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on 20 August 2017
A funny read that sets your imagination going! Haven't had a book that has made me belly laugh inappropriately in a public place this many times, while also being interesting informative. A worth while read.
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on 29 April 2014
this is the chap who all women want as their pal. great read and very descriptive . funny man . Would like to read more of his Japanese experiences
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on 14 September 2011
Tim Anderson's well-written memoir "Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries" is a funny, fascinating window not only into Tim's life as a tall, white, gay, American Southerner but also into life in Tokyo and the Japanese culture. Tim, who was pushing thirty, left his boyfriend and moved to Japan after a string of dead-end jobs. Tim's hilarious self-effacing stories as an English teacher and his experiences while playing in an all-Japanese noise band as a "gaijin" or outsider are masterfully told.
My favorite humorous descriptions include Tim's experience at the Shinjuku Train Station. He found himself eased down the nearest staircase by the sheer force of the crowds tugging him like an undertow. They decided he would go out the south exit. That was fine with him.
Learning Japanese as a foreigner he was terrified that one day he would instead of telling someone they looked nice he'd end up saying, "I want to lick your daughters underarms."
I loved Tim's description of a Washlet or toilet found in nicer Japanese restaurants. "It has a slew of useful functions, like a butt sprinkler, a heated seat, and a dizzying selection of sound effects to muffle the user's unseemly emissions."
When teaching English as a foreigner in Japan Tim says the classroom atmosphere is one of absolute deference to the teacher. By contrast "teacher" to many American students is just a fancy word for "target."
While sitting on a sofa in the Chill Out Room at a nightclub in Tokyo Tim wonders why his friends approach the glass, see him, wave, look above him, then back at him and giggle. Then it suddenly dawns on him "Oh-my god-no-it's-a-vagina!" Behind his head is a huge black and white photo of the biggest vagina he has ever seen. And it looks angry. Tim looks around and realizes to his surprise the room is simply jam-packed with photos of vaginas of all sizes - every gay man's nightmare.
Ryuji, a first grader Tim was tutoring, successfully got Tim to say the word "sex" by asking him to say the letter X five times. Ryuji then laughed at him for saying a "bad" word.
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on 22 May 2012
Prior to buying it I was sceptical whether I would like it but the other reviews were good and I do like finding out about other cultures.
Now that I have bought and read it I can definitely say that it is good. In some points it is hilariously funny, always wanted to read it and was sad when I came to the end of it.
I don't think this book is for everyone. He does have a specific humour, A bit camp with some sexual innuendo woven in, which won't be to everyones taste.
I enjoyed the explanations of the cultural differences but mostly I enjoyed the funny stories and humour. If you are unsure if this is the book for you then I would say give it a go.
The book largely follows a time line but is broken up into different sections where he explains different pieces of his experience during the entire time he was there. This does allow you to drop in and out of the book quite well as the chapters don't lead into each other.
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on 22 June 2015
If you want to read travel writing or the experiences of someone living in Japan, unfortunately this isn't the book you're looking for.

This is more a book on a small-town gay American breaking free of his home and dealing with a different culture.

Highly self indulgent to the point you can't see Tokyo (or even Japan) behind the author's own ego. Also, the author seems to need to bludgeon you over the head with two points repeatedly:
- He's a foreigner
- He's gay

As someone who ticks both those boxes in Japan, it's even too much for me. Read the whole book, but totally lost interest by the mid-way point.

Slightly different as it's focused on rural Japan and not Tokyo, but I recommend for "For Fukui's Sake" instead - For Fukui's Sake: Two years in rural Japan
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on 5 June 2013
Tim Anderson writes, for the most part, very amusingly about the couple of years he spent in Japan. There are some genuine laugh out loud moments and he comes across as a very personable young guy. However, other than one incident with an alcoholic roommate, he doesn't seem to experience much that would be out of the ordinary for any gaijin in Japan. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that he has to resort to describing a lot of imaginary situations. These start out working very well, but as the book goes on become slightly frustrating since, however amusing they may be, they are at the end of the day just imaginary. Overall though a definite cut above the average 'I'm a foreigner in Japan, look how weird everything is!' books there seem to be so many of.
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on 10 September 2012
Whilst I have no idea of what life is like in modern day Tokyo, I got the impression that this account is very true to life.

The author manages to be both witty and slightly irreverant whilst also writing a very descriptive and easy to read novel. It was well structured and kept me interested, and made me giggle out loud in places. He is a very outrageously wonderful character. Tim seems to be a very honest man and certainly engineered in me a desire to see Tokyo at least for a vist, if not to live.

I considered this book very good value for money and I would certainly buy one of his novels again.
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on 1 October 2013
Bought on a whim as a Kindle Daily Deal, I had no real preconceptions of this book and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
Tim's writing style is fairly informal, with a light sprinkling of robust language to flavour the amusing and occasionally hilarious antics he got up to in around Tokyo for the better part of two years.

Starting with a fair amount of detail, the book easily moves from the surreal first weeks/months of a (gay) American from the Deep South experiencing the magic and wonder that is Japanese life, to a gradual fitting in and enjoyment of a whole new way of life. His work as an English Teacher provides much of the more entertaining material, from reluctant children to drunk salarymen, encompassing everything from the challenge of breaking through walls of shyness and reticence to fending off the unexpected affections of one determined student!
Importantly, the book is well-written, this is no simple compilation of emails or blog entires, some care has been put into structuring the book to provide a consistent story and tone that leads us naturally from startled arrival through steep learning curves and confusion, to an eventual love-affair between the author and the city of Tokyo.

This book won't be for everybody; Tim's lifestyle choices, such as his relaxed approach to smoking weed, may jar with some, but overall, these minor diversions do not detract from a very well-told adventure in a land far away from apple pie or fish and chips, and far too close to the dangerous cuteness of Hello Kitty and her friends!

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on 14 February 2013
Tim Anderson introduces us to life - and his life - in Tokyo and opens up an intriguing world of the gay gaijin interacting with the wonderful Japanese people and ex-pat Westerners. He navigates the city with his eyes and ears open and his brain set to 'record' - and then relates his experiences to the reader in ways that have you laughing, wondering and feeling empathy for the fish out of water who learns to live in the 'alien' environment.

He has a wonderfully likeable outlook and is a character you instantly want to get to know and thankfully, through his easy style of writing, you soon do.

The only thing wrong with this book is that it wasn't twice as long as it is.

If you like to make a fool of yourself laughing out loud on the train to work, read 'Tune in Tokyo'.
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on 18 May 2012
An entertaining account of life in Japan. Seemingly little has changed since I was there over 30 years ago! The author conveys the idiosyncrasies of life there and the misunderstandings that can occur from a meeting of different cultures in an amusing and informative way.

Unfortunately in the Kindle edition the small sections of Japanese script were very small and hard to read.
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