The sarin attack in Tokyo on 20 March 1995 expressed in the eyes of the victims, not of the media. Haruki depicted how one-sided the media can be. In this book, he aimed to give the readers a taste of how the victims actually felt during the attack, no fabrication whatsoever, it is just the true experiences of the victims.
There are around 60 interviews recorded in the first part of the book, mostly the accounts of the victims of the sarin attack. The book (the interviewees) critiques the flaw in the emergency system of Japan, the lack of efficiency in medical information transfer, the negligence formed by the society.
The sturdiness of Japaneses’ heart for their work is strongly shown in most of the interviewees, although the sarin attack hit them, they insisted in going to work despite not in any shape to do so. There is a part that hit me the most which is a domino effect from the attack, turning an individual into a vegetable and threw the family into despair.
The second part of the book brought the mindset of the Aum cult- the ones that carried out the sarin attack- into light. Their mindsets are surprisingly not much different from the people who lead ordinary lives, and they mostly think too logically, namely overthinking. They just did not fit into the society, so they sought for solace in a cult (which requires a huge amount of payment per month- 30,000 yen). Do not be surprised if your neighbour is in a cult.
I rate this book a solid 4 out of 5 because of the various perspective that the author take heart into gathering and making sure that what he writes truly displays the interviewees’ viewpoint. I have not read such an honest piece of journalism in quite a while, this is what journalism should be, not some manipulated shit.