son fans de juegos como Street Fighter o similares, definitivamente deben leerlo. Pero si son lectores de estilos más clásicos o probados, no puedo asegurar que les vaya a gustar.

  • キタ━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━!!!! ricecrackers
    2018-12-31 22:15

    I both hated parts of this book and liked others. For one thing, nothing in it really suprised me. After fifty pages I had my perdiction for the entire plot of the novel and it was almost entirely correct. I have never really played fighter games (maybe thats why I did not enjoyed it all that much?). The fight scenes, while well described, just made me picture a flat match in street fighter that never did all that much for me. This is probably more because of how the narrator insists on creating this distinction between the real and the virtual, himself and Tetsuo. Speaking of the narrator, I found the his behavior and thoughts to be overly perdictable and it annoyed me. About half way through the read I actually switched to another book and read that one and then came back to finish this the next day. I did this because of the way Etsuro? irritated me. I almost gave up on the book entirely because of it. The premise is interesting but things are much too focused on Tetsuo and his pokemon battle quest to be the very best which only certain readers will find compelling. I am not a competative person so I really couldnt relate. The book also used too many cheezy phraises. The sound FX of the classroom etc. Wish he would shut up about sound FX and just call them noises or sounds. I get it he is addicted to an online game and the lingo sometimes transfers to real life but if thats the case why does he maintain such a distinction between the the real and the virtual... I found some parts of the read cute enough and I by no means hated all of the characters. The bat lady and the girl were both entertaining, as were Hashimoto and other characters within virtual town. However, I need more than a few somewhat enjoyable characters to make a book good. I simply felt that the book did not have that much depth or substance. Maybe I am getting too old to relate. (ノД`)シクシク

  • Michael Loring
    2019-01-16 20:12

    Slum Online by Author Hiroshi Sakurazaka is a standalone novel depicting the life of Etsuro Sakagami – a young man obsessed with becoming the best gamer in the MMO Versus Town.Etsuro is a normal young college student. He spends his days (sometimes) attending his classes, commuting on the train through the bustling streets of Japan, and his nights as Tetsuo – the karate master with the ambition of being the absolute best in Versus Town. When a new, mysterious player named “Ganker Jack” comes to the game and starts defeating the strongest players, Etsuro sets his character Tetsuo after him in an attempt to beat the one who beat the best. All the while dealing with a new female classmate that he may or may not like.I had very high hopes for this novel. I am a huge fan of the author’s other novel, All You Need is Kill, so when I discovered he had written a novel about gamers I was excited to begin reading it.Unfortunately, I find myself a little disappointed. The writing was terrific, especially considering it’s been translated from Japanese, but the main character was stoic throughout most of the novel and very hard to relate to. Etsuro is a very intelligent character, but squanders his intellect by morosely speculating on the world around him and, for the most part, ignoring the prospect of an actual human connection with his classmate who very clearly likes him until the end when he felt he was done playing his game. I felt the novel would be infinitely better if Etsuro had been someone who could actually emote.It’s very rare to find a novel that paints gamers in a good light, which Slum Online does pretty well, but also very hard to find one that also creates interesting characters that capture the affection of the reader.

  • Jason Seaver
    2019-01-10 19:11

    An odd thing sometimes happens when you follow a line: You get to the end of a novel like "Slum Online", and only when you hit the "you might also like..." page do you find that the author, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, also wrote something else in the line that you liked; in this case, the first novel Haikasoru published, the time travel/alien invasion action story "All You Need Is Kill". In this case, it's a pretty big surprise, as "Slum Online" is very much set in the present day, and straightforward, compared to the labyrinthine timeline of "Kill".Still, Sakurazaka does some clever things that the reader might not notice. The point of view alternates between the main character and his online avatar in a massively multiplayer fighting game; the most linear plot comes in the virtual world. Still, what happens in the real world is important, too, and the concept that Sakurazaka winds up communicating - that why we decide something is important doesn't matter as much as achieving happiness and satisfaction - is a nice one, and not the obvious "only this kind of interaction is real" moral an American take on the story might have. There's also a welcome lack of real-world danger that would put the story onto a predictable track.There's a sort-of sequel, sort-of epilogue included called "Bonus Round" that switches the point of view to a supporting character, and it turns out to be a well-written way to tie up some loose ends without implying that "Slum Online" was in any way incomplete.

  • Mike
    2019-01-04 01:21

    Perhaps this book is aimed at gamers — it did hold my attention and was reasonably entertaining, but when it came to the real world aspects, it somehow alternated between predictable and confounding. There were hints at philosophy, a sort of examination of what gaming and/or online personalities say about us, but Sakurazaka only touches briefly on the really interesting aspects of that. To top it off, they weren't well integrated into the story, but kind of smashed into it as monologues by characters. The romantic "real world" plot was seriously underdeveloped to the point where it actually confused me — (view spoiler)[ for instance, at what point does the main character and Fumiko's relationship become "that kind" of relationship, and why on earth does she take him back? (hide spoiler)]. Overall, a quick and somewhat entertaining read that thankfully only occasionally gets too detailed in game mechanics, but doesn't do any of the Gibson-esque stuff you might expect from a title of this nature.

  • Geoff Taylor
    2019-01-09 22:06

    This book is perfect for video game addicts, ex-video game addicts, parents of video game addicts and anyone else trying to understand the modern generation of otaku (video game addicted shut-ins).Where his previous novel, All You Need Is Kill, is brilliantly structured like a video game, where you repeatedly die and are re-born, improving your skills over time, this novel mixes video game life and real life and seems like really a pretty good depiction of the life of a Japanese semi-otaku, both his real life and online character's life. There are hard challenges in both arenas and quite a lot of boredom.The book "All you need is kill" can be more dramatic because it limits itself to an imaginary game-like arena. "Slum Online" trades that dramatic structure for a more balanced realistic view of the player(s).

