Mardock Scramble (2003)

Mardock Scramble

This was one of the odder reads, though this was only expected as it’s a translation of a Japanese original. Suffers from various problems, among them the philosophical pontification of things I find utterly mundane and obvious and not worth of any pontification (at this point I wonder if this is some sort of cultural thing, as I’ve found most of the philosophizing in Japanese animation, comics and novels utterly tepid and pointless, more so than even western navel-gazing).

The other problem is that at one point the book does a heist, which takes up around 300 of the overall 700 pages (ebook counting) and if you’re not into casinos and card games and stuff like that, you’ll get utterly bored. Since I utterly despise heist stories (the whole Ocean’s 11 series for example leaves me cold), this was a rather long slog and I wondered whether I just should give up.

That said, the book is not without its own, unique charm. It merges pulpy action and extreme violence with high-brow, cool sounding concepts, even if the characters, as already said, are too much into pointless pontification. On occasion the narrative even manages to surprise and even delight.

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