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Kinki Lullaby Paperback – September 21, 2004


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Kinki Lullaby + Dreaming Pachinko + Tokyo Suckerpunch : A Billy Chaka Adventure
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060516240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060516246
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,352,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School - Billy Chaka returns for his fourth book in Adamson's quirky, fast-paced thriller series. Here, the reporter and sometime private eye journeys to the Osaka district of Japan to claim an award for an article he wrote several years before on Tetsuo Oyamada, an immensely talented Bunraku artist. It becomes clear that the award is a ruse created by the young man's father. Following a fight with another puppeteer, Tetsuo left his troupe to join a group experimenting with the form and has dropped all contact with his family and former coworkers. The elder Oyamada, also a puppeteer, asks Chaka to meet with the headstrong Tetsuo and convince him to return to his former life. The story becomes complicated when an unknown assailant kills an American in the hotel room next to Chaka's. The novel follows a Chandler-style plot, complete with mysterious but beautiful women, seedy underworld characters, and helpful friends who are more than they appear. But the cheeky tongue of Chaka and the colorful and wonderfully odd secondary characters transform the formula into a unique read. Chaka's investigation of these cases exposes readers to the seldom-seen corners of Japanese life, and Adamson's portrayal of the country is colorful and memorable, and glows like an anime cartoon. The two cases twist and intertwine, finally feeding into one another and creating a clever, action-packed ending. - Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Billy Chaka, writer for the Cleveland magazine Youth in Asia, has won an award, and he gets to go to Japan to pick it up. As soon as he gets there, he is approached by Mr. Oyamada, the father of the boy Billy featured in his award-winning article. Apparently the once-promising performer has been kicked out of his puppet troupe, and Oyamada wants Billy to help him restart his son's career. This is made fairly difficult by two things: one, the fact that young Oyamada was tossed out of the troupe for assaulting a fellow performer, and, two, the fact that an American guest in Billy's hotel has been murdered. As always, Adamson combines noir mystery style with elements of Japanese animation: weird characters, fast-paced plot, quirky humor. Even now, in its fourth book, the series still feels fresh and exciting, and the author's jokes still hit their mark. Billy's the kind of guy they ought to make a movie about--or, at the very least, put in hard covers for a change. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By candy_arsenic on December 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
In spite of its name, K-Lullaby did not lull me to sleep. In fact, I found myself awake till 4:00 am finishing it. I actually recommend trying this (If you can spare the time and energy) because it seems to lend to the enjoyment of this mystery novel. Like Dreaming Pachinko, an earlier member of the Chaka mystery series quartet, this book deals a lot with sleep, dreams, uncertainty, and the surreal. Kinda heavy? nah....I liked it a lot. The words "sly", "punchy", and "kick ass" have been used to exhaustion when describing the Chaka books. It's no surprise that this book is full of Isaac Adamson's wonderful hysteric humor. However, it is certainly the most serious of the Chaka books thus far. Kinki Lullaby tends to deviate between fun and deep introspection. The result is that the reader feels that they are in a more "real" Japan than the Japan portrayed in say, Tokyo Suckerpunch. This is a world where not everything is quite right. And Billy Chaka is the perfect protagonist for the story. He's a wisecracking philosopher in a story that at once feels incredibly real in its sense of humanity, yet incredibly surreal.

Even though you may pick up this book looking for a fun read, I must warn you that you are going to learn. Adamson integrates all sorts of interesting cultural and historic references into his books. Kinki Lullaby is a story about bunraku, the art of Japanese puppetry. After I read this book, I gained an intense interest in bunraku! The Japanese can't do anything without it turning into an art, can they?

Kinki Lullaby is a mystery, but it also seems to have a taste of the horror novel in it. Perhaps you will have to read it to understand what I mean!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reykjavik on October 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is easily Isaac Adamsons best Chaka novel to date. His books are fun and easy to read. This time Billy Chaka isn't as nice as he used to be and I believe it fits his character better. This is the best and easiest way to read a great entertaining story while learning something you probably never knew before about Japan.

If you've ever been to Japan and plan to go back one day, these books will hopefully keep you at bay until you do. It pays just enough attention to Japanese detail to make those who have been there appreciate it, without losing those that haven't gotten the chance to go yet. Try his others, all of them are worthy of a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Calvin McMillin on October 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Billy Chaka returns in Kinki Lullaby, the fourth book in the series created by Isaac Adamson. This is probably the sharpest novel of the bunch, a testiment to Adamson's maturation as a writer. Intriguing from start to finish, Kinki Lullaby is worth picking up for any reader wishing to have a vicarious adventure in a hyper-stylized Japan. Fans of the Billy Chaka books should be pleased.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another great book from Isaac Adamson. He's so creative. His books are so good! You just can't put them down! I love all the tidbits about Japanese culture in his books. It really brings the story alive. You learn some really neat, obscure things, and he's just so creative and fun! I love all of his books. My favorite is definitely Hokkaido Popsicle, but, they are ALL wonderful and I recommend anyone interested in Japan or Japanese culture get them!
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