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Six Four Paperback – 28 Oct 2016

3.3 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: riverrun; 01 edition (28 Oct. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848665288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848665286
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Not only is Six Four an addictive read, it is an education about Japan, its police and its society, and simply one of the best crime novels I have ever read. (David Peace)

A classic plot about a decent cop painstakingly uncovering corruption suddenly turns into one of the most remarkable revenge dramas in modern detective fiction. (Sunday Times)

It's very different, in tone, narrative and style, from almost anything out there . . . the twist and the pay-off are worth the wait. (Observer)

A huge hit in Japan and it's easy to see why . . . steadily gathers menace and power until it becomes addictive. (The Times)

The plot would grip in any language . . . not just a police procedural but a guide book to Japan . . . There's much talk these days of binge viewing; here is a binge read. (Guardian)

Slow building, meticulous in its insistence on unfolding all the procedural elements of a Japanese crime investigation and its political ramifications, this is a novel that insidiously grows on you until you are fully captive of its narrative flow and can't put it down. (Maxim Jakubowski)

Six Four gives back in abundance everything that the reader is prepared to give . . . demonstrating that crime fiction can be freighted with the weight and authority of serious literature. (Independent)

An astonishing book, poetically translated, containing one of the most complex central characters in crime fiction. Sometimes publishing sensations exceed expectations; Six Four deserves its success - past, present and future. (Crime Scene)

Book Description

The million-selling Japanese crime sensation, now in paperback.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When I've seen Japanese films, or read Japanese books, I've always found the extra interest of the insight into life there makes the experience even more enjoyable.
Sadly, it's not enough to make up for this long, dull, bureaucratic book.
I now understand, better than I probably need or want, what it's like to be the Press Director of a Japanese county.
I feel like I've been in a very long meeting about it, and had the same things explained over & over again.
I can see the novelty of cops battling themselves and their own bureaucracy, but actually, I prefer the cops vs villains thing.
Plot lines are examined in detail, then discarded.
And - I know this is my fault - but all the names look too similar. I found myself having to go back to tell me Akawa from my Araikada and the Akaida. Though I accept that's my problem.
Much less enjoyable than the reviews and hype suggest.
And over SIX HUNDRED damn pages! Midnight's Children deserved that length, that's it. This is sadism. How many pages of "Suwa needs to speak to Akaiwa about this" local paper anger could have been cut? (A lot.)
I'm tired again ....
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By Chinatown Blue TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jan. 2016
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was expecting this to be a Japanese police procedural thriller, and in a way it is. But there is actually a lot less detective story involved than I thought. This is a huge book, most of which revolves around politics inside the police force, the relationship between them and the press, and the personal journey of a former detective forced to turn PR man as he copes with his job and his daughter's disappearance. It was interesting, and I had to see it through to the end, but ultimately I wasn't really satisfied. I don't need happy endings all round, nor to have every thread tied up, but I felt I had been dropped into a kind of limbo where nothing was really resolved. I also suffered some confusion with several character names being very similar - probably this is an unfortunate side effective of them being rendered into the Latin alphabet, as Japanese characters can produce a similar sound but look completely different. And since (minor spoiler alert) a plot point does turn on names, probably unavoidable. I'd say that on the whole this is a reasonable time passer, but not one I'd read twice.
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Format: Hardcover
I’m struggling to see how this book got such great reviews. I had no problem with the length, the similarities in character names or the translation. It was just dull, the opposite of a page-tuner. It’s an in-depth look at the role of a police press relations officer, which might hold interest over the course of a long-form magazine article, but no longer than that. It’s not about anything as dramatic as “kidnap, ransom, murder”, it’s about office politics.

On the positive side: The Japanese cultural idiosyncrasies are interesting. It does a good job of describing the indirect, reading-between-the-lines diplomacy common in Asian culture and the underlying factors behind it. I feel I have learnt something.

However, I feel misled by the reviewers and accolades this book has received. There are no great twists, it is not “addictive” in the slightest, and it is not “one of the best crime novels”. Disappointing.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a huge book, and I soon found out why. It is very verbose, making it difficult to keep reading. I kept on in the hope of finding out this mystery at the root of the book, but I have to say that in the end I was not impressed.
There was a lot of information about the main character's career and how he felt about it. There was also the conflict between the police and the press. This gives the book a lot of depth, but perhaps there is too much - for me anyway.
I was somewhat confused by the fact that there are two missing daughters, one from fourteen years ago and a presently missing one. I thought the story was going to be a retrospective or something like that, but it wasn't. I was also confused by some of the names, and had to keep flicking back to see who people were, especially as some names were so similar to one another.
This is how I saw the book, and perhaps another person might see more in it than I did.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There's a nicely complicated story here but we have to wade through an awful lot of material to get to it. There's the kidnapping and murder of a child in the past, a kidnapping in the present, a missing daughter, police/media relations and police corruption all crammed together. It could have worked better than it does with a bit more clarity and incisiveness in the writing. Too much of the story is 'told' instead of dramatized or shown as the main character rehearses everything that's gone before in the past story. Add to that a huge cast of characters who are difficult to differentiate and a policeman who suddenly just sees the answer to the case and we're left with something that doesn't quite fulfil its own potential. An interesting read, all the same: 3.5 stars.
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By Elaine Tomasso TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Mar. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Quercus for an advance copy of Six Four, a million seller in Japan and the first of Mr Yokoyama's books to translated into English.
I always love a good police procedural and was interested to read such a popular novel, set in a culture I know nothing about. The novel is definitely a police procedural but not in our traditional way - it is not the story of a crime and the ensuing investigation. There is a 14 year old unsolved crime, the Six Four of the title but it hangs around in the background for most of the novel with its repercussions shaping the novel. In the 64th year of Emperor Hirohito's reign (Showa), hence the case's unofficial title, six four, 7 year old Shoko Amamiya is kidnapped. Her parents pay the ransom and it is collected but Shoko is found dead and the murderer escapes justice. The novel concentrates on Mikami, the Press Director of Prefecture D and his problems. As a former detective he chafes at his transfer to administration and is facing a rebellion from the Press Club over police's refusal to name the driver in a traffic accident. He knows he's not putting his full effort into the job but his mind is on his daughter who ran away a few months before. It all comes to a head when the press threaten to boycott the Police Commissioner's visit to pep up the Six Four investigation before the statute of limitations precludes prosecution. Mikami thinks there is more to it all than a simple visit and starts trying to get to the bottom of it all.
Six Four is a long, complicated read with many characters, much intrigue and above all internal police politics and I found it utterly compulsive.
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