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Summer of the Big Bachi Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
“Naomi Hirahara's story of forgotten men who share an unforgettable past sweeps the reader into a world most of us know little about. Luckily, our guide is Mas Arai, a complete original, and Hirahara's sure and generous voice brings him vividly to life.”—S.J. Rozan, Edgar award winning of Winter and Night
“Naomi Hirahara is a bright new voice on the mystery scene. Summer of the Big Bachi presents an intriguing puzzle written with a true insider’s eye for Japanese American life”—Dale Furutani, Anthony award winning author of Death in Little Tokyo
“A novel about social change wrapped inside a mystery, Summer of the Big Bachi toggles deftly between past and present and reveals the hopes and compromises that lurk on the fringes of the American Dream.”—Denise Hamilton, Edgar award nominated author of Last Lullaby
Top Customer Reviews
My only concern is the apparent intention to make the protagonist into one of those serial mystery sleuths. He seems too uniquely suited to the history and situations in this book to be credibly trotted out for repeated triumphs.
This book was a quick and enjoyable read and I look forward to her next book.
And enough goes wrong for Mas in this book to justify his fears. Gardening jobs dry up, and Mas's truck is stolen, and people are murdered... It falls to Mas to find the truth behind the deaths.
Mas is not warm and fuzzy. Nothing interests him much, except gardening and gambling. He's not even a very good investigator because of his lack of people skills. But still, he's an unusual protagonist, and I intend to try the next book on the series. I did not care for the author's phonetic rendering of the Japanese accent. It didn't strike me as true to life. But I'm hoping this will be less intrusive in the next book.
The real fascination of this book comes from the descriptions of the bombing and how it overshadowed the lives of Hiroshima survivors in America.
Numerous Japanese survivors of the Hiroshima debacle have lived and still reside in Los Angeles. This included until recently gardener Joji Haneda, who died less than a month ago in a Ventura County hospital. Two Japanese visitors were seeking out Joji. Shine magazine writer Yuki Kimura wanted to ask him about what happened to Yuki's vanished grandfather Riki Kimura just after the bomb fell, something he believed Joji had known. Working for a client, private eye Shuji Nakane wanted to question Joji for information on a stolen classic 1956 Ford pickup. However, Yuki will learn the stunning truth about 1945 and his lost grandfather, but also ends up arrested for murder.
The intrigue surrounding Hiroshima at the time of the bomb and the insightful look at the Japanese-American subculture in Southern California overwhelm the mystery. The cast is strong especially the two visitors and the three conspiratorial friends hiding the past including perceptions of Joji. Though the mystery behind what happened to Riki seems minor, fans of astute looks at subcultures within the so called American melting pot will appreciate Naomi Hirahara's delightful debut.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting but i felt a little confused about the characters until the end. Mas Aari is a great character and an unsung hero for all isei and nisei men. Read morePublished 11 days ago by starman
I loved The Summer of the Big Bachi so much that I am currently reading it a second time. The author's writing is natural, flawless and beautiful, and her characters are colorful,... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mary G.
A gripping mystery told by a powerful writer. Hirahara develops memorable characters and gives her readers a deep sense of place.Published 12 months ago by Terri L. Niccum
Good first novel and introduction to a new character -- very fresh having a 70 year-old Hiroshima survivor as a detective. Read morePublished 13 months ago by A. Phillips
I have had trouble writing the review for this one. I've come to this point many times only to stare at the page and think of something important I have to do. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Serena
Naomi Hirahara's Mas Arai's books look at an elderly Japanese-American who is a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing who, despite himself, finds himself investigating odd goings on in... Read morePublished 17 months ago by E. M. Flynn