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Pro Bono Paperback – July 3, 2012
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"Seicho Matsumoto combines the prolific output of a Rex Stout with the literary qualities of Elmore Leonard."--San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
The Matsumoto Seicho Memorial Museum in Kitakyushu City has commemorated the life and work of Seicho Matsumoto since 1998.
Top Customer Reviews
Pro Bono is very dark, beginning with a tragic miscarriage of justice and ending with a chilling revenge. The great injustice dramatized still exists today: poor people can't afford the fees of the most talented defense lawyers. The rich criminal goes free, brilliantly defended, while the innocent poor man, carelessly defended, dies.
I won't reveal any plot details, because every detail twists the knife in the heart of the reader and fuels the terrible momentum of the story. The subject of the investigation is society, as well as the crime. But the crime has a complexity that is a total surprise to the reader. This is highly successful crime writing, in addition to delivering a message.
The characters are well done: a young man accused of murder, his beautiful sister who becomes obsessed with getting justice for her brother, the famous lawyer who refuses to handle the case pro bono, the idealistic young journalist who wants to help but is powerless, and the young hostesses who work in seedy bars down the back streets of Tokyo. Although the lawyer is the villain, I couldn't help but feel some sympathy for him. All is not black and white in this grim story.
Although Matsumoto is a major figure in Japanese literature, only a handful of his books are available in English. I recommend them all to serious fans of contemporary Japanese fiction. Who knows how long they'll be in print?
Having won many awards in Japan and one of the best selling and highest earning authors of the 1960's. Matsumoto wrote the story "Pro Bono" which was serialized in a women's publication from 1959-1960 and was made into a novel in 1961.
The drama was well-received that it's popularity led to a TV drama being made in 1965 and once again in 1977 and special dramas in 1983, 1991, 1997 and in 2003. And to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Seicho Matsumoto's birth, a special aired in television in 2010.
In America, "Pro Bono" will be released in America courtesy of Vertical, Inc. and featuring an English translation by Andrew Clare.
"Pro Bono" revolves around a young woman named Kiriko Yanagida who travels from Kyushu to Tokyo to meet with renown criminal defense lawyer Kinzo Otsuka.
Kiriko's brother Masao, a teacher, is a suspect of a robbery and murder of a 65-year-old woman. When he was arrested, her brother confessed but changed his mind after meeting with a public prosecutor.
Because of the technicality, it would be difficult to prove Masao's innocence, so she had to meet with the best criminal defense attorney in Tokyo.
But because she has no money to pay for the high attorney's fees, Kinzo feels its a waste of her time and money to travel to Tokyo to get him to work on this case. For one, he doesn't work via pro bono and second, all that is on his mind is being with his girlfriend Michiko Kono, a restaurant owner in the city.Read more ›