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My Year of Meats | [Ruth Ozeki]

My Year of Meats

Jane, a struggling filmmaker in New York, is given her big break, a chance to travel through the United States to produce a Japanese television program sponsored by American meat exporters. Meanwhile, Akiko, a painfully thin Japanese woman struggling with bulimia, is being pressured by her child-craving husband to put some meat on her bones, literally.
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Publisher's Summary

Jane, a struggling filmmaker in New York, is given her big break, a chance to travel through the United States to produce a Japanese television program sponsored by American meat exporters. Meanwhile, Akiko, a painfully thin Japanese woman struggling with bulimia, is being pressured by her child-craving husband to put some meat on her bones, literally. How Jane's and Akiko's lives intersect in wacky crosscultural collisions provides romance, humor, intrigue, and even a muckraking message about questionable meat and the Wal-Martification of America.

©1998 Ruth Ozeki Lounsbury; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Her work is unique in presentation yet moving and entertaining. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Ozeki's first novel has some fine touches, including a pleasing prose style, the feisty, independent protagonist, and her modern relationship with her attractive musician boyfriend....this quirky novel will no doubt find an audience." (Booklist)
"A tale both heartwarming and horrific....Character gems and exquisite plotting make this a treasure to read." (Kirkus)
"Ozeki masks a deeper purpose with a light tone....A comical-satirical-farcical-epical-tragical-romantical novel." (Chicago Tribune Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (173 )
5 star
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4.2 (40 )
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4.4 (38 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Emily Chandler, AZ, USA 04-04-04
    Emily Chandler, AZ, USA 04-04-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Entrancing story, unbelievable narration"

    I had no idea what to expect with this selection, but it was one of those, "Hmm, I have one more book credit to use before the end of the month, let's give this a shot" selections for me. Wow. I enjoyed this as much as anything I've listened to on Audible. The story was at times heartwarming, at times hilarious, at times harrowing, and at times sickening. Sometimes all of those things in the same chapter! I'm the type with a squeamish stomach, and there were points in the story where I would normally fast-forward to get past the uncomfortable parts. Not this time--I was totally enthralled, and I thought about the story and the characters long after I had turned off the Otis player for the day. The narrator was incredible; for the first time ever I clicked on a narrator's name on the Audible website to see what else she has narrated. To my surprise and pleasure, I found another book by Ruth Ozeki (an author I had never heard of before this book), and I can't wait to listen!

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Dallas, TX, United States 04-02-04
    Sherry Dallas, TX, United States 04-02-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    Overall
    "WARNING - Makes it Impossible to be"

    Wow. Yes, I've heard about how badly the cattle are treated, and how they're fed antibiotics, etc. that get passed on to us - but I've never really "connected it". I've never had such a vivid picture of the inhumane treatment or what lengths corporate America will go to for the all mighty dollar. How very sad for us all.

    Don't let this throw you - the book is VERY entertaining and the reading of it is the best I have heard by far. This narrator is absolutely wonderful and breaths life into each character - and there are many - the book does not have one dull moment - both due to the writing and the narration.

    I highly recommend this to one and all and will encourage anyone I can to read, listen or feel this book.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen FROSTBURG, MD, United States 10-01-04
    Ellen FROSTBURG, MD, United States 10-01-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "engaging and witty"

    My favorite Audible.com book so far. Wonderful narration, believable, complex and amusing characters well delineated. I was sad to have it end and immediately went looking for another novel by the same author. An unlikely title but should not be missed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terrie North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 09-28-04
    Terrie North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 09-28-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "an excellent tale"

    I have to confess that I purchased this book based on its funky postmodern cover..... It took me a while to get used to reader Anna Fields voice (which initially I found a little dry) but after about 30 minutes I was hooked and I really began to enjoy the intelligence and depth she brought to the reading.

    My Year of Meats is:
    part documentary on paper,
    part exploration of cultural difference and intersection,
    and fully an emotionally engaging tale of one womans journey for truth(s) both professional and personal.

    I highly recommend this novel.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Latter Overland Park, KS 09-22-05
    B. Latter Overland Park, KS 09-22-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it!"

    I have to admit I found this book during a search for the narrator, Anna Fields - this is the second book I've listened to that she has narrated and she is INCREDIBLE! I liked the premise of the story as described by Audible - I became wrapped up in this story so quickly and became so invested in Jane and Akiko and the outcome of their stories. There are, as others have pointed out, some very gorey, painful and touching parts to this story and as someone said, they occur within moments of each other!! I can't wait to listen to the other offering by Ruth Ozeki read by Anna Fields - I anticipate being enthralled!!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Fort Howard, MD, USA 02-10-06
    Denise Fort Howard, MD, USA 02-10-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "of cultural interest, but..."

    I enjoyed the narration of this book, it was paced very well. I loved the cultural differences contrasted between Japan and the US and their views of the meat and food industry, in marriage and love, and business of documentaries and television. I believe the book becomes politically-themed and the the author's views are conveyed through the writing of this novel. So, my decision to download her other book is still not made as of this writing as a result. I know the meat industry and the world of medicine is far from perfect and I'm not sure if it is an appropriate subject for entertainment, frankly, I was saddened by the effects and abuses of adulterated food. I did not find modern medicine blunders very entertaining either. I gave this book 3 stars, because it held my attention through the storytelling in spite of some of the content and end results. I thought this book would be a little more light-hearted. I was not prepared for the gloom.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tomoeh New York, NY, USA 06-02-05
    Tomoeh New York, NY, USA 06-02-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic"

    A well-written novel that is thoughtful, touching and bittersweet all at once. Jane Little, the protagonist, is born to a Japanese mother and American father, and Ozeki deftly manuevers back and forth between the two cultures. In particular, Ozeki does a great job of capturing the silliness of Japanese television and the late 20th century Japanese corporate world. Highly reccomended.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Albert H. Nakano Seattle, WA 02-21-05
    Albert H. Nakano Seattle, WA 02-21-05 Member Since 2003

    bertman4

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant!"

    I chose this audiobook because I had first listened to Ruth Ozeki's other available novel, All Over Creation. The story was extremely interesting to me, but the reader Anna Fields was just fantastic. So I picked up this book because Anna Fields was also the reader. I was not disappointed. The story is definitely quirky with its cast of characters and intertwining story lines. It made me go through a gamut of emotions. Totally engrossing. I would definitely recommend this book.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca WASHINGTON, DC, United States 06-03-13
    Rebecca WASHINGTON, DC, United States 06-03-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kind of annoying"

    I LOVED Ozeki's later novel, A Tale for the Time Being, but in this novel I found the protagonist self-righteous and smug, and the villain unrelentingly repulsive. The only "character" in the book the was treated with subtlety and nuance was the meat itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noah Jackson Heights, NY, United States 02-25-13
    Noah Jackson Heights, NY, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Worth listening to for the narration alone!"
    What did you love best about My Year of Meats?

    I'm not normally a fiction fan, but I'm giving it a try, so I liked the fact that this book managed to incorporate a lot of factual information in the context of an interesting narrative.


    What does Anna Fields bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I don't know how much I would have enjoyed reading this book. The character voices that Anna Fields created were incredible. It was such a pleasure to listen to!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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