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December 6 Audio CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743576144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743576147
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,720,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The Denver Post""[December 6]" packs plenty of suspense....A page-turning thriller....A solid piece of entertainment and an undeniably brilliant display of the author's literary genius. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Martin Cruz Smith s novels include "Gorky Park", "Stallion Gate", "Polar Star", "Stalin s Ghost", "Rose", "December 6", and "Tatiana". He is a two-time winner of the Hammett Prize, a recipient of Britain s Golden Dagger Award, and a winner of the Premio Piemonte Giallo Internazionale. He lives in California. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 27 April 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Readers beware; This is Tokyo Station with a differant title. Don't buyboth. Excellant story and very well researched.
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By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 2 Oct. 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Harry Niles is rarely at rest. Life has offered too many distractions for him to pause and reflect. Cruz Smith has drawn him as a man seemingly devoid of values - opportunist, womanizer, manipulator. If Harry was truly that simple, we would be unlikely to follow him through his complex life or along the twists of Tokyo's back alleys. The son of Baptist missionaries, his childhood allowed him opportunity to become virtually Japanese. He played "the 47 Ronin" with schoolmates, keeps his living quarters impeccably Japanese, when even his neighbours maintain a "Western" room, has a Japanese lover and is fluent in the language. He even addresses a businessmen's club extolling Japan's desire to oust Western imperialists from Asia. But he knows war is imminent, and he's keen to know the initial target. It's his mission.
Smith presents a story deeply researched and fluently expressed. There's never a dull moment, even during the flashbacks to Harry's youth. He becomes a hustler early, attracted to the "floating world" of Tokyo's theatre, art and gambling circles. These many facets of underworld life gain him entrance to a wide cross-section of a society distrustful of "gaijins" - foreign barbarians. Harry encounters Tojo, plays poker with Yamamoto, watches the con of a scientist looking for military support, and money. On the other hand, there's the nagging sensation that Harry has another agenda. He has suffered much at the hands of Japanese, and will endure more if war comes. He tries to maintain his "cool" even at the expense of dignity.
The modern "thriller" is only mildly concerned with characterisation or even plot. Harry becomes Cruz Smith's vehicle for showing off his research. That's not a fault, but the unprepared reader can be overwhelmed.
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Format: Hardcover
Harry Niles, the son of white missionaries to Japan, was raised by a native nurse and has remained in Japan all his life, more Japanese than American. Early December, 1941, finds him in Tokyo just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, running the Happy Paris club and struggling to maintain his relationship with his beautiful and emotional mistress, Michiko, who also works in the club, playing the juke box. With talk of war everywhere, Harry is intent on leaving. But how? And can he, using his cunning and knowledge of politics, con his adopted country out of fatal combat with the powerful America? And escape the honor bound military man, Ishigami, who's stalking him with a mind poisoned by past wrongs and a sword bent on revenge?
While DECEMBER 6 does not live up to GORKY PARK, and while Harry Niles is no match for Arkady Renko, Martin Cruz Smith's latest effort is stamped with his distinctive use of details. His prose is clean and reflective, never coarse or unfinished or abrasive. The plot is not linear but rather slips back and forth, weaving time, place, and characters into a novel that some will find confusing, others beautiful.
Me, I ended up somewhere between confused and awed. Smith's touch is magic, but the sheer volume of research included in DECEMBER 6 made it at times read more like a school paper than a novel. One paragraph, which detailed some gruesome beheadings, managed to stretch more than two pages. Plus, during some points Harry Niles came across as unemotional and detached, although I was aware of churning undercurrents. The dialogue disappointed me as well. Still, I felt the ending was a fitting finale to an intriguing story of love, violence, and politics.
A newcomer to Smith's writing may be overwhelmed by this fact packed thriller, but Smith's fans, as well as anyone interested in wartime Japan, will find DECEMBER 6 absorbing and thought provoking.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps no American memory is as deeply engraved as the one showing Japanese bombers destroying most of the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In the background is a memory of seemingly dishonest negotiations with Japanese diplomats in Washington, D.C. while the Japanese fleet got ready for its sneak attack.
But equally strong memories must exist among Japanese who were in Japan at the time, as their nation was in the process of starting the great Pacific war. Martin Cruz Smith does something that's almost impossible. He takes us to the Tokyo of December 6, 1941 and lets us perceive what was going on in the minds of the Japanese as their Imperial expansion began its final, unsuccessful phase. Even more remarkable, he creates a character who's part American (by birth, tradition and family heritage) and part Japanese (by experience, friendship and preference).
Inevitably, readers will be reminded of Casablanca's Rick waiting in Paris as the Nazis march in, planning to catch the last train with his new love. But our Harry is planning to get on the last plane out instead, and alone. He's got some complications to deal with . . . including an angry mistress who doesn't want to be left behind, the Japanese authorities looking into irregularities, a samurai with a grudge, and criminal interests on the look out for themselves. Like Rick, he's a saloonkeeper with an eye to the main chance . . . as well as a keen sense of survival. You'll see a seamier side of Tokyo than most tourists did, so the book is not for those with delicate tastes.
You probably won't read a book this year that will shift your orientation as much as this one. The story's fascinating, the culture's strange but attractive, and the moment will be burned in your mind . . .
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