7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as I'd hoped,
This review is from: Tokyo Vice (Paperback)
I first became aware of this book when I heard an extract of it read on Radio 4. It was the opening and it sounded so gripping that I rushed out and bought it straight away. I started to read it and yes, the opening was gripping and tense and had me turning the page desperate to find out what happened next. Then it moved on to the beginning of the author's career as an American journalist in Japan, and that was great too. After that, though, it kind of started to drift a little bit.
Don't get me wrong, each chapter of the book is interesting and very well written. It's just that the synopsis and the opening set you up for a very tight and linear tale where everything that happens to Adelstein leads up to this ultimate confrontation with the Yakuza. And the problem is, the structure of the book doesn't live up to that. The case that he opens with doesn't really reappear until towards the end, and inbetween are a series of individual crime cases that the author covered during his time in Tokyo, but which are not really related beyond the fact they involved him and, sometimes, different members of the Yakuza. It feels a bit like the book started out as a more general memoir and then, either as a framing device or under publisher pressure, this beginning was tagged on to make it seem more focused.
I'm not saying it's a bad book - it isn't. But I feel a bit disappointed as I was led to expect one thing and ended up with another. I think it would have been better had it just been presented as a series of memoirs, then the disjointed nature of some of it wouldn't have mattered.