In the Miso Soup - Ryu MurakamiI read this book before spending three months in Tokyo, wanting to know more about any and all aspects of the city and its people. Kenji, a young nightlife guide for foreigners, is hired by Frank, an American tourist looking to explore the hostess bars and sex clubs of Tokyo over New Year, nothing out of the ordinary. However, something about Frank seems off…has he even once told the truth? Either way, the money is too good for Kenji to pass up.

Murakami takes you on a tour through the shadier parts of the city, creating a setting that in itself puts you in a state of constant unease. By placing you inside the mind of Kenji, making you feel what he feels, questioning yourself and your ability to think rationally, Murakami makes you resonate with the main character on a level I personally hadn’t experienced before.

Set in Tokyo, Japan.

Recommended by Oskar Finnström.

Buy the book here.