December 6

December 6

by Martin Cruz Smith
3.9 39

Hardcover(Large Print)

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Overview

December 6 by Martin Cruz Smith

From Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park and Havana Bay, comes another audacious novel of exotic locales, intimate intrigues and the mysteries of the human heart: December 6.

Set in the crazed, nationalistic Tokyo of late 1941, December 6 explores the coming world war through the other end of history's prism -- a prism held here by an unforgettable rogue and lover, Harry Niles.

In many ways, Niles is as American as apple pie: raised by ultra-protective missionary parents, taught to honor and respect his elders and be an upright Christian citizen. But Niles is also Japanese: reared in the aesthetics of Shinto and educated in the dance halls and back room poker gatherings of Tokyo's shady underworld. As a gaijin, a foreigner -- especially one with a gift for the artful scam -- he draws suspicion and disfavor from Japanese police. This potent mixture of stiff tradition and intrigue -- not to mention his brazen love affair with a Japanese mistress who would rather kill Harry than lose him -- fills Harry's final days in Tokyo with suspense and fear. Who is he really working for? Is he a spy? For America? For the Emperor?

Now, on the eve of Pearl Harbor, Harry himself must decide where his true allegiances lie. Suspenseful, exciting, and replete with the detailed research Martin Cruz Smith brings to all his novels, December 6 is a triumph of imagination, history, and storytelling melded into a magnificent whole.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786246830
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 12/27/2002
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 632
Product dimensions: 6.54(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Martin Cruz Smith’s novels include Gorky Park, Stallion Gate, Polar Star, Stalin’s Ghost, Rose, December 6, Tatiana, and The Girl from Venice. He is a two-time winner of the Hammett Prize, a recipient of Britain’s Golden Dagger Award, and a winner of the Premio Piemonte Giallo Internazionale. He lives in California.

Hometown:

San Rafael, California

Date of Birth:

November 3, 1942

Place of Birth:

Reading, Pennsylvania

Education:

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1964

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December 6 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's no wonder that thriller readers will read December 6th and will be puzzled, to say the least. 'Thriller' is the guise of this Kfakaesque novel. The difficulty in understanding Harry Niles is because this is not a linear novel. It's true apex is a single amazing, love scene (which you'll never forget) that occurs in the middle of the novel. His lover is then gone and Harry is as good as dead without even knowing it. Not dead in the Western sense, but in the dramatic, suicidal Japanese way. The sights, sounds and aromas of this novel will lead you in all directions. If you don't try to pegg December 6th into a ready-made genre but let the novel 'come to you' you're in for a litrary treat. A profound and sophisticated work of art that just 'happens to be' a crackiling, suspensful thriller. Unlike Arkady, the hero of Gorkey Park, Harry is not the protagonist who the story happens to -- he IS the story. Realizing it takes unwrapping the novel layer by amazing layer only to find...you'll have to make up your own mind about that. I don't believe any two readers will find the same core. An amazing work of art by a towering master disguised as 'popular fiction' writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I felt inclined to add a comment on this book because I think Martin Cruz Smith has done something quite extraordinary: he has written a novel that catches the sense of life in Japan extremely well. His talent in this regard was certainly evident in his Arkady Renko novels, where his version of life inside the Soviet Union seemed to have just the right feel to it. In December 6, he has not only gotten Japan pretty much right -- down to the 'kaeru no uta' song that children sing -- but also paints the varying shades of what it can mean to be a gaijin in Japan just about perfectly. Others have compared this book to Casablanca and they are not wrong. Like Casablanca, this book is true to the intricacies of early World War II history, diplomacy, and politics. Unlike Casablanca, though, the culture of the locale is not just background: it carries the bulk of the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story set in 1941 Japan has many historical twists and almost would lead you to a "what if" situation. Harry Niles, the central character, grew up in Japan,is a son of misionaries who spread their word in Japan. Harry is not a spreader of the good word, he runs a nightclub and follows the Japanese way of life. The biggest struggle for Harry is to decide if he is a Japanese citizen or a true American. He has friends (both men & women) who try to understand him and enemies from the Police and a certain Army Major that challenge his true inner self. Harry has to make a decision which will test his loyalty between the country of his blood or the home of the Rising Sun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy world history from this time period and I also have read every Arkady Renko novel and thoroughly enjoyed those. So, naturally I had to read December 6. It does not have quite the "can't put it down" factor of the Renko novels, but is still a pretty good read if you like historical novels of this time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a look at Pearl Harbor seen by an American in Japan, who is more Japanese than American. It is a suspenseful read, full of detail about living in Japan and Japanese attitudes towards the world at that time. This is a book that can hold your attention from about page 20 to the end. And, as a Nook book, it is certainly a bargain.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a good book that I sat here and read the whole thing in less than a day. As a thriller, it kept me enthralled more than anything I have read in years. What a good entertainment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Casablanca in Japan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story transports you to Tokyo days before Pearl Harbor. Harry Niles, a quintessentially American con man with a unique moral code, manipulates others as he and the events of this time in Tokyo roil perceptions. Filled with movement, color, intriguing characters. Martin Cruz Smith is a remarkable writer who has created a rich and substantial story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Generally love Cruz but not this time. Not a single character was interesting or sympathetic. The story is plodding. The historical time period and unique point of view is fantastic and worthy of much more than offered by Cruz. Thumbs down
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vogelvirginia More than 1 year ago
As a person who lived thru WWII and clearly remembers December 7th I thoroughly enjoyed this. It is Martin Cruz Smith's best to date. Gorky Park and Rose were good, December 6 is great. In it I discovered much about Japan and I was held in fantastic suspense even though I knew the big answer of bombing of Pearl Harbor.
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