[sixth book]

Before we move on to the book review, I wanted to share that I've decided to move the blog in a different direction. I'll still have all the same content but I'm also going to start taking sponsors & participating in giveaways! If you're interested in sponsoring click on the link above and sign up!

This week I took a little break from all the fiction and read Richard Lloyd Parry's People Who Eat Darkness.

In the summer of 2000, 21-year-old Lucie Blackman leaves her home in Britain and moves to Tokyo with her friend Louise Phillips. Phillips and Blackman take jobs as hostesses in an area of Tokyo known as Roppongi. Though it may seem strange to Westerners, hostessing is a common practice in Japan and other Asian nations (there were several hostess establishments in Seoul that friends of mine had visited). Essentially, hostesses are paid to flirt with male customers. They sit at their table, pour their drinks, light their cigarettes, and laugh at their jokes. While the women may sometimes go on dates with male customers, referred to as dohan, physical relationships with clients are not the norm for a hostess. One day, Blackman goes on a dohan with a new client. She never comes home. People follows her story, from before her disappearance through the complicated trial of her killer.

People was an utterly fascinating book. Parry is a journalist and longtime resident of Tokyo who covered the Blackman case. When most other journalists moved on to new stories, Blackman pursued the case until its bitter end, interviewing everyone from the police to family members to friends. As a result, the book has a complete, integrated feel to it; you get the story from multiple angles, along with all sorts of background information. Japanese culture is fascinating and Parry does a wonderful job explaining everything from hostessing & the water trade to the Japanese legal system. There's something unnerving about the story itself and I think that unease lies mainly in the fact that Blackman's case was so incredibly unusual for Japan. From her killer to the crime itself, nothing of the story reflects "normal" Tokyo. I have to say, I learned a lot about Tokyo from reading People, including the fact that I don't think I will ever completely understand Tokyo.

If you're looking for a really good true crime story and have an interest in foreign cultures, I highly recommend this book.

No comments:

Post a Comment