In this new collection, Suzuki's skewed imagination distorts and enhances some of the classic concepts of science fiction and fantasy. A philandering husband receives a bestial punishment from a wife with her own secrets to keep; a music lover finds herself in a timeline both familiar and as wrong as can be; a misfit band of space pirates discover a mysterious baby among the stars; Emma, the Bovary-like character from one of Suzuki's stories in Terminal Boredom, lands herself in a bizarre romantic pickle.
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.
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.