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From the Fatherland With Love [Paperback]

Ryu Murakami
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

21 Nov 2013

An ambitious, epic dystopian novel - part political thriller and part satire.

From the Fatherland, with Love is set in an alternative, dystopian present in which the dollar has collapsed and Japan's economy has fallen along with it. The North Korean government, sensing an opportunity, sends a fleet of rebels in the first land invasion that Japan has ever faced. Japan can't cope with the surprise onslaught of Operation From the Fatherland, with Love . But the terrorist Ishihara and his band of renegade youths - once dedicated to upsetting the Japanese government - turn their deadly attention to the North Korean threat. They will not allow Fukuoka to fall without a fight. Epic in scale, From the Fatherland, with Love is laced throughout with Murakami's characteristically savage violence. It's both a satisfying thriller and a completely mad, over-the-top novel like few others.

Translated by Ralph McCarthy, Charles De Wolf and Ginny Tapley Takemori, and published by Pushkin Press


'A troubled meditation on the soul of modern Japan... Alarmingly pertinent in light of current British politics... A morbidly funny comedy... Above all, it is a phenomenal feat of storytelling 700 pages, dozens of characters and scores of ideas woven into one gripping whole.' Andrzej Lukowski, Metro

'This is a novel by the other Murakami. Not Haruki... If Haruki is The Beatles of Japanese literature, Ryu is its Rolling Stones... [From the Fatherland, with Love] has a Tolstoyan cast of characters, from crack North Korean commandos and hapless Japanese bureaucrats to a gang of hoodlums who eventually decide to save Japan. It unfolds with the pace of a thriller...'

David Pilling, Financial TImes

'Massively ambitious and uncompromising... prescient in unexpected ways'

Joanne Hayden, Sunday Business Post

''[Mixes] the thrills of a spy novel with some national soul-searching'

Lionel Barber, Financial Times, Summer Books

'Definitely edgier and darker than Haruki [Ryu Murakami] has a worldwide following and is regarded by many as one of the most thrilling writers of contemporary Japanese fiction... [He] offers a thrilling insight with a geopolitical panoramic view into national character, human relationships, chaos and disorder'  Tatevik Sargsyan, Hunger Magazine

'Like nothing else out there... a Japanese Tarantino... Highly addictive' Morpheus Tales

Born in 1952 in Nagasaki prefecture, Ryu Murakami is the enfant terrible of contemporary Japanese literature. Awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1976 for his first book, a novel about a group of young people drowned in sex and drugs, he has gone on to explore with cinematic intensity the themes of violence and technology in contemporary Japanese society. His novels include Coin Locker Babies, Sixty-Nine, Popular Hits of the Showa Era, Audition and In the Miso Soup. Murakami is also a screenwriter and a director; his films include Tokyo Decadence, Audition and Because of You.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Pushkin Press (21 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908968494
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908968494
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 158,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in 1952 in Nagasaki prefecture, Ryu Murakami is the enfant terrible of contemporary Japanese literature. Awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1976 for his first book, a novel about a group of young people drowned in sex and drugs, he has gone on to explore with cinematic intensity the themes of violence and technology in contemporary Japanese society. His novels include Coin Locker Babies, Sixty-Nine, Popular Hits of the Showa Era, Audition, In the Miso Soup and From the Fatherland, with Love. Murakami is also a screenwriter and a director; his films include Tokyo Decadence, Audition and Because of You.



Photo credits: Joi Ito

Product Description

Review

'A troubled meditation on the soul of modern Japan... Alarmingly pertinent in light of current British politics... A morbidly funny comedy... Above all, it is a phenomenal feat of storytelling 700 pages, dozens of characters and scores of ideas woven into one gripping whole.' Andrzej Lukowski, Metro

'This is a novel by the other Murakami. Not Haruki... If Haruki is The Beatles of Japanese literature, Ryu is its Rolling Stones... [From the Fatherland, with Love] has a Tolstoyan cast of characters, from crack North Korean commandos and hapless Japanese bureaucrats to a gang of hoodlums who eventually decide to save Japan. It unfolds with the pace of a thriller...'

David Pilling, Financial TImes

'Massively ambitious and uncompromising... prescient in unexpected ways'

Joanne Hayden, Sunday Business Post

''[Mixes] the thrills of a spy novel with some national soul-searching'

Lionel Barber, Financial Times, Summer Books

'Definitely edgier and darker than Haruki [Ryu Murakami] has a worldwide following and is regarded by many as one of the most thrilling writers of contemporary Japanese fiction... [He] offers a thrilling insight with a geopolitical panoramic view into national character, human relationships, chaos and disorder'  Tatevik Sargsyan, Hunger Magazine

'Like nothing else out there... a Japanese Tarantino... Highly addictive'

--Morpheus Tales

About the Author

Born in 1952 in Nagasaki prefecture, Ryu Murakami is the enfant terrible of contemporary Japanese literature. Awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1976 for his first book, a novel about a group of young people drowned in sex and drugs, he has gone on to explore with cinematic intensity the themes of violence and technology in contemporary Japanese society. His novels include Coin Locker Babies, Sixty-Nine, Popular Hits of the Showa Era, Audition and In the Miso Soup and From the Fatherland, with Love. Murakami is also a screenwriter and a director; his films include Tokyo Decadence, Audition and Because of You.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best 26 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is worth reading for fans of Murakami. Very promising sounding storyline - N.Korean soldiers occupy a southern Japanese city and look set to take over the whole of the south island, Kyushu, while a band of damaged, dangerous and deranged adolescents watch from their hideout, initially in excitement, but then in anger and plan to take action after the government proves inadequate to the task. Has a lot of Murakami's hallmarks and a host of interesting characters. Unfortunately, it also has a much larger host of dull, inconsequential characters who do and add nothing. Murakami is at his best describing crazy kids doing crazy things. When it comes to describing government workers and the workings of government...well, it's just not him and it shows. The novel's also far too long - should've been edited down to about half its length, which could have made it into something great.
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By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book has two main facets in my opinion - first of all, the concept, which is nothing short of spectacular; and then the execution, which tries to make as much use of the author's extensive research into the topic as possible, making the book something for the relatively dedicated.

