Kujira by James Pollard

Review: “I wasn’t sure whether it was a formatting problem or whether it was deliberate, but there are paragraphs of dialogue where there are two or more people speaking. These individuals are not differentiated except by what they say has been placed in quotation marks. It’s all grouped together and unnecessarily confusing, and that’s just one of my issues with “Kujira.”

Most of the story is telling us what is going on, locations, actions, even thoughts, but there isn’t much showing or descriptions of the environment or characters. I would have liked having these details so these persons could firmly be established in my mind.

The story is full of fascinating Japanese words, and I am familiar with some of the area names provided, as I speak some Japanese and have visited visit, but having the terms given over and over again or “strings” of Japanese phrases interrupted the flow for me. The author is obviously very knowledgeable about the topic, but providing a short “key” or glossary at the beginning or end of the book could have been a better choice.

There is definitely insight into the Japanese world which many outsiders do not understand about their society as a whole, perspectives other cultures might find surprising, from ordinary tidbits of daily life to the deeper, darkest secrets of vice and crime. I felt “Kujira” was a compelling story which contained some good elements, but the grammar issues throughout were hard to overcome.”

Description: Ten years has elapsed and Mike, Mark and Jon minus Jeff are making their way in Japan in quite different ways. From their humble beginnings in ‘Memoirs of a Vending Machine, they have grown considerably adapting to their environment and making the most of the talents they possess and the opportunities available to them. Kujira is the culmination of those ten years.

They meet again and experience two days together that will change the course of their lives in Japan forever. Kujira completes the journey of the Keitai Friends that began so naively all those years ago and is compelling reading for anyone interested in living as a foreigner in Japan.

Publication Date: 16 January 2011

Published by/Buy Link: Smashwords

Source: Author

Author Bio:

I have spent most of my working life as a teacher in a few different systems. I taught ESL and did a stint with physically and mentally challenged students. I spent a few of my earlier years as a muso playing the trumpet in a funk and jazz band.I’ve done the international teaching thing in Japan and lived there for over six years. I now speak Japanese, have a family and am teaching high school, studying law part-time and writing.

1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Reviews

One response to “Kujira by James Pollard

  1. I’m going to share this review on Facebook. You’ve highlighted some issues with using Japanese text that I think are important. I lived in Japan for the better part of a decade, but I think having whole phrases interspersed in an English novel would be intrusive even to a fluent speaker. I’ll have to check out the sample.

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