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All she was worth by Miyuki Miyabe

All she was worth (edition 1998)

by Miyuki Miyabe, Alfred Birnbaum (Translator)

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4301924,529 (3.61)33
Title:All she was worth
Authors:Miyuki Miyabe
Other authors:Alfred Birnbaum (Translator)
Info:London: Orion, 1998.
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, female author, japanese, japan, tokyo, mystery, crime, missing persons, male detective, shunsuke honma, orion, bookshelf18, read2013, TIOLI

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All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe


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» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I liked this book, but "thriller" is a misleading description: this is a quiet, sort of cerebral, mystery. Police detective Shunsuke Honma, semi-recently widowed and on medical leave, is trying to find the fiancée of his wife's cousin, who disappeared after the cousin learned of her bankruptcy. All violence takes place off-stage, and the story mainly focuses on Honma's efforts to untangle the paper trail leading to the missing woman.

All She Was Worth is set in the early 1990's. It'd be easy to get lost in the setting or have cultural references go sailing over the reader's head, but Miyabe included exposition about Japanese consumer credit, family registers, and so on. I don't know if Japanese readers found it useful or boring, but reading an English translation 25 years later, I thought it was helpful (although the explanation of credit could've been shorter!). It's also nice to read a Japanese story that has nothing to do with anime, manga, or high school (Honma is middle-aged, with a young son). This wouldn't be a good mystery for people who like a lot of action or a hero in danger, but those who like mystery novels that give you a peek into other cultures might enjoy this one. ( )
  Silvernfire | Feb 15, 2017 |
Two women disappear, one of them seems to have taken the identity of the other in this Japanese mystery centered on personal credit card debt. A good glimpse of Japanese society c. 1999. ( )
  pennykaplan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Un excellent polar, intelligemment construit, et, bien qu'il y ait peu d'action, extrêmement prenant.
Seule déception, une fin un peu abrupte. J'aurais tant aimé connaître "ses" explications... ( )
  CathCD | Jan 16, 2016 |
Great character development. ( )
  bibliofile55 | Apr 9, 2013 |
Since I can't update 'my' copy with the BCID of the book, here's the link to the book at BookCrossing:

I liked this book. Not because I think it was such a great thriller, but because of other things.
First of all I loved the insight in the Japanese society. How people live, how things are organised. That world is so different from mine (and therefor so intriguing), that any description of more or less normal Japanese living is welcome.
Secondly, I liked the way the book is written. Detective is more the descripton I'd give to the contents of this book, not thriller. It is more about solving a puzzle, why and how a young woman disappears, than about the actual deed(s) of disappearing, murder (?), deceipt etc.
What I did not like is that the end does not bring clarity. When a woman is found, the story ends. What I had hoped for (and more or less expected from the way the book was written), is that the object of the search would get some speaking time also. At least to find out why, apart from the reasons already mentioned in the book, that are valid in themselves, but these are reasons outside the person.
To act the way she did, there also has to be something inside her, that allowed her to act the way she did. And that's the part I missed at the end.

One other remark that I wanted to make: I did not really understand the title. Usually there's a tie to the contents of the book, but here I could not rally grab it. Maybe it is the translation (sometimes translated titles are not so good), or maybe I am looking in the wrong direction. It is just that I can't connect the (my) meaning of the title to the contents of the book. ( )
1 vote BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miyuki Miyabeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birnbaum, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Originally published in Japan under the title Kasha.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395966582, Paperback)

Recovering from a leg injury, a 43-year-old Tokyo police inspector named Shunsuke Honma realizes how out of touch he has become when a relative asks him to make some private inquiries into the disappearance of his fiancée. While he wasn't paying attention, it seems that everyone in the country but Honma has been caught up in a consumer feeding frenzy--going into heavy debt and declaring bankruptcy at a snowballing rate. This engrossing story of the search for happiness through shopping marks the first appearance in English of one of Japan's leading writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Tokyo's Inspector Shunsake Honma investigates the case of a woman who may have murdered another in order to take her identity. A tale of credit cards and debt and rampant consumerism in today's Japan.

(summary from another edition)

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