The main premise - namely the occupation of Fukuoka by a 'rebel' North Korean army - is truly interesting. The author had to alter reality somewhat to make it more credible but the Japan of the book is not so far fetched as to immediately meet with resistance in a moderately well informed reader. Unemployment is up to about 10%, there is talk of rearming, relationships with the US and China are more strained and the savings have partially collapsed.

Into this environment the invasion is introduced. While the idea of it is excellent (like for example in Red Tide: The Chinese Invasion of Seattle (Occupied Seattle Book 1)), the execution does not lag behind in its quality, either (very unlike Red Tide: The Chinese Invasion of Seattle (Occupied Seattle Book 1)). The focus is much less on the military aspect than could be expected, even though the author spends long stretches covering the details of various armaments and the military organization. Instead, the author focuses much more intensively on the the mentalities of both the Japanese population under occupation, the Japanese government and the North Korean military - especially the occupying rebel army (in that sense it reminds me somewhat of the approach used in Peters' Red Army).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Murakami's `From the Fatherland, With Love' is an action packed page turner. The detail on North Korea, weaponry, Japanese culture and much beside, is well researched and engaging.

The Japanese government and other world powers are pusillanimous, feeble and weak in dealing with the brutal North Korean invasion of Fukuoka. Societies constrained by the consideration of human rights lack the ruthlessness needed to deal with the KEF. Only a bunch of displaced Japanese psychos can match the KEF's brutality. We've been there before in human society. Murakami raises the spectre of a new mutation in social evolution returning us to the primacy of violent conquest where enlightened society is powerless and overthrown.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic 18 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a large novel with a forbidding cast of characters at the beginning which mustn't put you off for characterisation is the key here. Although this seems like a book with a serious political message at times and like weapon-porn at others, it is just a great story of the personal experiences of many put in an unusual situation.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Huge, engrossing and a little bit bonkers 19 May 2013
Format:Hardcover
Based on the book blurb, From The Fatherland, With Love sounds like a standard by-the-numbers thriller, but that description couldn't be further from the truth. This novel features an alternate vision of the Earth where things are subtly different.

The brazen North Korean invasion-plan quickly gathers pace as the local authorities, rather ineffectually, run around like headless chickens allowing the Korean special forces to gain a foothold on Japanese soil. Things go from bad to worse as a second larger wave of troops arrive and the government still fails to take any action. Their inability to make any decisions allows the invaders to control the entire town of Fukuoka while awaiting the arrival of another one hundred and twenty thousand soldiers.

This situation results in some wonderfully dark moments, mostly due the serious culture clashes that exist between the two nations. The North Koreans, having spent a long time isolated from the rest of the world, are stunned by some of the things they see and experience when they first reach Japan. The outlandish lifestyles that they witness leave them all reeling.

"Many of the men and women looked vulgar, with hair dyed in the manner of Westerners, absorbing the effluence of decadent Western music, and consuming Western food and drink. There was even a man with an earring, as though he were a woman."

With the authorities at a loss, it's left up to a local collective of anarchists, led by a poet, to take matters into their own hands. This group is more than keen to take on the Koreans in their own inimitable style; think the Wolverines from Red Dawn with slightly more sociopathic tendencies.

The gang's leader, Ishihara is a bit of an enigma.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and unique
The plot is in equal parts absurd and chillingly plausible; the fallout from the economic crisis has well and truly shaken up the global political landscape, the dollar has... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing
Ok, all the different names can be confusing but there's a cheat sheet at the front and really that's not a good enough reason not to read this stunning experience of a book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by LolaM
5.0 out of 5 stars This as a book should come with a warning Not Recommended by the...
This book originally came out in Japan in 2005, placing the story in what would have been the near future, in a time of severe economic crisis, with the yen worth next to nothing,... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome!
A brilliantly original and thrilling book, brutal and shocking at times but always riveting. For anyone with an interest in politics and war history, you'd be as mad as a box of... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paul Withe
5.0 out of 5 stars A dystopian world that is perfect
From The Fatherland, With Love is big. Kindle gives locations that exceed 10,000 (if that means nothing to you, it probably soon will...). Read more
Published 14 months ago by MisterHobgoblin
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much detail
Haven't finished this yet but am struggling badly with it. Too many lists of people, government officials,types of guns, bullets etc that the story disappears. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Suzanne Cornyn
4.0 out of 5 stars A geo-political thriller from Murakami
Having read a few of Murakami's books,I was interesting to see how his laconic style would work when tackling the widesweeping issues related to the credit crunch that set the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Alasdair Pratt
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling and shocking read, totally engaging
From the Fatherland With Love is a vast novel (664 pages), written on an epic scale, an alternative reality novel describing the events surrounding the invasion of and economically... Read more
Published 16 months ago by A Common Reader
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