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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Emily
  • Chandler, AZ, USA
  • 04-04-04

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!

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

engaging and witty

My favorite 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

  • Overall
  • Terrie
  • North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 09-28-04

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Emotional, Educational, Entertaining = Excellent

Outstanding story and superior narration. There is a good narrative, interesting characters, and eye-opening information about the business of "meat" in the US. One of my favorite books of this year !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Tomoeh
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 06-02-05


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

  • Overall


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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Forced ending, but fun ride

I found this story less interesting than "A Tale for the Time Being," also by Ozeki, which I loved. Ozeki's writing is always beautiful and interesting. I really liked the premise of the TV show and would have liked to hear more about the different 'American Wives.' I was a lot less invested in the budding relationship between Sloan and Jane. I also felt weary of the way all the stories were resolved by the end of the novel.

As for the performance: We're told multiple times how cool Jane, the protagonist, is. But I just didn't feel it. Maybe it was in part due to the ultra-American mom-voice of the narrator. She's a good reader and did a great job at making each of the characters have very distinctive voices, but it was hard for me to believe she was a cool, tattooed, 20-something, half-Japanese girl. Maybe I'm comparing it too much to Ozeki's excellent narration of her own book in "A Tale for the Time Being."

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


I loved the different writing styles that the author incorporates into this story. It moves so well and is such a unique way to tell the story from all the different angles. The narrative is never dull and there are so many turns that I wasn't expecting through the entirety of it.