An enjoyably acidic and darkly funny set of stories in which the novelty is not always so much in the ideas as in the consistently engaging execution. Suzuki’s distinctly misanthropic voice enlivens these narratives of women whose mundane lives are altered — sometimes humorously, sometimes catastrophically — by science-fictional or supernatural occurrences ... If the story feels bloated, Suzuki and the translator (David Boyd, in this instance) nevertheless capture the strange beauty of the language of fannish subcultures, precise and deeply knowledgeable, impenetrable to the uninitiated but attractive enough to sometimes snare the curious ... Though cynicism pervades this collection, it isn’t absolute.
Has the could-it-be-prescience that renders good science fiction both captivating and uncanny. At the same time, it often feels so rooted in the '60s and '70s that it could have emerged from a time capsule ... Hit Parade of Tears' best stories are those that speak directly to the troubles of Suzuki's moment ... Hit Parade of Tears' more abstract stories drag; those without a political underpinning often feel underbaked or immature ... But even when Hit Parade of Tears is missing a layer of sophistication, its prose is strong and clear, a message from the past that has, thanks to her stellar team of translators, arrived here asking to be heard.
Funnier, more electric and more hit-and-miss. I like it so much better [than Terminal Boredom] ... Suzuki’s narratives might contain B-movie silliness. They also have the hypnotic power of a bender. Just look at the time — you’ve suddenly finished them all.
Moody, deliriously humorous ... Though each story stands on its own, there are elements that draw them together ... While the women of Hit Parade of Tears occupy the traditional feminine roles of wives, mothers, and sexual objects, they are not held to stereotypical ideals of femininity when it comes to their emotions and motivations, which makes this a thought-provoking and relevant read for feminists interested in non-Western perspectives ... Suzuki’s stories, stripped of their malice, would be similarly inert. At a time when so much literature feels sanitized, when we are reevaluating what has a ‘place’ in literature, Suzuki’s voice is boldly abrasive. Her characters are judgmental and malicious, sexual and murderous and apathetic. They are filled with life. In Hit Parade of Tears, this is not a coincidence; it’s our malice that lets us burn.
The stories range in tone and structure, from short pieces of only a few, elliptical pages to longer, sustained works that indulge in alienation, campy humor, or both. This collection feels slightly more scattered than the previous volume, perhaps a reflection of Suzuki’s wide and varying range. Some of the standout entries reflect Suzuki’s work as a cultural critic ... The continuing translation of Suzuki’s work is extremely exciting, as it helps to provide a more thorough picture of a dynamic and experimental artist whose work parallels some of the most important work of the 1970s new wave, cyberpunk, and beyond.
This collection reaches out from the past not as a warning so much as the musings of a writer grasping for hope in a dark world. Though the stories mostly end too abruptly, the tone is set and the mood will linger. These 11 stories surprise with wry humor and stun with the loneliness of living.