Book Review: Tokyo Express by Seichō Matsumoto and translated by Jesse Kirkwood

My thanks to Penguin Press UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Tokyo Express is a Japanese mystery/detective novel by Seichō Matsumoto, first published in 1958 and in this version, translated by Jesse Kirkwood. Having only read two of Seishi Yokomizo’s Kindaichi mysteries so far, when this showed up on NetGalley, I…

Book Review: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa and translated by Stephen Snyder

The Housekeeper and the Professor is a beautiful and poignant story of maths and numbers, of baseball, but most of all of a deep bond of friendship and affection formed between three unlikely but in their own ways lonely souls—a mathematics professor who retains old memories and has a good brain but is unable to…

Book Review: Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo and translated by Louise Heal Kawai

My thanks to Pushkin Press and Edelweiss for a review copy of this book. Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo, first published in 1971 is the fourth of Yokomizo’s mysteries to be published in translation by Pushkin Press under their Pushkin Vertigo imprint, from the series featuring his detective Kindaichi Kosuke, which has 77…

Review: Sue and Tai-Chan, Vol. 1 by Konami Kanata

My thanks to Kodansha Comics and NetGalley for a review copy of this manga. Sue and Tai-Chan is the charming first volume of the adventures of Sue a seventeen-year-old cat, and Tai-Chan, a tiny black kitten. Natsuki, Sue’s ‘human’ is handed a box with Tai-Chan a little kitten to look after. He tries to refuse,…

Review: Monkey: Vol 2: edited by Ted Goossen, Motoyuki Shibata, and Meg Taylor

My thanks to Stonebridge Press and Netgalley for a review copy of this magazine. Monkey is a literary magazine that showcases a wide range of Japanese writing translated into English. This, the second volume, edited by Ted Goossen, Motoyuki Shibata, and Meg Taylor focuses on ‘travel’. What I loved about this was its very wide…

Book Review: The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo

My thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. While I have read and enjoyed a fair few Japanese titles, despite all good intentions, I hadn’t gotten down to picking up any mystery title yet; this book gave me the chance to remedy that, and I enjoyed it very much…

Book Review: Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura

My thanks to Ruth Richardson and Doubleday/Random House UK for a review copy of this one via NetGalley. This was in some ways a strange read, rather hard to classify and yet one I ended up enjoying very much. Our story opens with Kokoro Anzai, a teen who has just started junior high but who…

Book Review: The Great Passage by Shion Miura #JapaneseLitChallenge13

The Great Passage is a Japanese book first published in 2011 and translated in English in 2017 by Juliet Winters Carpenter. The dictionary department of Gembu Books is undertaking a new mammoth dictionary project, The Great Passage—but the one capable full-time employee, Kohei Araki (whose interest in words was piqued at a young age) is…

Book Review: The Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita

My thanks to NetGalley and RandomHouse UK for a review copy of the book. This is a Japanese novel translated into English by Philip Gabriel (who has also translated Murakami). The Forest of Wool and Steel tells us the story of a young man Tomura. As a high school student, Tomura was deputed one day…