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Naoko Paperback – 1 Jul 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical Inc. (1 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932234071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932234077
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It's the realness of the characters ..that makes the fantastic story more believable and harder to put down." - "Mecha Mecha Media Blogspot"

Winner of the "Japan Mystery Writers Award"

"Higashino is a deft conjurer of human relationships, and while this is first and foremost a tale of grief-- thankfully, no one calls Naoko a story of redemption--he infuses it with spasms of sharp humor." --East Bay Express

"The novel flips suddenly...in wonderfully pleasing fashion, from pathetic tragedy to social satire and domestic comedy with themes of love, work, sex and education. How could we have ever imagined, without the help of a novel like this, that Japanese life could be so fraught with suffering and so entertaining all at once?" --Alan Cheuse for the Dallas Morning News

"It's the realness of the characters ..that makes the fantastic story more believable and harder to put down." - "Mecha Mecha Media Blogspot"

Winner of the "Japan Mystery Writers Award"
"Higashino is a deft conjurer of human relationships, and while this is first and foremost a tale of grief-- thankfully, no one calls Naoko a story of redemption--he infuses it with spasms of sharp humor." --East Bay Express
"The novel flips suddenly...in wonderfully pleasing fashion, from pathetic tragedy to social satire and domestic comedy with themes of love, work, sex and education. How could we have ever imagined, without the help of a novel like this, that Japanese life could be so fraught with suffering and so entertaining all at once?" --Alan Cheuse for the Dallas Morning News
"It's the realness of the characters ..that makes the fantastic story more believable and harder to put down." - "Mecha Mecha Media Blogspot"

Winner of the "Japan Mystery Writers Award"
Higashino is a deft conjurer of human relationships, and while this is first and foremost a tale of grief thankfully, no one calls Naoko a story of redemption he infuses it with spasms of sharp humor. East Bay Express
The novel flips suddenly in wonderfully pleasing fashion, from pathetic tragedy to social satire and domestic comedy with themes of love, work, sex and education. How could we have ever imagined, without the help of a novel like this, that Japanese life could be so fraught with suffering and so entertaining all at once? Alan Cheuse for the Dallas Morning News
"It's the realness of the characters ..that makes the fantastic story more believable and harder to put down." - "Mecha Mecha Media Blogspot""

About the Author

Born in 1958, Keigo Higashino studied electrical engineering and worked as a salaryman until he wom the Edogawa Rampo Mystery Award in 1985. Originally a detective novelist, he has branched out to other genres, including science fiction. "Naoko" is his first work to appear in English.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am addicted to all things Japanese and, by and large, I love Japanese fiction. I certainly enjoyed 'The Devotion of Suspect X' and would recommend it, but for me there is a big problem with 'Naoko': the translation. It's often an issue with Japanese novels: you can read three from the same series (that is, by the same author) enjoy two of them and find the third almost unreadable. 'Naoko' is certainly not unreadable, but it is very, very, VERY American. It is not a question, you will understand, of being a 'good' or a 'bad' translation. Kerim Yasar, the translator, is well-qualified and I assume that the translation is accurate ... but it's also very Merikan. I have no problem with American writing - I enjoy that too - but to my (English) ear this text is ... how can I put it? ... 'culturally insensitive'. It's not simply the occasional 'mom' where we might say 'mum' or 'mother'; the speech patterns, the phrasing, the feel of the prose all scream 'American'. I imagine that to an American reader terms like 'anyways' are neutral and not in the least distracting. I can only say that it felt like reading a novel by an American author and in this case that matters a great deal because, give or take a few (interesting) twists, the novel is essentially the working out of a fairly common theme: a woman inhabits the body of her teen-aged daughter. Unless it FEELS Japanese through and through, it's always going to be a very ordinary read?
[Two things in passing: I had no problems at all with 'Suspect X', translated by Alexander Smith. And there are some howlers in this text ... 'He could HERE her giggle now and then.' (Page 190) NOT a big issue, but it makes you wonder?]
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Format: Paperback
After reading Keigo Higashino's 'The Devotion of Suspect X', I hoped Naoko would also be equally intense and unpredictable. And it really doesn't disappoint. I absolutely enjoyed this intriguing novel, the premise of the story is unusual, but in Naoko Higashino has a flair for expressing the thoughts and emotions of his characters as they try to adapt to their strange predicament. It's a black comedy on the theme of death, mourning and marriage. It's a page tuner and I was hooked on finding out how it will would all end. Like Higashino's other works, just as I thought I had the ending all sussed out within the last few pages, upon finishing I could not have been further from the conclusion which was heart rendering and profound.
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Format: Paperback
Once you get past the strange occurance of the main character's dead wife inhibiting the body of their eleven year old daughter, this book is absorbing and exciting. The complexities of dealing with grief, being happy his wife is alive but disappointed that their relationship can't be how it was before - provide a boiling pot of confusion, excitement and a chilling narrative.

I really enjoyed this book and I would love to read more by this author!
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This is the last Keigo Higashino book I've read and although I enjoyed it a lot it wasn't my all time favourite. I was sceptical about the concept having read the blurb and did wonder how it would keep me entertained for a whole book... But it did! I was suitably impressed. He has a fantastic writing style that shows in all his books and it just keeps you gripped throughout. Don't want to say anything more without giving anything way but definitely worth a read like all of his books!
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Can you imagine that you have a second opportunity to start your life all over again?
You were thirty-six years old and suddenly you have only eleven, and all this things that you missed or you had liked to do or to experience, are again at your disposal, with the experience of a grown-up woman, but the youthfulness of a young woman with all her life to start.
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I liked reading this one. Yes you can tell there are some translation issues, but these are minor and not necessarily throughout the book just here and there. Overall the novel is refreshing, i loved the ending too- not too weighted just enough to satisfy a sweet ending!
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