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Tokyo Suckerpunch : A Billy Chaka Adventure Paperback – November 7, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1st edition (November 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380812916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380812912
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,413,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This pop romp through the Tokyo of martial arts, yakuza and legendary geishas has more sly smarts than a Hong Kong gangster shoot-'em-up. First-time novelist Adamson hooks the reader with fast action, clever dialogue and all-over atmosphere, while complicating the plot mightily and implausibly. Billy Chaka is a popular columnist for the Cleveland mag Youth in Asia. He's come to Tokyo to cover the 19 and Under Handicapped International Martial Arts Championship. While Chaka is waiting in a bar for the arrival of his old friend filmmaker Sato Migusho, an apparently drunken woman enters and rushes for the ladies' room. Immediately recognizing her as a geisha in disguise, on the lam from disgruntled clients, ChakaDwho has a weakness for geishasDhelps her escape and handles the tough guys with some dandy kickboxing moves. After Chaka learns that Sato has died in a seemingly accidental fire at his secret luxury hideout, the Garden of Earthly Delights, he ducks his reporterly duties and sets out to find the geisha. While on this quest, underwritten by a yakuza leader named Kwaidan and an unnamed religious cult, Chaka keeps stumbling over imponderables in the Sato case, including the news that Sato was about to film an unauthorized version of Chaka's own life, entitled Tokyo Suckerpunch. This novel is all speed and no depth, but that's forgivable in a narration that detours around such marvelous (and doubtful) Japanese pop esoterica as current fashions in Japanese motorcycle gangs and the tape-recorded politesse of Japanese vending machines. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

?If you crossbred "The Big Sleep with "Memoirs of a Geisha and then took its offspring and crossed it with Chinatown you'd end up with Tokyo Suckerpunch--a tongue-in-bloody-cheek quasi-punk-noir tale of death and deception in the superfantastic Far East. Billy Chaka plays a sort of Drew Carey version of Philip Marlowe, which I guess makes Isaac Adamson the Cleveland version of Raymond Chandler. 'Nuff said.?--Bill Fitzhugh, author of "Cross Dressing and "Pest Control"Astonishing. Simply astonishing. Mind-blowing, in fact. Isaac Adamson makes those other Isaacs--Newton, Deutscher and Asimov--look like the slow-witted primates they doubtless were. "Tokyo Suckerpunch will bitch-slap you down and dare you to get up. Do. The pleasure is well worth the pain."--Dennis Perrin, author of "American Fan: Sports Mania and the Culture That Feeds It and "Mr. Mike --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Those who enjoy how reading can provoke your imagination, buy this book!
"foodmart"
The feeling of walking down a street at night flooded with kanji in neon, then turning down the side street and smelling and feelint the difference didn't work.
D. Brian Nelson
Most of the characters are very well developed and work well with the plot.
Maggie N.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Long on November 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
An outstanding debut for Adamson! This book is an instant hit - a flowing read of Chaka's adventures in Japan. Just as you think you've got Billy and the story pinned down Adamson masterfully keeps you, and the plot twisted. Enjoy the ride.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "foodmart" on November 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
New author with much promise. A new plot that invovles a part of the world that is not often written about in American literature. Get settings, well driven characters. Those who enjoy how reading can provoke your imagination, buy this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damien Nathan on November 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Few words can describe Tokyo Suckerpunch. It's an explosive, in your face, out of control, pop culture fueled trip through the underbelly of Tokyo. By mixing noir, punk, John Woo, and Jackie Chan into one,Issac Adamson has created a imagery filled thrill ride that never lets up. Billy Chaka is the ultimate hero; brash, savvy, uncool, and prone to hair -trigger fits of karate. The supporting characters, which include a mysterious giesha and a mercenary known only as the "Man in the Hat", are equally well constructed. This is the first Billy Chaka novel, with another, Hokkaido Popsicle, on the way. If it is as much fun as Tokyo Suckerpunch, I'll be the first to buy it. Tokyo Suckerpunch is a must read. If you like this, check out Celestial Dogs and Burning Bright, two hard boiled supernatural thrillers that are in the same alley.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Allison on May 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Adamson certainly knows how to dream up a compelling anf action-packed story, but what should be a great read is dragged down by his inability to write dialog in more than one voice. Every single character, whther hip young teen or elderly matron, speaks like a 20-something guy from the States trying to sound tough. If this author can ever learn to create more than one character voice, then he'll be a force to be reckoned with. Until then, well, the story itself is a lot of fun even if the words used to tell it leave a little something to be desired
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Drop Philip Marlowe in the middle of Tokyo, and you might have something like "Tokyo Suckerpunch."

