Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Mature Hot Wives Party Palace

I just finished reading Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, and it's a great, great read. Here's a very concise description from Publisher's Weekly:
A young Japanese-schooled Jewish-American who worked as a journalist at Tokyo newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun during the 1990s, debut author Adelstein began with a routine, but never dull, police beat; before long, he was notorious worldwide for engaging the dirtiest, top-most villains of Japan's organized criminal underworld, the yakuza.

If that doesn't convince you, let me add a few details about the flow of the book. Tokyo Vice starts off as a gentle memoir, really, very witty and even innocent. It almost reads like an excellent detective novel, but there's very little sense of menace or danger.

At first.

As Adelstein starts to see underneath Japanese culture and into the underworld, though, the book progressively darkens. It's riveting and fiercely intense, and at the same time, it maintains a deeply personal tone as the author analyzes what and whom he's jeopardizing (and losing) in his single-minded pursuit of a story.

It's one of the most interesting and personally affecting books that I've read in many years.

Also of note: his website, the Japan Subculture Research Center.

Oh, and if you're wondering, "The Mature Hot Wives Party Palace" was the name of a "club" offering prostitutes who were older (thirties) than the norm. Greatest band name ever.

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