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Yamada Monogatari: Demon Hunter Paperback – January 22, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (January 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607013835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607013839
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Richard Parks lives in Mississippi with his wife and a varying number of cats. He collects Japanese woodblock prints but otherwise has no hobbies since he discovered that they all require time. His fiction has appeared in Asimov's SF, Realms of Fantasy, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Fantasy Magazine, Weird Tales, and numerous anthologies, including Year's Best Fantasy and Fantasy: The Best of the Year. He's been a finalist for both the World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature."

Photo by Carol Parks

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
21%
3 star
11%
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See all 19 customer reviews
Looking forward to more books from this great new artist.
Sherri Riegel
This is an awesome collection of short stories set in pre-feudal japan and brims with japanese lore and mysticism.
Tony
This is a collection of short stories - and is well written and interesting.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By N. R. Dow on January 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent read, especially but not only for those with an interest in Japanese mythology and the Heian period. Further, readers who enjoy Fantasy mystery-type stories will also enjoy the read. Chapters are actually short stories, though there is important order (other than original publication date, in the case of some) to their presentation. The book is a great value and is easily readable in a very long session or several readings.

Yamada himself functions as the knowledgable agent during the readers' exploration through Parks's recreation of Heian Japan (the period preceding the "Warring States" and the rise of the Shogun). Yamada is both observant and thoughtful, bringing his surroundings to life for those familiar with and those alien to various aspects of Japanese culture, history, and mythology present in the work. Yamada's quirky monk companion Kenji provides a solid foil, and occasional kick in the rear, to the dogged demon hunter himself.

Parks weaves solid stories, some of which bring humor while others bring thoughtful reflection. At their most basic, they are entertaining and self contained, though they slowly weave into a total narrative. The settings are diverse, bringing the reader into contact with large swaths of Japanese culture both near to and far from the Imperial court. The characters are, for the most part, well-developed with the dubious or mixed motivations that make for good storytelling. Importantly, the demons and ghosts Yamada deals with are interesting and compelling.

While familiarity with any of the subject matter certainly enriches the reading experience, it is far from necessary. Foreign references are clearly contextualized and the author provides a glossary of terms at the end.

The only disappointment from this book is that it teases the publishing date of Yamada's next adventure without enough specificity!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maxine McLister on February 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Yamada no Goji is an impoverished lord with an affinity for saki and a mind and sword sharp enough to deal with the many ghosts and demons which populate the Heian period of ancient Japan. His rank and his reputation for discretion have made him one of the most sought-after demon hunters by the Japanese aristocracy. He battles ogres and trickster foxes and other assorted beasties often accompanied by his best friend, Kenji, a somewhat dissolute priest who shares Yamada's love of saki as well as enjoying the company of married women just a little too much.

This book brings together several short stories about Lord Yamada and his dealings with a whole host of demons, spirits, and ghosts. I know very little about ancient Japan or its folklore but these stories have an authentic feel to them - the court intrigues, the magic, the demons all seem like they could have been a part of the history, the rituals and the beliefs and folk tales of the time. Whether or not this is true, author Richard Parks has drawn a fascinating portrait of ancient Japan which draws the reader in and, in my case at least, makes me want to find out more about this country and its history. It also made me want more stories about Lord Yamada and I look forward to more of his adventures in the future. A book which can do this is a book worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Megan on January 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The tales that comprise this short story collection link together wonderfully...Set in feudal Japan but written with a pleasing modern style of prose. I love Ernest Bramah's Kai Lung series of which these tales remind me a little, but the writing itself is so much more readable in Park's book. I bought the story off a recommendation on a Charles de Lint thread (so you can tell I like mythic fantasy) and stayed up until 2am finishing it the same night. Like the previous reviewer, I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wrxalex on March 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the stories. The last one was very puzzling. Its a great read especially if you're into the Japanese culture or a fan of anime. I consider this book like the Supernatural show and Sherlock Holmes combined in the Feudal Japan Era.I need more of Yamada!
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By P. Dellechiaie on March 17, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great stories. I was impressed enough to give copies of it and "Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate" to my best friend for Christmas. That novel is a major expansion of the first story in this collection. I would give you the same advice I gave him, read the novel and then read this book,skipping the first story at your discretion. I await more form this author.
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Format: Paperback
Fantastic book set during the Heian era of Japan, when the world was shared with ghosts, demons, and other monsters. Impoverished nobleman Yamada no Goji is a bit of a demon hunter, a drunk, and a man with surprising insights into life. This compilation of short stories is a wonderful introduction to this world. Hope the planned sequel comes out soon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed these short stories of dissolute nobleman late in the Heian period, just before the beginnings of the Kamakura era. Much later than almost the time of the gods of the movie, but still reminiscent. A bit of court intrigue with the Fujiwara, unrequited love and succession issues that is a frame surrounding the stories of ghosts, sendings, fox spirits and ogres - often their exorcism but sometimes not. Enjoyable to read and the authors familiarity with the context is subtly conveyed to the reader.
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