Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Country of Origin: A Novel Paperback – April 17, 2005
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I also thought most of the characters were fascinating people. The bumbling Japanese detective was especially compelling, a combination of TV's Columbo and Monk whose essential honesty and humanity wins out in the end. The identity issues, and the success some characters have at escaping their former identities and growing into more appropriate or comfortable ones, were also convincing, even inspiring. A reviewer below finds the setting confusing--why 1980 instead of now? Well for one thing, the Iranian hostage crisis was dragging on and on at that time. The idea of a "hostage" symbolizes the identity struggles of many of the characters.
The many details about Tokyo are also fascinating, though at times the piling up of "quirky Japan" examples ("weird" sex bars and love hotels, fetishistic Japanese men, bizzare TV shows, etc.) got to be a bit much. Those able to direct the Western gaze toward Japan should give it credit for more than its "weirdness," which people in the West already tend to know about. Fortunately, the multidimensional Japanese characters offered by Lee balance out those times where he pauses for yet another cultural oddity.Read more ›
In 1980, graduate student Lisa Countryman goes to Japan to work on her doctoral thesis. She's half Japanese, half-black, a Berkeley grad who hopes to learn more about her own background through her research. This path turns risky, and at the opening of the novel, Lisa has already disappeared.
The US Embassy official assigned to Lisa's case is on shaky ground himself. Tom Hurley is on his own risky path, hiding his own mixed heritage as he pursues an affair with the wife of a CIA official. A man of such compromised morals wants nothing to do with a disappearance of another bi-racial American, especially one who may have been involved in the Japanese sex underground. Lisa's case falls to Kenzo Ota, a Tokyo detective with so many neuroses that he commands no respect. He gets Lisa's case because in the eyes of his co-workers, the disappearance of such a person is of no consequence whatsoever.
Don Lee weaves Lisa's story through Ota's search for her with fluidity and skill. His pointed look at Japanese society in 1980 is intelligent and interesting, with the additional intriguing reflection on the US reaction to bi-racial Americans. "Country of Origin" is completely satisfying and I look forward to Don Lee's next novel.
Well-written and well-plotted, this book is a quick read, and more like a romp than serious literature. There is a murder mystery-sort-of theme, which unravels skillfully.
Perhaps this book was written for a younger audience. I usually enjoy literary fiction set in other countries. But I could not relate to most of the characters in this novel. The night life (sleazier side) wasn't exactly my cup of tea. And I don't know Japanese, so a lot of the terms confused me. The immaturity of embassy staff members made me a bit embarrassed. All in all, this wasn't my favorite book.
For Ota, the case is an opportunity to get away from his window office (a position of shame in the Japanese workplace at the time) and win some respect from his colleagues. Ota's investigation alternates with flashbacks to Lisa's arrival in Japan, as she drifts from research into bar hostessing, and hires a detective of her own to track down her mother. Meanwhile, a third subplot revolves around Hurley's affair with the CIA wife, Julia, who has somehow heard about the missing Lisa and takes a mysterious interest in the case. There's also a running subplot about Ota's personal life, which includes an encounter with his ex-wife and her son (who may be his), and a budding romance. This is a lot of plot to juggle, and Lee mostly pulls it off, although the book probably could have been much improved by excising or greatly diminishing the Hurley material.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rarely do I bail out on a book. Even if I don't like it at first, I still give it a chance to gather momentum and redeem itself. This one didn't redeem itself. I bailed.Published on October 15, 2013 by Tinman
One of the worst books I have struggled to read in many, many years. Got all the way through it simply because I thought there must be SOMETHING at the end to clean up the... Read morePublished on April 2, 2013 by Philip D. Griggs
Lisa Countryman is abducted in Tokyo, possibly taken by someone related to the Tokyo sex industry. When her sister reports her missing, people in the U.S. Read morePublished on January 30, 2011 by michael a. draper
This was a wonderfully written literary thriller by a Korean-American author. He seems to come at it from the world of literary, as opposed to genre, writing. Read morePublished on April 26, 2010 by T. Burrows
Lisa Countryman is the adopted asian/black daughter of a black US Serviceman and his wife. She was brought back to the States at the age of four. Read morePublished on July 28, 2006 by Grey Wolffe
I loved this book, the mix of Oriental/Asian/American intrigue was just right, kept me reading and finished it in an afternoon. I hope this author has more up his sleeve!Published on August 21, 2005 by maryzeus
In 1980 University of Berkley graduate student Lisa Countryman, a half-Japanese, half-black American, conducts her dissertation research in Tokyo on the brutal societal conformity... Read morePublished on May 25, 2005