Ashes

Overview

The vice and virtues of middle age are espied with an eagle eye in this hardboiled story about a mid-career gangster. Unfolding thorugh chiseled sketches and run through with tantalizing motifs, Kitakata's masterpiece follows the fortunes of a yakuza mobster as his moment of truth approaches. Cool, real, and cleansing, Ashes is a literary tonic.

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Overview

The vice and virtues of middle age are espied with an eagle eye in this hardboiled story about a mid-career gangster. Unfolding thorugh chiseled sketches and run through with tantalizing motifs, Kitakata's masterpiece follows the fortunes of a yakuza mobster as his moment of truth approaches. Cool, real, and cleansing, Ashes is a literary tonic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ashes is a fascinating look at the largely hidden world of the yakuza, Japan's mafia." —Japan Visitor

"This yakuza fable reads like a treatment for a Takeshi Kitano film, and its aging mobster Tanaka evokes Beat's sullen screen ennui." - Mary Jacobi , The Village Voice

Library Journal
Japanese crime novelist Kitakata makes his U.S. debut with this dark, hard-boiled mob story, set in modern-day Japan. Tanaka is a yakuza standing on the edge of a big family transition. With the mob boss in the hospital dying of old age (a rare thing in his line of work), Tanaka fortifies his branch of the organization with more men and strong business ventures in prostitution and drug trafficking. As everyone waits for a change in command, his branch gains respect and importance through a mob war and shrewd business transactions. Tanaka must choose between ruling the family or crushing it with his new syndicate. Unfortunately, this novel is caught between being a convincing, character-driven tale and a low-octane mob story that never seems to come out with guns blazing. After an abrupt shift in perspective midway through the novel, it finally settles into Tanaka's insightful voice. With over 100 novels in print in Japan, Kitakata's first English-language release will garner a following of diehard mob and pulp readers, but it still leaves a stone in this reviewer's shoe. Recommended for large fiction collections.-Ron Samul, New London, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932234022
  • Publisher: Vertical, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: First American Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,114,106
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenzo Kitakata is the undisputed don of hardboiled and mystery writing in Japan. Immensly popular wiht mature readers both male and female, his works have won numerous literary awards.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Man Within
Wind 2
Pigeons 15
Eight Years 29
Hourglass 42
Profile 54
Tablecloth 66
Ashes 78
Part 2 Within the Man
Prison of Water 92
Bathing 131
Like a Dog 175
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