Book - 2004
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Blackwell North Amer
Winner of the Japan Mystery Writers Award, Naoko is a black comedy of hidden minds and lives. Navigating the interstices between the real and the unreal with perfect plot twists, this page-turner is also a critique of gender relations by a male Japanese writer, one of their best-sellng.

An everyman, Heisuke works hard at a factory job to provide for his wife, Naoko, and young daughter, Monami. He takes pleasure from the small things, like breakfast with both of them after a night shift. His placid life is rocked when, looking up from his microwave dinner one evening, he realizes the TV news that he wasn't paying attention to is reporting a catastrophic bus accident and the names of his loved ones.

When Monami finally wakes from a coma, she seems to think she's Naoko, who has died protecting her daughter. More disturbingly, the girl knows things only Naoko could know. The family life that resumes between the modest man and a companion who looks like his daughter bu seems like his dead wife is ticklish-funny until it begins hurtling toward a soul-shattering end.

In addition to winning Japan's top mystery prize, Naoko inspired a blockbuster movie. Read this work, a match for the later Bunuel, to find out why Higashino is considered the most ambitious and versatile mystery hand at work in Japan.

Publisher: New York : Vertical, c2004
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9781932234077
Characteristics: 282 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Yasar, Kerim


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Jul 24, 2017

This book felt very long. The initial accident drew me in and I was interested up to maybe page 100, but then everything else unfolds glacially becoming more like reading a chronicle. I think the middle third of the book should have been compressed.

Aug 19, 2016

A terrible accident is followed by an incredible resurrection. At first he has lost both his wife and daughter and then, can it be, one resides within the other? As she reinvents herself she creates a new life of achievement and success. But what about the husband, will he still have a wife?


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