Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Forbidden Colours

Forbidden Colours by Yukio Mishima

I read Forbidden Colours by Yukio Mishima in March 2016

Forbidden Colours is a book by Japanese author Yukio Mishima published in 1951. Mishima is considered one of the most important authors of Japanese 20th century literature, and although he was never awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature he was considered several times. His books blended the modern and traditional, focusing on death, sexuality and Japanese nationalism.

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Book Review: One Summer

One Summer by Bill Bryson

I read One Summer by Bill Bryson in February 2016

The summer of 1927 was an extraordinary summer in America. Charles Lindbergh was the first one to fly non-stop across the pacific ocean, Babe Ruth was hitting home-runs like never before, America was the center of the world. The richest, most powerful country that ever existed. The stock market was booming, the future looked promising.

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Book Review: After the Quake

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

I read After the Quake by Haruki Murakami in February 2016

In 1995 the Great Hanshin earthquake hit the city of Kobe and the surrounding regions. Over six thousand people died, more than a third of them from Kobe. Almost 400.000 buildings were destroyed by the earthquake. Japan was stunned, the stock market plummeted the next day.

Murakami’s short story collection, After the Quake revolves around Kobe and the earthquake. None of the six stories take place in the city of Kobe, but somehow the story is connected to Kobe and the earthquake. Some of the protagonists have friends or family in Kobe, others watch the quake on the news. Kobe binds the six stories together.

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

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Book Review: A History of Japan

A History of Japan by R.H.P. Mason and J.G. Caiger

I read A History of Japan in January 2016

A History of Japan tries to tell the whole history of Japan within 400 pages, quite a formidable job, and actually does a very good job.

The book covers Japanese history from the time of legend, up until World War Two, the occupation and the economic miracle in the second half of the 20th century.

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Book Review: Sixty-Nine

Sixty-Nine By Ryu Murakami

I read Sixty-Nine by Ryu Murakami in June 2015

Ryu Murakami has often been called the Japanese Brett Easton Ellis, his novels filled with sex, drugs, crime and the Japanese underworld. Sixty-Nine is his third novel, first published in 1987. The novel a coming-of-age story with autobiographical elements.

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Book Review: Through Another Europe

Through Another Europe: An Anthology on Travel Writing on the Balkans. Edited by Andrew Hammond.

I read Through Another Europe in June 2015

Through Another Europe is a book about the Balkans. The Balkans is an area where I haven’t travelled a lot, but which I would love to visit. I have only been in the Balkans twice. Five years ago, in August 2010, I visited Dubrovnik, earlier this year I visited Sarajevo. I loved both places and soon I have to return to the Balkans for a longer visit.

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Book Review: A Traveller’s History of Japan.

A Traveller’s History of Japan By Richard Tames

I read A Traveller’s History Japan by Richard Tames in June 2015

A Traveller’s History of Japan gives a quick overview of Japan‘s history. From the myths and legend still being told today, the Jomon Culture, the influence from China and Korea, the Meiji restoration through to the Second World War and the Japanese miracle after the war.

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Book Review: Tokyo Underworld

Tokyo Underworld: The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan
By Robert Whiting

I read Tokyo Underworld by Robert Whiting in June 2015

Tokyo Underworld tells the strange and interesting story about Nick Zappetti, a native New Yorker who moved to Japan as part of the invasion forces after the Second World War. Working his way up the criminal ladder, in time he became known as ‘the Mafia boss of Tokyo’.

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