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Wrong about Japanby Peter Carey
Synopses & Reviews
The recipient of two Booker Prizes, Peter Carey expands his extraordinary achievement with each new novel–and now gives us something entirely different.
When famously shy Charley becomes obsessed with Japanese manga and anime, Peter is not only delighted for his son but also entranced himself. Thus begins a journey, with a father sharing his twelve-year-old’s exotic comic books, that ultimately leads them to Tokyo, where a strange Japanese boy will become both their guide and judge. Quickly the visitors plunge deep into the lanes of Shitimachi–into the “weird stuff” of modern Japan–meeting manga artists and anime directors; painstaking impersonators called “visualists,” who adopt a remarkable variety of personae; and solitary otakus, whose existence is thoroughly computerized. What emerges from these encounters is a far-ranging study of history and of culture both high and low–from samurai to salaryman, from Kabuki theater to the postwar robot craze. Peter Carey’s observations are always provocative, even when his hosts point out, politely, that he is once again wrong about Japan. And his adventures with Charley are at once comic, surprising, and deeply moving, as father and son cope with and learn from each other in a strange place far from home.
This is, in the end, a remarkable portrait of a culture–whether Japan or adolescence–that looks eerily familiar but remains tantalizingly closed to outsiders.
From the Hardcover edition.
When Peter Carey offered to take his son to Japan, 12-year-old Charley stipulated no temples or museums. He wanted to see "manga," "anime," " "and cool, weirdstuff. His father said yes. Out of that bargain comes this enchanting tour of the mansion of Japanese culture, as entered through its garish, brightly lit back door. Guided-and at times judged-by anineffably strange boy named Takashi, the Careys meet manga artists and anime directors, the meticulous impersonators called "visualists," and solitary, nerdish "otaku." Throughout, theBooker Prize-winning novelist makes observations that are intriguing even when-as his hosts keep politely reminding him-they turn out to be wrong. Funny, surprising, distinguished by its wonderfullynuanced portrait of a father and son thousands of miles from home, "Wrong About Japan" is a delight.
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
About the Author
Peter Carey is the author of eight novels, including the Booker Prize–winning Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang, and, most recently, My Life as a Fake. Born in Australia in 1943, Carey now lives in New York City.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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