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Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir and Sarah Andersen
Devils in Daylight by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
Dragonfell by Sarah Prineas
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley
Gideon Falls, Volume 2: Original Sins by Jeff Lemire
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound by Elizabeth Eulberg
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Internment by Samira Ahmed
A Killer Edition by Lorna Barrett
Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino
My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong
Runaways, Volume 3: That Was Yesterday by Rainbow Rowell
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell
The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein
When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman and Peter Sís
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Miscellaneous
August 2019 Sources
August 2019 Summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 23)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 30)

Road Essays
Road Narrative Update for August 2019

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Devils in Daylight: 09/02/19

Devils in Daylight

Devils in Daylight by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki is a horror novella recently translated by Keith Vincent. He further explains the pun of the original Japanese title (白昼鬼語) and how he did his best to render it in English.

New media inspires re-examination of older media. Keeping in mind that this is a 1918 novel, the new media here is cinema. It had a late introduction to Japan but once it did, it took off.

Takahashi, a salaryman, has pulled an all-nighter and is surprised to receive a phone call from an old friend, Sonomara. Sonomara in a long, rambling monolog tells how he has cracked a cryptographic code based on Edgar Allan Poe's "Gold Bug." At the end of this long tale he invites Takahasmi to witness a murder. He says if he's wrong, they'll have a good laugh over it.

This is the point where Takahashi could have and should have said no. It would have been a really short, weird short story. Instead, he says yes. He leaves the safety of his life and his job and begins to lose himself in Sonomara's obsession.

The murder they go to view is something they watch in secret. They're watching through a peephole, like voyeurs. Back in 1918, the word voyeur would bring to mind men watching through holes at brothels. As cinema matured, it would come to mean men watching women on screen with a sexual gaze.

Again Takahashi could cut off ties with Sonomara but the trap has been set and he's now trapped in the same spiral of obsession as his friend. The narrator will become the next one obsessed with the code as Sonomara. Then as Sonomara becomes more and more involved in this murder plot, so will Takahashi.

It's a delightfully creepy and modern story that holds up a century later and in translation.

Five stars

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