Quite an eye-oopener. It was a fairly gripping read, interesting but I probably won't read it again
I’d have to say this one was a total eye opener and it felt like a whole new world was opened and you got to see a glimpse of it in a matter of 352 pages. Even that wasn’t enough, I thought. I just wanted to know more about a country I know really nothing about.
What I really liked about the book is Adelstein takes the time to explain to the reader the social customs and practices the Japanese have in their society and he does so with concise clear detail which does not deviate from the main narrative and it’s very straight to the point. It gives the reader a good understanding on Japanese culture and custom, while at the same time providing an entertaining read. I really did enjoy the narrative voice throughout the book. It wasn’t boring, or dry. It was fun, entertaining and when it got down to the serious moments it had the appropriate change of tone that I thought was well done.
The funny moments in the book were just that. Extremely hilarious. The martial arts battle mentioned above has to be my favorite moment of the book. Picturing it, and reading it just made it altogether really funny and I found myself laughing out loud at that particular scene. There are plenty of funny moments all throughout the book, there’s plenty of jibes towards Adelstein by his co-workers and friends that produce a chuckle from the reader, an added bonus is the fact that he’s just learning the ropes of becoming a journalist. It’s like ‘picking on the rookie’ theme throughout the first half of the book.
As the book progresses, it does take a turn from funny to more seedy, and eventually to deadly serious. It’s a gradual change, and I liked it as it was a very smooth transition without a blip. When the narrative did get serious, it suddenly felt as if you were a child who thought playing a game wasn’t fun anymore. The comedy was out of the picture, replaced with a much darker theme and suddenly things just didn’t seem so happy anymore. The ending leaves the reader empty and sad, yet praises go to Adelstein for finding a worthy cause to support. Do note however there are violent descriptions, and sexual descriptions in the book (it’s to be expected considering the subject matter).
I definitely recommend this book for those curious about the underbelly of Japan and organized crime. It’s not what you think it is as depicted in movies. Read this as an eye opener, but also read it for entertainment as well. It’s a wonderful narrative with a serious message in the end. You can’t get anything better than this....Continua