No Longer Human
by Osamu Dazai (read by David Shih)
Trantor Audio (audiobook)
There are many reasons to listen to David Shih’s reading of No Longer Human. Published in serial form in 1948, the book is a modern classic of Japanese literature and a bestseller, with almost seven million copies sold. Divided into three sections, this impressionistic chronicle of Oba Yozo’s battle with depression, insularity and life in post-war Japan doubles as thinly veiled autobiography. Dazai reached the height of his popularity (with 1947’s Shayo, translated as The Setting Sun) just as his life had descended into a hell of alcoholism, illness and an affair with Tomie Yamazaki. This culminated in a suicide pact not long after No Longer Human was concluded. This is uneasy listening and will haunt you long after the poignant conclusion.