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Complicationby Isaac Adamson
Synopses & Reviews
"A mysterious missive propels Lee Holloway on a bizarre journey from Chicago to Prague in Adamson's atmospheric and satisfyingly twisted tale. Following his father's death, Lee finds a letter from a woman named Vera who doubts the circumstances of Lee's younger brother Paul's death five years earlier. She promises in writing to reveal the mystery at a Prague cafÃ©. On impulse, Lee flies to Prague and meets the shady Vera at a dark place called the Black Rabbit. Vera believes that Paul was murdered for helping steal a magical centuries-old watch known as the Rudolf Complication. Made by an alchemist, the watch ran both forwards and backwards and supposedly granted its wearer eternal life. Not long after, Lee is approached by a crusty ex-detective, Zdenek Soros, a man convinced that Paul's murder is connected to a notorious serial killer known as the Right Hand of God. Woven into Lee's attempts to discover the truth about his brother's death — and life — are interconnected stories that form the history of the Rudolf Complication itself, as much a character as any person in the book. The plot could easily have collapsed under the weight of its own complexity, but Adamson (Tokyo Suckerpunch) pulls it off with style and a whopper of a twist. Agent: Jason Allen Ashlock, Movable Type Literary Group." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for COMPLICATION:
"A freshly imagined work, [Complication] boasts clever twists and revelations right up until the end." Kirkus
"Adamson's atmospheric and satisfyingly twisted tale... could easily have collapsed under the weight of its own complexity, but Adamson pulls it off with style and a whopper of a twist."Publishers Weekly
Praise for TOKYO SUCKERPUNCH:
"The hip but hysterical book of my dreams—Adamson glides through his punk-noir world like he's channeling Raymond Chandler." Baltimore Sun
"This pop romp through the Tokyo of martial arts, yakuza, and legendary geisha has more sly smarts than a Hong Kong gangster shoot-'em-up." Publisher's Weekly
Praise for HOKKAIDO POPSICLE:
"Faux-Chandleresque pomo-picaresque and sort of engagingly, stubbornly goofy, these are novels written by someone young enough to never have thought in terms of "genre" in the first place." William Gibson, author of Neuromancer, Idoru and Zero History
"Billy Chaka's adventures are as vibrantly hypnotic as the best Japanese anime. Adamson's wild, witty whodunit deftly sends up the genre while providing extreme doses of excitement."Publisher's Weekly
"Adamson, as he did in his book Tokyo Suckerpunch, evokes an animated Tokyo-as-Toontown that is simultaneously vivid, vibrant, gaudy and in glorious decline. It's a big adventure, but Adamson's teen rag writer takes it all with a shrug."Time Asia
"well-written, observant and funny. Isaac Adamson does a high-wire act, balancing silliness with credibility."Asian Review of Books
Chosen for Powell Books "14 Favorites" (Spring 2002)
Chosen as one of NewCity Chicago's Top 5 Books of 2002
Praise for DREAMING PACHINKO
"Isaac Adamson paints an ultra-modern Tokyo that contrasts with its enigmatic history like neon against a dark sky. The characters resonate, the mystery engages, and the rich narrative takes us on a vivid tour through a culture that few of us will ever see. You can't ask for more than that from storyteller. "Christopher Moore author of Lamb and Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story
"[Dreaming Pachinko] blends noir atmosphere with broad satire; Adamson turns what might have been a fairly straightforward mystery into a splendid romp, an offbeat adventure with wacky characters, oddball dialogue, plenty of laughs, and style to spare. This over-the-top, delightfully weird series is well on its way to making the jump from cult favorite to mainstream success." Booklist May '01 2003
"Like its predecessors, this third Billy Chaka crime novel is an exuberant mix of urban noir and anime-style action, salted with cheeky humor—Chaka flashes his trademark deadpan, Chandleresque wit and suffers a constant barrage of inventive physical injuries at the hands of both friends and enemies. Adamson sticks close to the hybrid formula he has perfected; his fans will find this a familiar but welcome addition to his oeuvre."Publisher's Weekly
"Noir light: charming, funny, satisfying."Kirkus Review
"Dreaming Pachinko" is full of vibrant images straight out of Tokyo and characters that are so 3D that your mind's eye will be bursting by the time you finish the last chapter. Every thing from a hotel receptionist with a handle bar mustache nicknamed "The Walrus" to a house that's so postmodern it makes the Cowboy-bebop world Adamson paints more lifelike while still retaining a wonderfully cinematic feel—Adamson's witty commentary and quirky character intermix with classic pulp fiction components to make a punky style all its own. "hybridmagazine.com
"Adamson describes Chaka's Tokyo in ways that make us see the paradox of a city that exists halfway between a thickly tradition-laden past, and a shockingly Neon-Chrome future. This Tokyo is exotic, unfathomable, and decidedly non-Western. Its almost science fiction, almost pre-Blade Runner—put aside the wit, and the great descriptive voice and you're still left with a good old fashioned Whodunit. Dreaming Pachinko can be highly recommended to anyone."cinescape.com
"A Dream of a hardboiled noir thriller—Chaka is a hero Generation X should love. Dreaming Pachinko is a fastball right down the middle, exciting and smart, puckish and suspenseful. Adamson should be read on beach blankets and anywhere else discriminating readers lie, sit, stand, hang, or squat."asianreporter.com"
"an imaginative and fun and at times very wild ride through modern, formless, neon Tokyo. A great tale."
A serial killer with a penchant for severed hands. A watch that runs backward and forward — at the same time. An Eastern European gangster known only as Rumplestiltskin. The Nazi invasion of Prague, Soviet-era Czech secret police, 16th century alchemy and black magic — mild-mannered American Lee Holloway never thought any of these would intrude upon his ordinary life.
But that was before he received a mysterious letter from a woman named Vera, a cryptic missive implying Lees estranged brother Paul, who disappeared years ago in Prague, was actually murdered in an attempt to steal The Rudolf Complication, a priceless watch commissioned by the eccentric Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, rumored to hold the power of eternal life. When Lee goes to Prague to investigate, his involvement with the enigmatic Vera, as well as the guidance offered from a mysterious travel book, triggers a series of violent and bizarre events that force Lee to confront disturbing truths about his brother as well as himself. Unless Lee can reconstruct the final hours of his brother's life, and separate truth from myth in this haunted city, he might not get out of Prague alive.
Complication is a twisted, mind-bending, contemporary thrill ride— in the spirit of such mind-bending narratives as House of Leaves and Memento.—set in the dark heart of Europe, a place where old ghosts and ancient legends still walk the streets.
About the Author
Isaac Adamson is the author of Tokyo Suckerpunch and other books in the Billy Chaka mystery series. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two children. He doesn't own a watch.
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