Isaac Adamson's debut novel is a flashy, funny mystery with plenty of gruesome murders, solid one-liners and fast-paced battles over a strange supernatural geisha. One of the storylines isn't quite handled to satisfaction, but the overall book (which will be made into a Toby Maguire movie) is wonderfully fun and strange.

Billy Chaka is waiting for his friend, cult director Sato Migusho, in a little Tokyo bar. But instead he stumbles across a mystery geisha who is being pursued by some nasty men, and when he arrives at Sato's personal hideaway, he finds that it's gone up in smoke -- and Sato is dead. Since he's "hardwired for geisha," Chaka decides to go find the woman.

But his obsession with the geisha Orange Blossom leads him into dangerous territory. Suddenly Billy finds that he's involved with a secret religious order AND the yakuza, a mysterious chauffeur, and that Sato's death may be a murder. Now he's only got a limited time to find Orange Blossom, before she vanishes for a very long time.

"Tokyo Suckerpunch" is sort of a pop-infused noir, where the cities are glitzy rather than grimy, and our cynical hero doesn't take anything very seriously. In fact, Isaac Adamson seems to be enjoying the slightly over-the-top, colourful array of characters and bizarre situations. Really, an Ewok love motel?

Adamson writes in a rapid, tongue-in-cheek manner, full of funny observations about the Japanese way of life, but which are more affectionate than mocking. And the plot spills into various echelons of Japanese society, from the yakuza to a special-needs martial-arts tournament. Billy even mugs a teenage gang so he can use a motorcycle.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Maggie N. on August 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
It seems there wherever you go, you encounter a weird glorification of the Japanese culture. From anime lovers to those who preach of Japanese traditions (more often than not without knowing much about them), it is hard to find an objective and yet an entertaining view of modern Japan.

Here's where Isaac Adamson doesn't disappoint. In his character, Billy Chaka, an American journalist working for a teen magazine finding stories in Tokyo, Adamson combines a strong lead character who doesn't take himself too seriously while remaining a kick-bum (literally) smart mouth. In this installation of the Billy Chaka adventures, Billy pursues a mysterious geisha, finding a weird conspiracy full of what works best in mystery novels: personal tragedy, greed, and of course, dark secrets. Billy Chaka, one of the few gaijin speaking fluent Japanese has an easy time infiltrating the Japanese culture, but even he can manage to get in trouble before solving the mystery (and even that only partially).

This is a fast-read novel, entertaining and engaging. It does not glorify the Japanese (nor any other) culture, but neither does it condemn it nor patronize it. Most of the characters are very well developed and work well with the plot. It is a good book, and an excellent beginning of a series. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V Riley on July 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I felt that this book tried to promise a lot more then it could deliver. I think the author wanted to have all the cool action scenes with Jackie Chan-esque fight sequences, but each scene is rushed through, so you don't have much of a chance to enjoy it for the moment. Jackie Chan fights are best for visual mediums, like TV or film... trying to describe it on paper is long, convoluted, and confusing. I'd much rather the character be an ineffectual fighter, and get out of jams in other fashions. It was also slightly annoying to have the character so incredibly "capable" in various things. It became uninteresting, as he was more than a little cocky. Faults are interesting.
I also felt that there wasn't enough resolution with the character Orange Blossom... it felt like "we have to wrap up this story quick!" And did so.
I didn't completely hate this book, but I don't think I'm interested to read the sequel.
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