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In Search of a Distant Voice [Paperback]

Taichi Yamada , Michael Emmerich
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
Price: £6.63 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2007
A woman is trying to contact Kasama Tsuneo at a crisis point in his life. But she won't reveal her identity. Kasama is an immigration officer in Tokyo, struggling to live a 'normal' life after an event that happened eight years previously, when he lived in the USA. His arranged marriage is looming, and he's seized by a strange emotional fit. And then the disembodied voice begins. All Tsuneo can do is desperately chase this woman, and the mystery behind what happened eight years earlier over the sea.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New Ed edition (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571229727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571229727
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 281,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'Highly recommended.' David Mitchell"

Book Description

The new hauntingly poignant novel from the author of the cult hit Strangers.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read 16 Mar 2008
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Quirky, spellbinding, surreal, haunting, supernatural are words I would use to all describe this amazingly compelling novel.

Kazama Tsuneo is an immigration officer in Tokyo, struggling to come to terms with a dark secret that happened 8 years previously when he was living illegally in America. He starts to hear a woman's voice in his head. Is he having a supernatural experience? Is she a ghost? Or is he suffering the effects of being bi-polar? The story follows him trying to trace this voice and it comes to a weird, yet satisfying conclusion. This book was a page-turner for me and I highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very tame and dull. 16 Aug 2009
By James
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Unsettling" , "ethereal", "shivery, seat-edged stuff" say the reviewers. If ever there was a reason to ignore the glowing reviews that decorate the covers of works of fiction, this is it.

At no point did this book come across as shivery or unsettling. As the title suggests - this chap spends most of the time seeking out the source of a voice inside his head - which would be fine if the voice had any kind of mystery or intrigue about it; their conversations are dull, as is the woman he speaks to and by the end of the book I couldn't care less about the outcome.

Ironically the quote that adorns the back cover is the only accurate representation of the book:

"Lately... I've been hearing a voice."

And that's pretty much it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle but enjoyable 11 April 2009
Format:Paperback
The book was a lot shorter than I expected it to be but it was an enjoyable read for me on two train journeys (as I finished it already) it is kinda original but subtle throughout, it was quite interesting even though it takes a short while to get to the point, quite hard to give a review as it's hard not to give anything away, but I do reccomend it, not one for younger readers though as it could be quite boring for them. It is a very hopeful novel giving you a good thought and feeling at the end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven but thought-provoking. 9 Dec 2006
By Scarface - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a quick and entertaining read about a Japanese company man haunted by his past and a 'voice' which continues to speak to him in his head interfering with his life.

Though most of the book is interesting, it doesn't quite add up to a complete whole. There is a large section about the protagonists life in America, but we are left wondering exactly what significance this all has with other main thread of the book: the voice he hears in his head. The book is also let down by some abrupt shifts from third to first person viewpoint which are at times, jarring.

However, this is an easy read and contained enough food for thought to keep me turning the pages. I preferred his first book translated to English: 'Strangers', however, because it was more coherent as a piece.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise 9 July 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Yamada's book, Strangers. This work, however, leaves me very confused. The basic story is that of an immigration officer in Japan, his feelings of guilt over his job, plus his moral responsibility for a terrible event that happened during some time spent in the USA some years previously. He begins to hear a voice that is apparently real, trying to contact him. But somehow, this just doesn't work for me. And I just didn't feel that the end would work for anyone. Perhaps this is a cross-cultural problem; I don't know. Having said all this, I would still like to see any other works by the author translated into English. He has a fine skill for portraying alienation and the awkwardness of the contemporary human situation.
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