Fear is the mind Killer, so Face Your Fear
it showed me a side of Japanese culture i had never known.
I was suprised at the true passion that came from his voice.
Jake. He started out with a singular naive take no prisoners focus, only to end up realizing he had a heart.....too late
the Yakuza are Korean immigrant based.
It was stunning the realism, and the extemes a real man would go to to uncover a story. I hope he writes more. I kind of pity him and I kind of envy him. He has lead a real life. he has experienced so much pain, yet hurt so many. Karma.
mostly nonfiction listener
I like the idea of Tokyo Vice better than the actual book. The set-up is great. American guy (my age) goes to college in Japan and stays on to join the countries biggest newspaper as a crime reporter. In the process he illuminates aspects of Japanese culture and society that have been previously hidden to non-Japanese, including (but not limited to), the Japanese newspaper culture, and the Japanese crime culture, the Japanese strip club / prostitution / vice culture. The problem is that this book would have been much better as a novel than a piece of non-fiction.
Adelstein, I'm guessing, was simply too constricted by real life (namely a real life spouse and children) to either get really dirty and go native in the Tokyo vice scene, or to tell about it if he did indeed descend into the moral darkness. What is interesting about the story, and precisely the part that Adelstein hints at but always seems to shy away from, is the raunch, sin, violence and sex. We really don't think the story of a Japanese crime boss getting a liver transplant stateside is all that interesting.
What is fascinating is seeing a gaijin penetrate, and succumb, to the temptations of hookers, strippers, drugs, booze, thugs, and story telling that should be a Tokyo vice reporters life. We want to know more about the underside of Japan from a perspective (American, male) that we can relate.
I really enjoyed this story, but I have to agree with the other commenters that the narration did detract somewhat from the story. Still, I wouldn't let that stop you from downloading this book if you are a fan of true crime stories and Japanese culture.
This book is a prime example of why not every author should read his/her book. Adelstein read his memoir so quickly it was hard to tell where thoughts began and ended. I enjoyed learning about his years in Tokyo but would have enjoyed a lot more if a professional read it instead.
This book was amazingly good. I have been living in Japan for a number of years now but it taught more a ton about the aspects of Japan that are hard to see and just below the surface. Anyone who has any interest in Japan at all should read this book.
This guy cannot talk properly, speaks too fast and voice seems to croak / crack every other sentence.
Get the book instead, not this audio version.
No doubt a great book, but one of the few times where a book is elevated in it's conversion to audio book. Though, clearly not a professional reader (he hiccups a bit during the reading), Adelstein has lived this stuff and you can detect it in his voice. It's haunting. He's lived a life and worked a job that would annihilate most anyone's humanity and still found the courage to stand for something. Seriously commendable. Big ups Mr. Adelstein!
If you're looking for a story about a reporting, and reporting in general, you might like it.
But if you're looking for something that focuses on Tokyo Vice...look elsewhere, this book is light on that, and heavy on unnecessary description of irrelevant details.
meh...not really into this genre anyway. Just planning for a trip to Tokyo and thought it would be interesting.
Author narrated...he was ok as a narrator, but the content was weak.
History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.
Entertaining but not really my thing, a rainy day book maybe when between books.
What would have made this book better? At a minimum, having a professional read it. Jake rambles through some parts at the speed of light, and other times slows so much I feel like he is reading for the mentally challenged. Of course, what would have really made this book better would have required that another person WRITE it. As the story is so bizarre, ridiculous, perverse and the author just a shameless, silly, narcissistic self-promoter that the only value I derived from listening was the sheer amusement at what insanity would come out of his mouth next. And I mean it. It's a fun ride to listen to this man put words into the mouths of Japanese that could only come from some B 80's "Revenge of the Yakuza" movie.
My absolute favorite part is when he compares himself to not only being a Yakuza - but THE Yakuza that he most detests...well sorry - it was a Yakuza lady who made that comment actually. Jake is so humble lol - a true man of honor, that betrays just about every single person that he writes about at every level that I can conceive of.
If you know a thing about Japan, you know that Japanese don't open up to strangers too quickly - especially foreigners. But according to Adelstein - he walks in a room and Police, Yakuza, Oyabun, Hostesses, CIA/FBI, etc. etc. are all falling over themselves to expose their darkest secrets to him, betraying themselves and those closest to themselves - to him. Oh and all the lovely visits to Soapland and Maid Station. My god...what a bizarre little man this Adelstein is to even go so far as to share the occasions when he cheats on his wife. Disgusting.
Whatever truth this self aggrandizer has mixed into this silly, infantile tale is irrelevant. It is so implausible as to be a-priori false - except for the fact that I do believe that this man has annoyed, offended and messed around with the lives of many people for his own publicity. Riddled with contradictions, libel, and a theatrical Seinfeld-ian grandeur - like one long not so funny episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Adelstein manages to offend the Japanese, Americans, Jews and the reader over and over again.
I feel like I'm in that scene from Billy Madison..."we are all dumber for having listened to this"...seriously - this is not an expose on anything except where Japanese like to go and unwind, and perhaps get some romantic attention. Most of us know this already, and books like Pink Samurai handle it a hell of a lot better. Sorry but Tokyo Vice is a fantasy, and not a very good one.
Incidentally, look up Adelstein's business card from his days as a "Police Reporter" for a good laugh...
I would retitle this book, "Tokyo Fantasy: The Imaginary Tales of Jake Adelstein" or "How to Get on 60 Minutes for your 15"