The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (light novel), Paperback Book

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (light novel) Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (11 ratings)


Haruhism has seized the nation with the release of the highly successful animated series DVD that was one of the top ten bestselling anime properties in 2007.

Yen Press and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will publish the novel and manga series back-to-back, with hardcovers of the novels with the original Japanese cover art for libraries and hard core fans of the property.

When Haruhi Suzumiya introduces herself to Kyon by asking if he's an alien, time traveler, or psychic, he knows his chances for a normal high school experience are ruined.

Bold Haruhi takes a shine to him, and uses the force of her irrepressible personality to draft him into her club to find paranormal beings.

Kyon soon discovers what she's looking for: Haruhi herself has the power to destroy and create entire universes at her whim.

But if she knew about her ability, it could spell disaster for everyone.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780316039024

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Showing 1 - 5 of 11 reviews.

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Review by

Attention American Rearers: You WILL experience culture shock while reading this novel. If you are unfamiliar with the inner-workings of Japanese private schools, the way sexuality is portrayed in their books and films, or have never read an imported comic book, you’re going to have to keep an open mind when reading The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. But, if you’re willing to try something different, this novel is a real treat. One boy’s mundane existence is thrown upside down when he starts high school in the same class as Haruhi, a girl rumored to be a little strange, and who tells the class she’d like to meet people interested in aliens, espers, and time-travellers. Because she demands it, they start a club, the S.O.S. brigade, and soon are off on fruitless – if exhausting – adventures in town. But what Haruhi and her cohorts don’t know is that our universe’s very existence is in her hands. And it may be in danger. Tanigawa’s novel is the beginning of a promising series – come find out why Japan already loves the S.O.S. brigade so dearly!

Review by

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is the first in a series of Japanese light novels that gave rise to the anime by the same name, which is a massive hit. I loved the anime a lot. It was great fun and refreshing. The basic story follows Kyon, a normal high school student, who is pulled into association with Haruhi Suzumiya, a girl who is only interested in aliens, time travelers and ESPers. However, Haruhi isn't a normal girl even thought she herself doesn't realise it, and why is Kyon involved in her adventures? As said before, I'm a big fan of the anime, but some of this novel was definetley not to my taste. The book, from Kyon's point of view, constantly draws attention to how young and innocent Mikuru-chan is and how scared and upset she is and, consequentially, how attracted to her this makes Kyon. It's a little disturbing. Also, some of the translaitons were a little dubious. Mouthes were repeatley described as forming an upside down v (how does a mouth do that?) and I remember at one place running across "..." in place of speech. The story is still funand worth reading, but I'd recomend the anime interpretation above the novel, personally.

Review by

Kyon had given up all his childish fantasies before entering middle school. Starting high school he had no ambitions beyond getting up the steep hill to his classes. Things started looking more interesting when he notices the cute girl sitting behind him. The only problem is that when she introduces herself as being in search of aliens, time travelers, sliders and espers, it is clear she is a little off her rocker....or is she?The idea that the creation and destruction of life, the universe and everything could lie in the hands of a high school girl is a little too horrifying to contemplate. Add in the fact that said high school girl turns out to be a sadistic lunatic in a sailor suit and things just get really scary. There are parts of this book that I really like, the wild theories, Haruhi's determination in finding weird things to make every day life more exciting and many of Kyon's one-off lines all made this an enjoyable read. The plot was really out there and very imaginative with a story that is quick and fun. Not so enjoyable was Haruhi's harassment of Asahina which was too alarming to be charming and everyone else's complicity (not to mention Kyon's secret enjoyment of it) in allowing it to happen was disturbing as well. As far as the translation itself went, it struck me as pretty seamless. Very nicely done. Generally an interesting story with some great quirks but also some disturbing issues.

Review by

When I lent this book to my brother the other day, I tried to give him a synopsis without spoiling any of the plot. He had never heard of the Haruhi Suzumiya series before, so I wanted to tell him enough to interest him, but not give away major plot points. What I ended up with was "it's about this guy, Kyon, who meets a girl named Haruhi on the first day of school. Haruhi is super hot, but the first thing out of her mouth is that she doesn't want to have anything to do with anyone unless they're an alien, time traveler, slider, or esper. She's kind of a bitch, but really hot, and Kyon can't help but speak to her. At one point, he inadvertently suggests that if she's interested in meeting aliens, &amp;c, she should start a club with the purpose of finding them. Haruhi decides that is a <i>great</i> idea and promptly tells Kyon that he's the first member. Somehow, totally unknowingly, the other people she strong-arms into joining are . . . an alien, time-traveler, and an esper. But Haruhi doesn't know this and <i>can't</i> know this, and the book is about why that is and why it's so important."My summary was a little bit messed up, because Kyon doesn't really suggest a club to find aliens, &amp;c., and instead just suggests that Haruhi create her own club if she finds all the others in the school too boring. It's just that the kind Haruhi wants to create would do just that. She's an interesting character, though a bit of a bitch.But the reason I was so excited about lending the book to my brother and not giving away anything too important is that I <i>love</i> this story. Well, I love the series and this book is part of it.There are a lot of things about <i>The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya</i> that would have made me want to read it, had I known nothing else, but the biggest is that the point of view character is a completely unreliable narrator. I frigging love unreliable narrators, and this one is done quite well. I find that unreliable narrators give books a lot of rereadability, in addition to making the initial read a lot of fun.The second thing I love is the sciencey plot. I guess that technically, the book is science fiction or fantasy, but because it's more like "sf/f invade an ordinary boy's life" it doesn't really feel like it to me? But, then, <i>Melancholy</i> does cross genre boundaries - it's also a mystery and a romance and a slice-of-life story. The romance is pretty background, though, because of the unreliability of Kyon's narration.The third thing I love is, again, the narrator. Kyon has a dry sense of humor and is often sarcastic or snarky in the narration. He is fun to read, and the asides are great, especially when someone responds and it isn't entirely clear if he spoke the thought aloud, or if he's tweaking the story slightly to match the flow of his thoughts. (Again: unreliable narrator = ?!)I have to say, though, that as fun as <i>Melancholy</i> is to read, it isn't easy. Partly it's because you can't always trust the narrator (or Koizumi, the esper, who explains things to Kyon), but partly it's because of the explanations of supernatural events. I found myself having to go back and reread passages a few times in order to better understand exactly what was being described - Tanigawa and the translators weren't shy of using big words or science jargon as necessary (then again, I do like that aspect of the book).I want to heartily recommend <i>Melancholy</i> to everyone, but I know that not everyone is as crazy for unreliable narrators as I am, and not everyone cares for this kind of science fiction/fantasy/mystery story, and since it's something of a prologue to a long series, a lot of people won't want to invest time in it. Plus, I'm sure that a lot of people would absolutely hate Haruhi (because she's a bitch - but she gets better!), and though Kyon is the central character, the story revolves around her.

Review by

The book that the 2006 hit anime was based upon, 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya' comes translated to the US in paperback form. An enjoyable light read, even for those who've' already seen the anime, though the story is practically identical and would not generate any new surprises for those familiar with the show.

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