Synopses & Reviews
Previous winner of two Booker Prizes, Peter Carey expands his extraordinary achievement with each new novel -- but now gives us something entirely different.
When famously shy Charley Carey becomes obsessed with Japanese manga and anime, Peter is not only delighted for his son, but entranced himself. Thus, with a father sharing his twelve-year-old's exotic comic books, begins a journey that will lead them both to Tokyo, where a strange Japanese boy will become both their guide and judge. The visitors quickly plunge deep into the lanes of Shitimachi -- into the weird stuff of modern Japan -- meeting manga artists and anime directors, visualists who painstakingly impersonate cartoons, and solitary otakus who lead a computerized existence. What emerges from these encounters is a pithy, far-ranging study of history and culture both high and low -- from samurai to salaryman, from kabuki theatre to the post-war robot craze. Peter Carey's observations are provocative, even though his hosts often point out, politely, that he is wrong about Japan. In adventures that are comic, surprising, and ultimately moving, father and son cope with and learn from each other in a place far from home.
No Real Japan, said Charley. You've got to promise. No temples. No museums.
What could we do?
We could buy cool manga.
There'll be no English translations.
I don't care. I'd eat raw fish.
--excerpt from Wrong About Japan
From the Hardcover edition.
"Charley has a great time, but Carey is not sure that his understanding of Japan is any deeper: nothing is what he thought it was, and the answers to his questions are elusive and noncommittal. Thoughtful, sensitive exploration of contemporary Japanese culture." Kirkus Reviews
In 2002, twice Booker-winning author Peter Carey travelled to Japan, accompanied by his son Charley. In this stunning memoir-cum-travelogue Carey charts this journey, as father and son look for the hidden puzzles and meanings within Manga and Anime, and what these particular art forms might reveal about Japanese culture and history. Tense, funny, honest and moving, Wrong About Japan offers a uniquely personal exploration of two very different cultures.
This stunning memoir-cum-travelogue from twice Booker winning author Peter Carey re-evaluates Japan through its attempts to understand the violent and disturbing cartoons which are so inherently concerned with Japan's rich and historic heritage.