  • Kathleen
    2018-12-24 18:03

    Unlike to main character in this books, I am not obsessed with video games/computers games. However, ocassionally I do enjoy a fighting game and I was able to like the book because of this. The fault I found with this book is there was always a wall between RL (real life) and VT (Versus Town) where the game is played. This makes sense--reality is reality and a game is a game--but any connections that existed between RL and VT were merely hinted at and were mostly ignored by the main character. Exploring those connections would have made the store more interesting.While I liked the book, the best part is the side story at the end. Particularly because it included a more solid connection between RL and VT. This side story is from a different POV--a more interesting POV than the main character's POV.

  • Nicole B
    2019-01-01 23:23

    I got this on awhile back. The first thing I will say is that the translator did an excellent job on this book. It felt well written and I felt the personality of the characters portrayed. The story was entertaining and seeing the world through the imagined eyes of a Japanese gamer was interesting. As it was seeing it through the eyes of shut in. How real life relates to people's virtual lives is intertwined no matter how much people try to keep them separate but seeing it through the eyes of an online gamer who definitely struggles to relate the world around him was fun to read. As it was reading the references to Tokyo, it is always fun when you recognise place names in a book.

  • Kevin
    2019-01-09 20:07

    I wish I could rate this higher, but I just can't.I love the rhythm that he writes in, I wonder how much of his style is affected just because he writes in Japanese and their language just has different structure and rhythm so that it translates over very cool.I think the concept of this book, a character that lives one life in his online game and another life in RL (real life.) I just didn't like to read about the different combinations that he was entering into his controller.I also like how this and "all you need is kill" have the pursuit of perfection as what is driving the character.Over all a quick read and interesting, but not the best book I have ever read.

  • Carl
    2019-01-10 23:01

    I had to skip some parts because the fights were a little too detailed. Also, I had a wrong impression about the book. I thought the main character was going to get absorbed into the game or turn into a game character. That is not the case. He just had a lot of video games on his mind. And that had an affect on how he viewed life.Even though the main character is 20 years old, it seems like a coming of age story, which I kind of liked.Kind of SpoilerI like the ending though. It shows how life can be balanced and how it can't be balanced between twp major things pulling in absolutely different directions.

  • Ian Reay
    2018-12-24 00:18

    I liked this story a lot. This is an easy read -- probably aimed at teen boys. The English version even with the bonus story is only about 210 pages long.With most novels I know what is coming next, but this story takes unexpected turns. This is probably because it's a translation of a Japanese novel. It also has gives some insight into the Japanese Culture I think.I don't want to say too much more. I'm giving it a 5 because I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was completely engrossed in it.

  • Hat of Nikitich
    2019-01-20 23:23

    A thoughtful look at the intersection of the virtual and real world, one that appeals pretty directly to the current generation's fascination with MMOs and the complications they entail. That said, it seemed to ramble and miss its mark a little for me. I definitely felt like the Bonus Round was the more compelling story, rather than the relationship between the main character and his girlfriend that takes up the bulk of the book.

  • Connie
    2019-01-15 17:08

    EntertainingThis was recommended to me by a friend who games a lot, and I did enjoy the book. It's got a unique style to the way things are portrayed in the virtual realm, and the main character is likeable. I enjoyed the small mysteries that were happening, but I can't say this book had a deep resonating message that I will think of again and again. Overall an easy and entertaining read.

  • Dxarmbar06
    2018-12-25 20:26

    This book would have been everything All You Need Is Kill was if it only would have had the same translator!! I don't understand, why switch translators if the last one was absolutely amazing? This guy failed to capture the hard-hitting suspense that made his last novel mind-blowing. This is still a great read and I hold it dear in my heart, but I can see what it is missing, and personally I would have paid my last translator whatever he wanted...

  • flum
    2019-01-20 21:29

    even if you're well versed in fighting game and mmo mechanics the battles and interactions don't feel right. since it's impossible to convey the clutch nature of a dash-cancel-throw-break mix-up slobberknocker, the critical moments end up relying on parkour/terrain shenanigans. the love interest was totally forced/arbitrary, despite being fully aware of the unlikelihood of some normshitter having the best of both worlds. did we really need the after story?

  • Tara
    2019-01-13 19:15

    Read this if you want some philosophical thoughts on gaming. While not a perfect book, it touched on a lot of problems and questions anyone who has been involved in gaming culture has asked at one point or another. Be prepared to skim over some excessively detailed (read: boring) simulated fight scenes. Overall a fun and thought-provoking read.

  • Andrea
    2019-01-13 18:27

    I really enjoyed this, a quick and fun read perfect for the train. It does try to be deep about that fine line between online and real world realities and how we perceive both and ourselves in them--and doesn't quite pull that off. I will be using the line "I am ninja" however, whenever anyone asks me what I mean or why I am doing something.

  • Jasper
    2018-12-29 20:25

    Gets a little navel gazey, but still a generally fun and interesting read. Not that I've read a lot of similar things, but it has to be one of the best written descriptions of the skill involved in fighting games.

  • Jon
    2019-01-16 23:04

    This was pretty entertaining. I didn't love it, but I liked it. Very much a different feel than Western sci-fi, which was a very nice change. Some interesting examinations of why we role play online, nothing too science-y or super in-depth, but the musings were nice.

  • Nathan
    2018-12-30 18:03

    If you spend too much time playing computer games, this book is written for you. The plot, in a nutshell: Etsuro Sakagami is a college freshman busy failing at life, until he finds a way to integrate his online fun with an offline life.