Book review: 『予知夢』 by Keigo Higashino

予知夢 (よちむ)
Title: 予知夢 (よちむ)
First published: 2000
Published: 2003
Format: Bunko
Series Number: 2
Page Count: 270
深夜、16歳の少女の部屋に男が侵入し、気がついた母親が猟銃を発砲した。とりおさえられた男は、17年前に少女と結ばれる夢を見たと主張する。その証拠は、男が小学四年生の時に書いた作文。果たして偶然か、妄想か…。常識ではありえない事件を、天才物理学者・湯川が解明する、シリーズ累計1320万部突破の人気連作ミステリー第二弾。

This collection of five short stories is the second book in the Galileo series. The short stories were first published between 1998 and 2000 in the magazine オール読物 (よみもの).

Review

This second book in the Galileo series is slightly different from the first one, 『探偵ガリレオ』. In my review of this first volume, I said that physics-related explanations were present in each story, and that they never really managed to trigger my interest nor to really convince me.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the stories in 『予知夢』 have taken a different direction. The scientific elements are dramatically reduced. Instead of presenting us with a problem that is apparently impossible and explain it with science, the short stories in 『予知夢』 present us with apparently supernatural phenomenons and explain them with logic, rationalism and deductions.

I found this book extremely addictive, I have read one short story a day, completely putting aside my other books. I love the theme of supernatural elements, and how it is explained in a rational way. I also start getting used to and liking the character of Yukawa, whom I did not particularly like in the first book. Overall, going through all these short stories allowed me to feel closer to the duo of protagonists.

If you want to read the Galileo series but are not particularly excited about physics and science, you could skip the first book and start the series with 『予知夢』 . In any case, 『予知夢』 is a book that I recommend, especially if you prefer reading short stories in Japanese instead of diving into a whole novel.

Other books in this series:
聖女の救済 (せいじょのきゅうさい)
探偵ガリレオ (たんていがりれお)1
容疑者Xの献身 (ようぎしゃ X の けんしん)3
ガリレオの苦悩 (がりれおのくのう)4