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Narrated by the irreverent, angry, despairing yet determined Detective Minami of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, Tokyo Year Zero tells the riveting, complex story of the hunt for Kodaira Yoshio - known as the Japanese Bluebeard - a decorated former Imperial soldier who raped and murdered at least 10 women amidst the turmoil of Tokyo between May 1945 and August 1946. And it is the story of Detective Minami, chasing down, and haunted by, his own memories of atrocities that he can no longer explain or forgive.
It is also a chilling portrait of a city - and a nation - going through a hellish period in its history: the despair and shame of its citizens, the disintegration of the social fabric, the physical devastation of the landscape. The novel takes place in a noir, twilight world, and shows us the terrifying contrast between the polite, highly codified society of Japan and the painful rawness beneath.
A story told with demanding power, written in a telegraphic, darkly lyrical language, shot through with wry humor, unblinking in its vision of the chaos left in the wake of war and of the moral and psychological corruption it engenders - Tokyo Year Zero is blistering and unforgettable, a stunningly original crime novel.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ron on 01-09-11
A difficult book that is not worth the effort
Mark Bramhall does a good job with the material and I think that the Blackstone production is excellent.
The material however is excessively stylized - the use of repetition is so extreme as to become quickly ridiculous. The phrase "I itch and I scratch. Gari-gari." alone is repeated several hundred times. The author's "idiosyncratic voice" is more like the sound of dentist's drill, which is to say deeply irritating.
The book is affective as an audiobook - if the desired affect is to experience mental illness first hand, but there's no enjoyment in it on any level.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful