A deep insight into the world of Japanese gangsters and a reporters life in late night
Toyko. Conversations with top Japanese gang leaders, real stories including the
liver transplants at UCLA and the true job of a "club hostess"
I enjoyed this book. Adelstein reads the book and you really feel like you are privy to his inside story. Good narration and interesting look at the under world of Japan, a country often touted as the "safest" country in the world.
How Jake changed over the years from the fresh out of college, enthusiastic gaijin reporter to a tired, weathered oyaji with his own red badge of courage. The entire book kept my attention and wanting to keep listening.
He was telling his own story. I felt like he was confiding in me with his personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
--the dark side of humanity.
I hope the author can find peace after all he has seen.
Jake Adelstein gives an engaging and interesting look into life in the underworld of Japan's capital--something that few Japanese reporters are willing to expose and even fewer foreigners are allowed to glimpse. Having lived in Japan for over 15 years, I remember some of the things Adelstein reports on and it was great to get the real story behind the news.
The author's narration was not as gripping as a professional narrator may have produced but the large number of Japanese words might have given a non-Japanese speaker trouble. Adelstein's choice to ensure that words and names were pronounced correctly overcame any deficiencies which came up due to his amateur narration. (Personally, hearing words or names pronounced incorrectly seriously distracts from my focus on the story.)
If you're interested in Japan or in journalism, this book is a must-read. I strongly recommend this book.
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!