Monday, March 29, 2010

『Kind Of Blue』

"Tragedy of errors.... When you look back over the case, it was a tragedy of errors for nearly everyone involved. The whole world is a tragedy of errors..."
"The Tragedy of Errors"

Ellery Queen's "Tragedy of..." series, of which to make things confusing, "The Tragedy of Errors", is not part of, rank amongst the best of Queen's work. The works are quite popular in Japan too, with several novels and anthologies named after the series. And of course, Queenian writer Norizuki Rintarou has his own "Tragedy of" series too. While I own the books already, they're back in the Netherlands, so I opted this week to listen to the radio play of Ni no Higeki ("The Tragedy of Two"). Because Queenian radio plays are always fun.

Ni no Higeki was, in retrospect, a decent story, but nothing more than that. It's very similar to a short story by Norizuki, in which the reading of a diary and the following deductions forms the main story. The style closely followed early Queen, that is, something was observed, deductions were made and then new development come along that prove or disprove the previous deductions, allowing new deductions to be made. Which is all fine and well, but because this was a 10-part radio play of 15 minutes, every 10 minutes something new came up, which was kinda annoying. Despite the many developments, the scope of the story was quite small, so the story quickly came to a Love Dodecahedron plot and nobody was who they should've been.

This is the simple version.

But was it worth a listening? Sure it was. I do think the story would've worked better in short story form and while the solution was kinda lame (which I suspect is resolved slightly less suddenly in the original novel), it did work in the frame of the story, which ends on very tragedic note. Which is something you of course should expect from a story with "The Tragedy of Two" as its title. It is no match of Queen's Tragedies in terms of detecting, but the title is a lot more fitting. 

Original Japanese title(s): 法月 綸太郎 『二の悲劇』

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