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End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay…
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End of the World Blues (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

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307736,351 (3.57)10
Member:grunin
Title:End of the World Blues
Authors:Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Info:Spectra (2007), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Fiction, u

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End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
An okay book, though there were a few moments where the descriptions of Lady Neku made me feel uncomfortable, although by the time the novel finished, the ending almost made up for those moments. I liked the world Grimwood created, though I'm not sure I'm all that eager to seek out any of his other works. Acceptable, but not as good as I had hoped. ( )
  callmecayce | Aug 8, 2013 |
"And just as Kit decided that perhaps it wasn't worth dying for a postcard of Amsterdam, his world exploded into a hurricane of white lace and scarlet silk, the mugger's gunshot going wide as the cos-play spun between Kit and the weapon, knocking it aside. Silver hair shook free and an ivory hair pin punched home, freezing a facial nerve as it ruptured the mugger's eardrum and entered his brain.

Lady Neku is a girl from a dying earth in the distant future, so far away that she doesn't know how far back in time she has come while running away from something terrible and forgotten. But she is also a teenage girl living on the streets of present day Tokyo, who is mysteriously in possession of a suitcase containing millions of U.S. dollars which she stores in railway station lockers. Like Lady Neku, bar owner Kit Nouveau is a runaway, not wanting to face up to his past or his present. He buys Neku a cup of coffee every day as she sits in the street near the Tokyo bar that he owns, and she saves his life when he is mugged in the alley behind his bar.

I have been thinking about how to describe the story without giving too much away, and it is difficult. Apart from the one time that Lady Neku cuts a hole in the air with her knife and disappears through it, nothing overtly unrealistic happens in the parts of the story set in the present day, and it is basically a convoluted tale of gangsters and the need to come to terms with your past. So I will just say that after a couple of narrow escapes from death, Kit Nouveau is advised that it will be safer for him to leave Japan for a while. This coincides with a woman who has always hated him tracking Kit down and asking him to come back to Britain to find the daughter she (or possibly her husband) refuses to believe is dead.

There are many ambiguous deaths in this book; suicides that may be murders or faked; and accidents that may be murders or suicides. Unless I missed something, it is never made clear who hired the original hit man who tried to shoot Kit in the alley. It doesn't seem to have been the Japanese gangsters, so could it have been Kate trying to have him killed but then changing her mind, or was someone else after Kit too? The author doesn't seem to be interested in tying up all the loose ends, so it is left to readers to make up their own minds and the book is none the worse for that. ( )
1 vote isabelx | Aug 5, 2011 |
interstellar gods managing the leftover refugees of humanity. our world iss nothing but a constructed barrier of safety created by them to allow us life.

think this book is sci-fi? it is not. this book is a thinly veiled series of structured thoughts showing the smallness of our universe. everything we know is insignificant. interestingly enough, everything outside our understanding is also also insignificant.

From the the Hagakure, The Way of the Samurai -
“Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige’s wall there was this one: ”Matters of’ great concern should be treated lightly. Matters of small concern should be treated seriously. Among one’s affairs there should not be more than two or three matters of what one could call great concern. If these are deliberated upon during ordinary times, they can be understood.”

These are ordinary times and the deliberation of concerns will not be fully qualified and resolved until the end of the tale…

This story revolves around, Kit Noveau, an ex-rocker from Ireland. living in Tokyo. he is also ex-military, unable to go home without fear of being arrested for being a deserter, not that he would want to go home.

for ten years he has been married and hiding out in Tokyo. his wife is an introverted world respected pottery artist. his best friend is an Australian biker in hiding, unable to return home himself. Yoshi, Kit’s wife, owns a bar called “Pirate Marys” in a rundown part of Tokyo.

Enter into the story Lady Neku. Neku carries blades and wears costume. Neku is hiding $15 million dollars in a train station pay per day locker. Kit gives her fresh coffee on cold mornings and she feels she owns him more than owes him.

When a homeless man (or an assassin) attacks Kit one morning, Lady Neku leaves a blade in the attacker’s lung, and blood pouring from his body. soon after she rips a hole in time space and steps through.

everything else is story… but it is more detective novel than sci-fi fantasy. all the elements of this book meld together into a nice blend of images. it is like reading Murakami lite with a bit of bit of gaiman and joe hill.
( )
  JasonBrownPDX | Aug 18, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
'End of the world or not, peonies, azaleas and camellias,
will still produce beautiful flowers . . .'
Hagakure Kikigaki (Way of the Samurai)
Dedication
First words
'That looks heavy.'
Glancing round, the girl saw a porter in the prey-green uniform of the Tokyo Metro, complete with smart white gloves. He was smiling.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553589962, Paperback)

From Jon Courtenay Grimwood, author of the celebrated Arabesk series, comes a stunningly inventive novel of futuristic noir set in a world of shifting realities. Here a man is drawn into a gritty postmodern subculture and a secret kingdom of otherworldly beings to find what he lost long ago: a reason to live.

Kit Nouveau figured he’d already come to the end of the world. An Iraqi war veteran, expatriate, and part owner of Pirate Mary’s, the best Irish bar in Tokyo, Kit had settled down to await the inevitable with barely a whimper. It wasn’t exactly how Kit thought he’d end up, and he was right.

It’s going to end up a lot worse.

A teenage runaway with fifteen million dollars in stolen cash and a taste for cosplay is about to save Kit’s life in a lethal swirl of scarlet and bridal lace. Lady Neku, a.k.a. Countess of High Strange, has her own dangerous destiny to fulfill and it’s mysteriously connected to Kit’s ravaged past. Now Kit’s only hope for redemption is to save an ex-girlfriend he tragically failed once before. But everyone says it’s already too late. And she’s left behind only one ominous clue: her suicide note.

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

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Kit Nouveau didn't escape himself when he fled to Japan. Now running a biker bar in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, he's also sleeping with the wife of a High Yakusa ganglord. All things considered, being held up at gunpoint isn't a complete shock. The pale girl in the red cloak appearing from nowhere and punching an ivory spike into his attacker's head on the other hand." "Nijie has stolen fifteen million dollars, she's on the run, she's just killed a man and she has a cat who knows more than it should. It's a lot to deal with when you haven't even left school." "But Nijie is also Lady Neku, and in a sentient castle at the end of the world Lady Neku otherwise known as Baroness Nawa-no-ukiyo. Countess High Strange and chatelaine of Schlass Omga realizes that Kit has stolen some of her memories. What happens to a man who finally realises he can't outrun himself? Kit Nouveau is about to find out."--BOOK JACKET."Kit Nouveau figured he'd already come to the end of the world. An Iraqi war veteran, expatriate, and part owner of Pirate Mary's, the best Irish bar in Tokyo, Kit had settled down to await the inevitable with barely a whimper. It wasn't exactly how Kit thought he'd end up, and he was right." "It's going to end up a lot worse." "A teenage runaway with fifteen million dollars in stolen cash and a taste for cosplay is about to save Kit's life in a lethal swirl of scarlet and bridal lace. Lady Neku, a.k.a. Countess of High Strange, has her own dangerous destiny to fulfill and it's mysteriously connected to Kit's ravaged past. Now Kit's only hope for redemption is to save an ex-girlfriend he tragically failed once before. But everyone says it's already too late. And she's left behind only one ominous clue: her suicide note."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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