Everyone wants to escape their boring, stagnant lives full of inertia and regret. But so few people actually have the bravery to run - run away from everything and selflessly seek out personal fulfillment on the other side of the world where they don’t understand anything and won’t be expected to. The world is full of cowards.
Tim Anderson was pushing 30 and working a string of dead-end jobs when he made the spontaneous decision to pack his bags and move to Japan. It was a gutsy move, especially for a tall, white, gay Southerner who didn’t speak a lick of Japanese. But his life desperately needed a shot of adrenaline, and what better way to get one than to leave behind his boyfriend, his cat, and his Siouxsie and the Banshees box set to move to “a tiny, overcrowded island heaving with clever, sensibly proportioned people who make him look fat”?
In Tokyo, Tim became a “gaijin”, an outsider whose stumbling progression through Japanese culture is minutely chronicled in these 16 hilarious stories. Despite the steep learning curve and the seemingly constant humiliation, the gaijin from North Carolina gradually begins to find his way. Whether playing drums on the fly in an otherwise all-Japanese noise band or attempting to keep his English classroom clean when it’s invaded by an older female student with a dirty mind, Tim comes to realize that living a meaningful life is about expecting the unexpected...right when he least expects it.
©2012 Tim Anderson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I really love this story, it really made me understand what it would be like to venture to a foreign country and be enveloped by its culture. Especially because I do plan on living in Japan as well. This rendition of his experience only made me want to go more. Also McLeod is amazing!
The book started a bit slow but really built into something fascinating. Interesting as a travel book but more interesting to those that have lived and taught abroad or have aspirations to do so. There are great descriptions of teaching both in suburban and urban areas, The logistics of living in Japan, the nightlife, the people, and the types of students one encounters. There are also many interesting social interactions outside of class from bars, to music lessons, to bands, and more.
100% accurate descriptions of the type of people and often odd personalities that are attracted to teaching in Japan. I was laughing at loud and groaning at many of the descriptions as they matched perfectly with people I have experienced in Japan. The author doesn't pull any punches with the social misfits, losers, drunks, and _________ that think Japan will be the answer to their lack of social skills in their home country.
The author had a slight southern accent which matches the authors southern roots. One felt it could have been the author reading the book.
Yes, I am of Japanese descent but grew up in the US. The story of an English Language teacher in Japan was very illuminating. Seeing the Japanese through a western lens is always fascinating. Even more so, given the author's youth & orientation.
saying almost anything would be a spoiler.
few mispronunciations, energetic
Read books. not too many. Mostly good ones.
Underwhelming. Deadpan. Diverting.
Tim Anderson's pretty much the only character around. The other people in the memoir are by and large unmemorable, though there are some exceptions (his account of his ill-fated rock band is particularly nice.)
MacLeod Andrews was mostly good, except for when he tried to speak Japanese and speak in a Japanese accent. Then it was sometimes offensive.
Sometimes I would laugh out loud, sometimes I would chuckle, but overall I listened in stoic silence trying to figure out when the next time I would laugh was.
In general, I don't laugh a whole lot (ha ha). This particular read though was not bad. It was an interesting, if seemingly dated (no talk of cell phones here), jaunt through Japan. Though many observations were a bit stereotypical (Anderson's description of Japanese people's formalities, for instance), and though Andrews' reading was sometimes more than just stereotypical (intentional changing of r's to l's, for instance), it was overall vaguely amusing. I enjoyed greatly that the story was a bunch of vignettes in Anderson's life, but I would have liked to see greater insights into Japanese culture. Overall: not bad. But not great.
I liked the author relatability, he rarely talked himself up. However I did not like his flowery "poetic" tangents.
It was okay. I was hoping for juuuuust a bit more.
Roy from philadelphia. Spot on.
It actually did! I'm honestly considering going over to Japan and teaching English now.
Decent budget read.
This was a light , insightful romp through Japan
LOL where are all the lesbians???
Humorous, engaging, fun
Andrews really has a great sense of timing and seemed to "get" the humor of the author. He made the ride more fun.
Takes you on the author's journey as a gay American in Japan. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it, but found the story interesting and quite often would just burst out laughing while listening. I went away with a greater appreciation of and respect for Japanese culture. Tim Anderson is refreshingly transparent. I enjoyed his life adventure.
Yes. I've decided that when an author embarks on an adventure just to get a book out of it rarely leads to a good book.
I bought this book because I thought I'd learn about Japanese culture and daily life. Rather it was the diary of a down and out 20-something who goes to Japan to teach english. I did not care about his creepy roomates or his employer.
There were a few moments where I did gain some insight into Japanese culture and life.
I do need to admit that I could not finish the book. I tried skipping sections to find something new but every time I did that I landed on more of the same.
I read nothing that is popular.
"Tune in Tokyo" is about a man who is also happen to be gay that goes to Japan to teach English. Basically, it's Tim Anderson's memoirs about his experience at teaching in a foreign country. If you like stand up comedy and pop culture than this one is for you. If you are looking for a guide book to Asia, you should look elsewhere. I had a few laugh out loud moments while listening to this one, but I also wanted to know more about the culture of teaching in Japan. Maybe less laughs and more facts? The best way to describe this book is an episode of This American Life. It is something that they would report because of the comic relief on Japanese culture.
Over the road truck Driver listen to books to make the miles go by.
This is a homosexual's view of Japan. He makes no explanation nor expects any recriminations. He is simply teaching English to non-English speakers and learning Nipponese while doing so. I thought perhaps this might be humorous, but it wasn't.
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