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Subduction by Todd Shimoda
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Subduction (2012)

by Todd Shimoda

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3316477,868 (3.56)19

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a beautifully presented tale of redemption and revenge set on an isolated fishing village in Japan. Beginning with the book itself, I received a hardback copy to review, the boards were covered , so no dust jacket, but in Japanese style there is an "obi". Because this is a book that is both a novel and an art book, the paper is very heavy, to the point that I wondered if the publisher had made an error. The paper is museum/gallery art book grade, which was good for the art, but not so delightful for the reading experience. The story unfolds slowly, and reminded me a little of Murakami Ryu in the treatment of the characters, though lacking the more extreme absurdities. A young doctor, as punishment for a mistake, is sent to a tiny fishing village to serve as their physician. The village is one that the Japanese government has wanted to evacuate due to the danger posed by earthquakes and seas, but the aging islanders refuse to leave their homes. The author does an excellent job in character development, and includes a legend about earthquakes as an intertwined side story. The illustrations are beautiful in an abstract way, but really don't lend much to the story, though they set a mood nicely. ( )
  DoskoiPanda | Apr 28, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Subduction is a book about a young doctor banished to an island full of elderly people who won't abandon it just because earthquakes threaten it. It's an interesting story and has art by LJC Shimoda that's beautiful, but doesn't really add much to the tale being told. There are three young people on the island and they get involved in a weird little relationship triangle while the doctor is told stories about everyone who lives there. I liked the framing of these stories well enough, but the whole book felt like it was trying very hard to be a Haruki Murakami novel. The big reveals in the ending were a bit too melodramatic and silly for my taste, but if you can swallow them the whole thing isn't too bad. There's a melancholy feeling about this dying island that Shimoda conveyed very well. ( )
  jjackunrau | Nov 11, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This novel is set on a small island in Japan, one which is plagued by frequent earthquakes and populated by an isolated group of mostly older citizens whose greatest fear is that the government will forcibly remove them from their beloved island. Jun Endo is a disgraced young physician, who is assigned to become the physician for the islanders. He is originally viewed as an outsider, reluctantly gains the trust of several of the residents, but then is shunned by them after he makes inquiries into several hidden secrets and mysterious occurrences. He is befriended by two strangers to the island, a young seismologist and an attractive woman who is making a film about the island's residents. Tension mounts after a death on the island, and as earthquake activity increases, as the islanders become openly hostile toward its visitors.

"Subduction" is a very good psychological novel and mystery, which is enhanced by its frequent illustrations by L.J.C. Shimoda. ( )
  kidzdoc | Oct 14, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Subduction is a story of collision -- of the earth’s tectonic plates and of a small cluster of people who refuse to evacuate Marui-jima, a Japanese island increasingly prone to earthquakes.

It’s narrated conversationally (and with wry humor) by young physician Jun Endo, who was blamed for a patient’s death on the mainland and sentenced to serve the remaining years of his medical residency among the old fishermen on that “dust mote of an island.” To Endo’s relief, there’s also a young male seismologist doing research on the island, and a young woman filming a documentary, and the three of them ease into a companionship tinged with competition and paranoia.

So goes two-thirds of the book, which I made two false starts on before finally finishing now. When an unexpected death occurred on the island, things got more interesting ... and stayed so until a quick, convenient ending. The physical book is also interesting -- smooth (almost glossy) pages, two-thirds of which are text while the other third is abstract Japanese artwork backed by blood-red blank pages and captions. It’s beautiful, except the red pages are visually harsh and the art and captions interrupt and frustrate (I couldn't connect them to the story). After the Shimodas' previous Oh! A Mystery of mono no aware, this novel was disappointing. ( )
2 vote DetailMuse | Sep 30, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
In Shimoda's eerie thriller (after Oh! A Mystery of Mono No Aware), a young Japanese doctor, Endo, is banished to Marui-jima, "a dust mote of an island," after he takes the blame for a patient's death. Although the government ordered the island's evacuation after a decade-long "earthquake swarm," its elderly inhabitants refuse to leave their home. On Marui-jima, Endo meets Aki, a seismologist who left his family in Tokyo to study the island's earthquakes and subduction zones, and Mari, a beautiful documentary filmmaker "dealing with demons." From Mari and Aki, Endo uncovers Marui-jima's past: a history of resentment between the local fishermen and the wealthy Furuta who bought them out to form his powerful fleet, an illicit "exchange" between Furuta and a fisherman's wife, and two deaths that remain unexplained 40 years later. As Endo and Mari grow closer, she shares with him the islanders' stories—as well as Aki's and her own. Shimoda skillfully weaves these tales into the narrative, revealing how past events "continue to affect the island, like aftershocks." Earthquakes are an apt metaphor for the social disruptions on the island, and Shimoda links modern earthquake science, ancient Japanese myths on the origin of earthquakes, and an unforgettable cast of characters to create a suspenseful, richly illustrated novel.
added by VivienneR | editPublisher's Weekly
 
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The patient, a healthy woman aged thirty-two recovering from a simple knee operation, suffered a fever spiking at 103 degrees.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0984457674, Hardcover)

"Shimoda is a consummate storyteller" — Booklist

"Shimoda skillfully weaves (these) tales into the narrative, revealing how past events "continue to affect the island, like aftershocks." Earthquakes are an apt metaphor for the social disruptions on the island, and Shimoda links modern earthquake science, ancient Japanese myths on the origin of earthquakes, and an unforgettable cast of characters to create a suspenseful, richly illustrated novel." — Publishers Weekly

"Husband and wife team Todd and Linda Shimoda’s skills blend seamlessly together to make Subduction a hauntingly beautiful and highly unique novel. The author’s prose and illustrator’s talent give the book a tone and quality that is both rare and memorable." — ForeWord

"Subduction heaves with a splintered brilliance I could only appreciate after rejoining the parts inside my imagination. Each section slides or grinds along another, but the final whole is a work that stayed with me for weeks afterward." — The Japan Times

Subduction is a timely, seductive mystery set on a tiny, earthquake-plagued island. Endo, a young physician unjustly charged with a patient's death, is banished to the island to care for the few remaining elderly residents. Determined to remain on their crumbling island and resuscitate their defunct fishing industry, the aging islanders plot against all outsiders. After a mysterious death and attacks on Endo and fellow newcomers, he discovers why the islanders don't wish to leave: years ago, jealousies, lust, and violence ripped apart their lives, and the wounds haven't healed. The aftershocks of the islanders' past, as well as Endo's own troubled history, replay violently in the present just as a massive earthquake strikes.

Exquisitely designed with L.J.C. Shimoda's artwork throughout, Subduction also features a sixteen-page illustrated retelling of the myth of Kashima, the god who controls a giant, thrashing catfish that causes earthquakes. The myth offers clues to the mysterious motives of the island's denizens.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:07 -0400)

Subduction is a timely, seductive mystery set on a tiny, earthquake-plagued island off the coast of Japan. Endo, a young physician unjustly charged with a patient's death, is banished to the island to care for the few remaining elderly residents. Determined to remain on their crumbling island and resuscitate their defunct fishing industry, the islanders plot against all intruders. As the earthquakes grow more violent, and the islanders more hostile, Endo and two other outsiders, a seismologist and a filmmaker, become entangled in their own troubled pasts.… (more)

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Chin Music Press

An edition of this book was published by Chin Music Press.

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