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From the Fatherland with Love by Ryū…
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From the Fatherland with Love (2005)

by Ryū Murakami

Other authors: Charles De Wolf (Translator), Ralph McCarthy (Translator), Ginny Tapley Takemori (Translator)

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
The other Murakami writes a tale of two countries...[in progress]
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book; it was fun, engaging and full of page-turning moments that made me want to pick the book back up as soon as I put it down. It probably could have been edited down in a few instances (hence me dropping a star) as certain moments and even phrases were repeated, but overall I was taken on a fun ride with this book.

It's a story about North Korean trying to take over Kyushu, Japan by sending a handful of troops to take over the city of Fukuoka. They are able to do so by taking advantage of the inadequacy of the Japanese government and the inability to take charge that comes from the Japanese people. As the Korean troops, the Koryo Expeditionary Force, starts to settle in and implement their policies, we see the struggle of the Japanese government as they try and decide how to deal with this invasive force, and we get to see the people of Fukuoka as they try and figure out what their role is under this new state. In the meantime, a group of misfits determines what they want to do about this new situation.

Seeing the utter meltdown of the Japanese government as they it is lost in bureaucracy and paperwork is the true genius of this book and it's what really allowed me to enjoy Murakami's work. Although not a book many would appreciate if one wasn't familiar with Japanese policy, it's a fun one if you do. ( )
  lilisin | Dec 12, 2014 |
This book originally came out in Japan in 2005, placing the story in what would have been the near future, in a time of severe economic crisis, with the yen worth next to nothing, banks closed & both food & fuel in short supply. All this combines to leave Japan in a vulnerable state with it’s close neighbours vying for dominance & it’s one time allies unable or unwilling to help. Into this bleak picture steps an old enemy with a plan to invade, that is both as cunning in its set up as it is shocking in the simplicity in which it unfolds. North_Korea_Training_Exercise

Japan has become a nation whose time has passed, a place where camps for the unemployed and homeless are commonplace & living rough on the streets is the only reality for a growing number of the populace.

Into this scenario a force of highly trained & ruthless North Korean commandos easily infiltrate and take over control of the city of Fukuoka, setting up their own government with little resistance from the local population and often with help from self interested parties.

With the national government having no plans, no solutions and no idea who to blame, although that’s not stopping them from trying to apportion it. With the government both local and central too scared to lift their heads out of their collective anuses, it is left to Murakami’s Marauders, a disparate bunch of disaffected youth, social outcasts murderers, bombers & satanists to face the foe. This group under the leadership of Ishihara, an accomplished poet and winner of Kyushu Prefecture Cultural Award for Literary Excellence, decide that they will take on the North Koreans, they formulate a suitably diabolical plan, grab what weaponry they have stockpiled, within a short period of time slaughter and mayhem commences.

This as a book should come with a warning Not Recommended by the Japanese Tourist Board. No one comes out well, or to be more accurate the characters that one would feel most for, are the same ones that should be locked away from sight as not suitable, not fitting The Traditional Japanese Image (TM), in fact any image a nation would want to project concerning itself.

Earlier this year I read the other Murakami’s (Haruki) books 1q84 and thought that it was an ambitious attempt to collate all of his ideas, themes & obsessions ( love, loneliness, surreal worlds, free will & religious cults) throughout his fiction and nonfiction into one grand expression, into one book. I also thought that although it was an epic effort – it was also a failure, that it didn’t gel as a whole. I think that this idea also applies to Ryu Murakami, except From The Fatherland With Love succeeds, this book covers the usual areas of violence & technology, the divide between those that are excepted by and those society considers unwanted. It also shoves a great wedge between Japan’s old martial/ traditional image and the reality of it’s modern self, a nation that has not just lost it’s way, but had no idea it had one. It also manages to chuck in another Ryu Murakami bugbear with references to Japan’s reliance for protection on the USA.

The difference between From The Fatherland With Love, and 1q84 I believe is that Ryu Murakami’s book works as a whole where 1q84 didn’t. Ryu Murakami has created in this book a wonderful cast of characters in a tale that rollicks along with all the mayhem, violence & action one expects from a Ryu Murakami book & yet he still manages to gel his vision, still manages to get his world view down on the page & into the reader.

The Guardian newspaper said that Ryu Murakami was “The godfather to the dark heart of modern Japanese Fiction” and whether he knows this or not I can imagine him liking the idea. ( )
2 vote parrishlantern | Sep 20, 2013 |
An interesting concept, with a backdrop of economic change leading to shifting international relations and an unconventional invasion of the Japanese island of Kyushu by North Korea. A fair amount of research has gone into the book to give the North Korean characters authentic back stories.

The book is plot heavy, interupted by pedestrian descriptions of the characters, of which there are many. As a thriller it is above average, but as literature it is averagely written with plenty of "tell not show" and the occasional clumsy metaphor which I found wearing for such a long book. It is also consciously going for a shock factor in some of the physical violence which I find tedious and in any case unsuited to the written word. Whilst the high profile author will undoubtedly boost Pushkin Press' sales, I can't help thinking it has watered down the generally excellent quality of their catalogue. ( )
  rrmmff2000 | Sep 3, 2013 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ryū Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
De Wolf, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, RalphTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tapley Takemori, GinnyTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Nobue awoke on his American army-surplus cot to the squawking of a chicken.
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From the Fatherland, with Love is set in an alternative, dystopian present in which the dollar has collapsed and Japan s economy has fallen along with it. The North Korean government, sensing an opportunity, sends a fleet of rebels in the first land invasion that Japan has ever faced. Japan can't cope with the surprise onslaught of Operation From the Fatherland, with Love. But the terrorist Ishihara and his band of renegade youths - once dedicated to upsetting the Japanese government - turn their deadly attention to the North Korean threat. They will not allow Fukuoka to fall without a fight. Epic in scale, From the Fatherland, with Love is laced throughout with Murakami's characteristically savage violence. It's both a satisfying thriller and a completely mad, over-the-top novel like few others.… (more)

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