This is an entertaining yarn, but the plot has some cliches and standard characters that, while colorful, have been over-used in crime fiction.
I have enjoyed a lot of Dave Barry over the years, and I am interested in Japan and Asia in general, so I thought this would be a great experience. However, this book manages to be preachy, patronizing and outdated all at the same time. Particularly annoying was the narrator's attempts at funny Japanese accents. I don't know how those bits looked in the text, but they came across as insensitive and jingoistic. The book starts with a long monolog about how Japanese were protrayed in 1950s movies, which was most unpleasant. Pick another Dave Barry book!
I found this book in the library one day, and couldn't put it down. The Giver is a fascinating story, and Lowry draws you in. Even though the wold is completely foriegn, you understand it completely, and it doesn't confuse you. Soon after finishing it, I devoured the two sequels. Lowry is a wonderful author, and I completely recomend all of her books, especially this one.
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