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Publisher's Summary

A man follows another man's trail of lies in a compelling psychological story about the search for identity, by Japan's award-winning literary sensation Keiichiro Hirano in his first novel to be translated into English.

Akira Kido is a divorce attorney whose own marriage is in danger of being destroyed by emotional disconnect. With a midlife crisis looming, Kido's life is upended by the reemergence of a former client, Rié Takemoto. She wants Kido to investigate a dead man - her recently deceased husband, Daisuké. Upon his death she discovered that he’d been living a lie. His name, his past, his entire identity belonged to someone else, a total stranger. The investigation draws Kido into two intriguing mysteries: finding out who Rié's husband really was and discovering more about the man he pretended to be. Soon, with each new revelation, Kido will come to share the obsession with - and the lure of - erasing one life to create a new one.

In A Man, winner of Japan’s prestigious Yomiuri Prize for Literature, Keiichiro Hirano explores the search for identity, the ambiguity of memory, the legacies with which we live and die, and the reconciliation of who you hoped to be with who you’ve actually become.

©2018 Keiichiro Hirano. Translation © 2020 by Eli K. P. William. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about A Man

Average Customer Ratings
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Beautiful

I really appreciated the insight of Japanese history and the Korean racial histories. With all that is happening in the U.S. right now around historical racial issues it is interesting to learn about challenges in other cultures. The story is very absorbing and the exploration of the subject fascinating. The philosophical contemplations and relational struggles are masterfully done. I would like to read additional works by this author. Thank you for bringing this to the English language. The performance by Nishii is terrific. Handles so many voices and personalities in nuanced and expert ways. I really enjoyed this book as I worked on putting in a new floor and cabinets in my kitchen.

6 people found this helpful

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Sutil

Poetic . Philosophical. Beautifully written. Entreating cinematographic description . Contemplative. sincere out pour of emotions
Highly recommend

6 people found this helpful

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Definitely recommended

I found the author pulled off the double-mystery angle here well. Main character, not part of either situation directly, came across well enough that the details of his own personal life were relavant for me. Had to pay attention to the audio to keep from losing the plot; in that respect, reading print might have been easier, especially with Japanese names! However, Brian Nishii's specialization in Japanese terms works well with him overall as narrator. Translation so efficient that I got the feeling it had been written in English in the first place.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

A thoughtful story that takes its time enveloping you in the lives of memorable characters as it unwinds a mystery involving love, loss and the search for identify.

Superb narration as well

1 person found this helpful

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Intriguing

This is my first book by Japanese writer in English translation. Audible narrator does good job pronouncing Japanese names and places naturally.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting story, good narration

This was an interesting story, somewhat hard to relate to if you don't understand Japanese culture and the pressures to conform and be accepted by society.

1 person found this helpful

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WTF... it's so good

I love this story so much. The narrator was also top notch.
I'm recommending this to everyone I know

1 person found this helpful

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Japanese immersion

This was good, interesting culturally and an emotionally personal story. It presents a bit of difficulty initially in Audio due to remembering the names, but after a while it is fine. The mystery angle makes it more fun, but it is not a thriller per se. Good one for Japanese novel devotees that want to branch out a bit.

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Very good mystery

Good plot with interesting Japanese cultural insights throughout. Matches the Audible description, so if that peeks your interest then you'll probably enjoy it.

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Would Make an Award Winning Film

see my final review to be posted at www.instagram.com/angelsmomreads. links in bio to my good reads and blog. My fave read of August 2021

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  • Mr Chops
  • 06-21-20

Not my style

Found all the intricate detail of the mundane a bit slow. Perhaps that is a Japanese style of writing, but failed to hold my interest.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anna Edgar
  • 06-21-20

Too far?

Is it the translation, the hard to remember names, the subject, the at times odd reader inflections, that made this a disconnected story for me? in its emotional flatness it was disturbing but I remained unmoved. Perhaps I didn't fully understand, or perhaps 'lost in translation'?

1 person found this helpful

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  • juozas kasiulis
  • 10-26-21

Names are important

From this audiobook I got that sometimes names can very important such big part of persons identity. This was an interesting listen for sure. Great narration.

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  • Ivan Nikolov
  • 01-12-21

A picture from an exhibition

Really nice book, the story is combination of psychology, crime, existentialism and fine art.
I enjoyed very much.

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  • Elizabete
  • 08-13-20

Boring

I struggled to finish this audiobook as I found it very, very boring. I catched myself multiple times not really listening and my mind wondering somewhere else.

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  • literati
  • 10-21-20

The best of modern Japanese literature

This book deserves to become a classic, and the author, Keiichiro Hirano, deserves to be seen as one of the great modern Japanese writers by a worldwide audience.

Having read great literature (Tolstoy, Buzzati), I can say that this novel has the same qualities: realism, emotional power, psychological depth, and philosophical insight. The story revolves around the investigation of a recently deceased man who had been hiding his true identity. Though this mystery person makes almost no personal appearances in the novel, it is a testament to the authors ability that by the end of it, we get a clear and vivid sense of who he was, and what motivated his strange actions. Hirano demonstrates strong insight into people, and accurate understanding of topics like law, society, genetics, etc.

The narrator, Brian Nishii, does a terrific job. He meets all the criteria of what makes a great audiobook narrator: being able to capture the emotion in the text, to voice the opposite gender, to give each major character a distinct personality. Furthermore his pronunciation of Japanese words is spot on.