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on July 3, 2011
Found this at the library yesterday, a new Japanese book that I had not seen before. There was an interesting blurb about the author, that this book won the Random House Kodansha Prize. The what? I know Random House, I know Kodansha, but what...? It seems that it might be a prize that the publishers give to their own books. I am unable to find any other references to it.

This is probably a "first book" by this author. It has some promise but it just doesn't keep it. It seems as though it just can't figure out what kind of book it is supposed to be. Part travelogue, part sociological study, part novel but it doesn't successfully fill any of them. The author touches on some potentially weighty topics but never investigates any of them. Too bad.
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on December 1, 2010
Mochizuki's debut in English translation is a quick, engrossing read. While it will not probably change your life, it is great for a weekend getaway. Mochizuki does a great job transporting readers into unfamiliar territory and providing a glimpse into the life of a language teacher in a foreign country.
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