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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream debut
Warm and attractive, super-readable debut novel by Jonathan Lee (JL) about top photographer Rob Fossick (RF), whose life came to a standstill after the accidental death of his wife Chloe and their unborn child. Four years later, surviving on mind-soothing pills and royalties, RF sees his demented mother literally drop dead in front of him during a visit. Another mental...
Published on 15 Mar. 2012 by Alfred J. Kwak

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3.0 out of 5 stars Slow, but worth pursuing
'Who is Mr Satoshi' is one of those books that left me pondering on whether I actually enjoyed the reading experience or not. It is quite a basic premise; After the death of his mother, a depressed British photographer goes in search of a mysterious figure who may or may not have been his mother's previous lover. This figure, 'Mr Satoshi' now lives in Japan so this...
Published on 19 Sept. 2011 by Rosslock


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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A triumph of technique over talent, 25 Jun. 2011
By 
gerryg - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Who is Mr Satoshi? (Paperback)
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The author has a first in English Literature from one of the UK's better universities. They taught him well and he's used all of it. No literary technique has been sacrificed in the execution of this book.

The book starts faintly reminding me of Empire of the Sun the death of the mother strangely redolent of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian with overtones of an author looking back at his life but it rings of technique rather than having been drawn from life experience. This was confirmed to this reviewer by the author's biography, the best part of his post-university experience was spent in further study and training. He couldn't have spent long in the Japan he uses as a basis for this novel. The introduction of Mr Satoshi as a plot device was so poorly done that one could equally have been invited to ask who was the martian with equivalent justification. The world weary Rob (a cypher for someone so quickly jaded at being a lawyer?) was trite.

The rest is wordcraft.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Were we reading the same book?, 5 July 2011
By 
John M "John M" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Who is Mr Satoshi? (Paperback)
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I struggled through the first 80 or so pages of this novel which utterly failed to engage me with its slow story line development and curious and annoying descriptive language and use of metaphor, wondering whether to give up on it. So I took a look at how the reviews were rating this and to my astonishment it seemed to be receiving scores of 4 and 5 star reviews with just a single exception! Hmmm, well, I guess it must get better, I thought. Well, once the author had finally managed to get the rather insipid narrator Rob Fossick to Tokyo, it did perk up a little, particularly with the introduction of Chiyoko who is about the only interesting character in the book, but this was rather short lasting. However, although the diminutive pink-haired Japanese girl did perk the story up a bit, this was at the price of credibility.
Although I would hesitate to call myself an expert in Japanese culture, I have travelled to Tokyo a number of times on business and am acquainted with interacting with the people in Tokyo, and found the whole scenario of meeting Chiyoko in a coffee shop and striking an immediate rapport with a forties-something Englishman to be rather incredible. In fact the whole description of the travels in Japan suggested little more than a superficial insight. I was hoping for something a little more than wonder at taxis with self-opening doors, sushi restaurants and fish markets. The whole experience lacked authenticity, for example most Japanese would refer to others by their family name and the suffix 'san', not with the copious use of first names, and although maybe a minor point a taxi from Narita must be travelling some to reach Tokyo in 20 minutes. The basic plot seemed very thin to me and something of an excuse to set a novel in Japan.
In many places the book seemed florridly overwritten with the use of strange descriptive language that seemed at time to be bordering on the spoof! For example, page 91 says 'Small bodies were scattered everywhere, their compactness somehow threatening, as if they might explode'. What? I've met numerous Japanese and I can say quite honestly I've never thought any of them were about to explode. There were many other examples of descriptions and comparisons which I found rather bizarre.
Although thus far I seem to be in the minority here, neither the plotting nor the writing did anything for me at all. I did manage to finish the book but more out of a sense of duty that if Amazon are prepared to send me a novel to review the least I can do is complete it. For me, this was a pretty bad book!
Where is Mr Satoshi? Answer: he's in the recycling bin!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite sure about this one, 2 July 2011
By 
IAN CAMERON-MOWAT (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Who is Mr Satoshi? (Paperback)
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I can't quite make out what this is about; 41 year old inadequate recluse leaves his London bedsitter for Japan to deliver an envelope to a friend of his late mother's. OK, could happen.
Taking with him a mix of prescribed medication including narcotics and uppers and downers. Well, maybe in LA in the sixties, but I can't see it in London now.

Arriving in Tokyo, beautiful 23 year old Japanese girl picks him up in a bar, takes care of him and tries to seduce him? No, I can't see this, even in London. I have been to Tokyo a few times and very much less likely there,imho.

But maybe he knows more, or this is lazy male writing, or this is the wilful suspension of disbelief bit, so I'll go along for the ride. So I won't say whether he finds Mr S or delivers the envelope, but not much seems to happen. Maybe I'm a bit earthbound for this one
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent first book, 25 Aug. 2010
By 
Robert - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Who is Mr Satoshi? (Hardcover)
I bought this after a glowing review in the FT. On the whole it lived up to my expectations, a little slow to get started but definitely worth buying
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Who is Mr Satoshi?
Who is Mr Satoshi? by Jonathan Lee (Hardcover - 1 July 2010)
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