Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Train Man

Train Man: The story of the Train Man who fell in love with the girl, Hermes
By Nakano Hitori (Author's Website)
Translated by Bonnie Elliott
Publisher: Robinson Publishing
Published: June 2006
ISBN-13: 9781845293512
403 pages

Train Man is a compilation from Japan's 2-Channel chat forum, the world's largest message board and the most popular website in Japan (more about 2-Channel in Wikipedia). The author, Nakano Hitori is a pseudonym created from Naka no Hitori (中の一人), meaning "one of those people." The true identity of the Train Man remains a secret.

The narrator: No way could anybody have known that this board, commonly composed of banal postings, was about to morph into a support group and fan club for Train Man.

Here's how the book looks like inside

It all begin when a shy, young man saves a girl from a drunk man on a train. Back home, he posts his story on the chat forum like any ordinary chat post without expecting any response. Somehow, the thread grows and grows, and so his story gains a faithful following by fellow Netizens. They, too, are eager to know the progress of his relationship with Hermes, the girl whom he met in the train. These virtual friends offer him advice and support, and also poke fun at him but all in good spirit. Train Man learns to overcome his chronic shyness and exercises courage. Hermes is an extremely sweet and understanding girl.

I have totally enjoyed this one and finished it in one sitting. Love the chatroom format of the book and seeing all the support shown by the geek Netizens towards Train Man was heartwarming. And funny too. I'm glad I picked it up!