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Barefoot Gen, Vol. 8: Merchants of Death by…
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Barefoot Gen, Vol. 8: Merchants of Death (1993)

by Keiji Nakazawa

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Merchants of Death, Volume 8 of the Barefoot Gen series, is the weakest in the series, so far. New characters and plot points are thrown in at this late stage just to create new tension and it's really not necessary. I want resolution to the story that has been built up to this point. I'm not going to develop a heart for some conveniently-placed character thrown into the mix. I barely know enough about some of those who have made appearances in the last few volumes and I'd like to have their stories resolved before even thinking about anybody new. Not only are the new characters a distraction, but Volume 8 meanders quite a bit. The author seemingly was trying to address everything that happened in the years following the bombing and, for the sake of the story, some things were probably best omitted. Though I like this series overall, I can't think of anything that happened in this volume that was absolutely necessary. ( )
  chrisblocker | Sep 14, 2016 |
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"Volume eight opens in 1950. Gen is now in middle school, where he meets both a progressive-minded schoolteacher at odds with his conservative superiors, and a brilliant but cynical classmate who challenges the teacher's-- and Gen's-- values at every turn. Gen also finds himself confronting the corrosive effects of drugs and the arms industry on postwar Hiroshima society. With the Korean War offering new business opportunities, a new generation of death merchants holds sway in Japan. Gen, his mentor, and peace-minded citizens are forced to struggle against red-baiting school officials, violent nationalists, and government censorship" -- p. [4] of cover.… (more)

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