The Pinch Runner Memorandum

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The Pinchrunner Memorandum (ピンチランナー調書, Pinchi rannā chōsho) is a 1976 novel by a Japanese novelist Kenzaburō Ōe. The novel concerns such modern themes as violence and restlessness of new age youth in the paranoia of the nuclear age.

Plot summary[edit]

In the novel, the father of a mentally ill child meets another parent of another disabled child, who is known throughout the book as "Mori's Father". Mori's Father tells the narrator of a chain of surrealistic incidents that happened to him and his son Mori. It seems that an alien supreme being or force has enabled Mori and his father to undergo a transformation, via which a 38-year-old father became 18 years old and an 8-year-old mentally disabled child became a 28-year-old fully intelligent person. (There is some logic to the arithmetic that 38-20=18 and 8+20=28.)

It seems Mori and his father have undertaken a mission to assassinate a certain Patron, who is manipulating and clashing two opposing youth groups, so that one of them may create a "dirty" nuclear bomb, threatening Tokyo and more, and thus place power into Patron's hands.

Literary significance & criticism[edit]

The novel reads like a feverish nightmare, and is full of unexpected twists and satire, yet it never neglects bringing to light the protagonists' emotional experiences and tragedies.[citation needed]

Ōe's personal life (his son Hikari is autistic) is an obvious strong influence on the novel.[citation needed]