Hardboiled and Hard Luck includes two novellas, that read more like introspective melancholic vignettes rather than typical short stories where externality matters; it doesn’t. Banana Yoshimoto has THE most gorgeous pen name ever and creates an interesting atmosphere, charged with warmth, sadness, doubt, love and fear. And ghosts.
That said, both stories felt like a work in progress to me at the end of the day. I suspect it has to do with the translation as well. The writing style is somewhat choppy and uneven and as my Japanese is sadly 100% nonexistent, I have no idea if the abruptness of the prose is intentional or not.
Eerie, quirky, dreamy, affecting, interesting.
And a little lost in translation.