The Tatami Galaxy

HarperAudio. Dec. 2022. tr. from Japanese by Emily Balistrieri. 8:44 hrs. ISBN 9780063158474. $27.99. F
Morimi’s (Fox Tales) recursive novel takes listeners through a dizzying Groundhog Day–like plot, where a messy god of love allows an unnamed third-year student at Kyoto University to travel through four parallel realities, exploring the different paths that he might have taken as a first-year college student. The student hopes to have his crush return his affection, but beyond that, he also welcomes the chance to realize his potential in life. A novel that offers variations on the same plot again and again might have been incredibly boring. This audio is always stimulating, however, as narrator Andrew Grace skillfully employs different shades of emotion to create new worlds with each iteration. While Grace voices many characters pleasantly and believably, this is one of those audiobooks where annoying people are narrated annoyingly—notably Ozu, the student’s lousy friend, who is a central character, which means that listeners are frequently subjected to his unpleasant voice; this may be a point of difficulty for some.
VERDICT Grace’s accomplished narration combined with Morimi’s entertaining plot provide an absorbing listening experience. Will please fans of the award-winning anime series that was inspired by the novel.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing