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Filling, but Light
The light novel version of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a mixed bag. Both Haruhi and Kyon are colorful characters, creating a dynamic which is amusing to see. However, the other three members: an extremely unemotionally girl, a passive girl that is constantly abused by Haruhi, and a boy that does nothing but smile—is a little too flat for my taste. Some more proactive characters would be nice.

Also, there seem to be some issues in translation. For example, sometimes I can't figure out who is speaking due to the absence of dialogue tags at times, and the references to American songs is a blatant attempt to dodge copyright issues. At least Kyon makes up for it with his clever commentary.

The first book was filling, but it was a little shallow.

So if you're a fan of the anime adaption or like a laid-back plot with slice-of-life, you may like this. Otherwise, go read a fantasy series. This is a little too post-modernism and genre-dependent for even a hardcore bookworm like me.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5
"Some more proactive characters would be nice." You mean more focus on characters like Ryoko Asakura? Yes, I think it would have improved the Haruhi franchise, though it is understandable why most SOS members are less proactive than we would like. After all, their main task is to observe Haruhi and observers are known for avoiding "needless" interference.
comment #9693 GrandPrincePaulII 3rd Sep 11
The dialogue confusion is not a translation issue. In the Japanese it is very hard to distinguish Kyon's internal monolog from what he says. There are fan theories that Haruhi and Itsuki are selectively responding to Kyon's thoughts.
comment #9701 hcobb 3rd Sep 11
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