I read in the New York Review of Books or the New York Times that a book called Tokyo Year Zero, about a serial killer in post World War II Japan, is the best novel of 2007. It was written by a foreigner who lives in Japan named David Peace. I´m sold. I go to Barnes and Noble, walk to the second floor, find the book, take it, walk back down to the first floor, take out twenty dollars, pay for the book and then walk back home. I itch and I scratch. Gari-gari. It´s raining. Za-za. Za-za. I open the book. The first page is confusing, but maybe the author is just trying to set a mood. I go along with it. Keep on reading. I itch and I scratch. Gari-gari. A group of Japanese policemen kill a Korean yobo. I don´t know what a yobo is. Luckily, the book comes with a small glossary of Japanese words. Detective Minami, our protagonist, is introduced. The rain keeps on falling on my windowsill. Za-za. Za-za. Peace writes about ravaged Tokyo. It´s hard not to find his view captivating. At the beginning, at least. Tokyo is grey, Tokyo smells, Tokyo is humid and hot. I itch and I scratch. Gari-gari. Detective Minami finds a couple of dead girls. One is putrid, the other just bones. Tokyo is greyer, Tokyo stinks, Tokyo is hotter than it was twenty pages ago. Peace starts repeating phrases, onomatopeic Japanese words, like gari gari or za-za. It´s hard not to find his style captivating. At the beginning, at least. Minami catches the killer, who might not be the killer, who might be Minami, or Takeda, or Kodaira, Higashi, or any of the one thousand Japanese names that Peace mentions and that I can´t seem to remember. I itch and I scratch. Gari gari. The rain keeps falling. Za-za. Za-za. Tokyo is grey, Tokyo smells, Tokyo is blazing hot, Tokyo is rotting. Minami is rotting. Minami has a mistress. Minami has a wife. Minami scratches and itches. Gari-gari. The book starts losing steam. Or maybe I´m not reading it right. Peace keeps on repeating the same phrases, the same metaphors, the same onomatopeic words. Is it me, or is it hard to find his view captivating? Minami goes to brothels, Minami visits the yakuza, Minami is fucking crazy, Minami is a narrator that I can´t trust. Minami walks through Tokyo. Tokyo is grey, humid, dank. I decide that Tokyo sucks. Another indecipherable page. A page filled with bang, bang, bang, bang`s. I start to question whether this is writing or just bullshit. And I itch and I scratch. Gari gari. And Minami itches and scratches. Gari gari. He´s real itchy. He likes to scratch. There´s lice in Tokyo. I get it. Peace thinks otherwise. He keeps repeating phrases, onomatopeic Japanese words. I don´t find his style captivating anymore. It stops raining outside. No more za-za. I wish someone could give Detective Minami some ointment. I won´t find out, though. I close the book. I go outside. New York is grayish. It doesn´t smell that much. It´s sort of hot. I go to Barnes and Noble. And buy myself a proper novel.