Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Edogawa Rampo rampages in English!

Acclaimed mystery writer Edogawa Rampo ponders black lizards, malformed men, and blind beasts. Just another day at the office for this prolific Japanese author... Source: here.

If the name Edogawa Rampo sounds a bit like Edgar Allan Poe to you, then 1) you're quick on the uptake, or 2) you're already familiar with the work of author Taro Hirai (1894-1965), who took the aforementioned pen name as a nod to one of his main influences.

And, if you're already familiar with the name of Edogawa Rampo, it's likely through the movies based on his writings, such as Kinji Fukasaku's Black Lizard (1968, featuring fellow author Yukio Mishima), Teruo Ishii's Horrors of Malformed Men (1969), and Yasuzo Masumura's Blind Beast (1969).
While the above titles have been written about and discussed by fans of Japanese genre films, how many of these fans have actually read the source material? What's that, you say? They're not available in English?

Ha! Ha, I say!

"Eh," sez Edogawa Rampo to fellow writer (and Black Lizard actor) Yukio Mishima. "If they made a movie about my life, I'd so get more than four chapters." Source: here.

Thanks to a couple of book publishers who specialize in translating Japanese fiction into English, you now have your chance!

Kurodahan Press has translated Black Lizard into English, and it can be purchased here. Meanwhile, Shinbaku Books has done the honors for Blind Beast, and that title can be bought by following this link.

And, for something not-so-completely different, Tuttle Publishing has translated Lafcadio Hearn's Kwaidan into English, which will have you howling, "Kowai!" It can be purchased here.

With Halloween on the horizon, the time is right to crack open a few of these books! Break out those reading glasses today!

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