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Publisher's Summary

A man follows another man's trail of lies in a compelling psychological story about the search for identity, by Japan's award-winning literary sensation Keiichiro Hirano in his first novel to be translated into English.

Akira Kido is a divorce attorney whose own marriage is in danger of being destroyed by emotional disconnect. With a midlife crisis looming, Kido's life is upended by the reemergence of a former client, Rié Takemoto. She wants Kido to investigate a dead man - her recently deceased husband, Daisuké. Upon his death she discovered that he’d been living a lie. His name, his past, his entire identity belonged to someone else, a total stranger. The investigation draws Kido into two intriguing mysteries: finding out who Rié's husband really was and discovering more about the man he pretended to be. Soon, with each new revelation, Kido will come to share the obsession with - and the lure of - erasing one life to create a new one.

In A Man, winner of Japan’s prestigious Yomiuri Prize for Literature, Keiichiro Hirano explores the search for identity, the ambiguity of memory, the legacies with which we live and die, and the reconciliation of who you hoped to be with who you’ve actually become.

©2018 Keiichiro Hirano. Translation © 2020 by Eli K. P. William. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about A Man

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The best of modern Japanese literature

This book deserves to become a classic, and the author, Keiichiro Hirano, deserves to be seen as one of the great modern Japanese writers by a worldwide audience. Having read great literature (Tolstoy, Buzzati), I can say that this novel has the same qualities: realism, emotional power, psychological depth, and philosophical insight. The story revolves around the investigation of a recently deceased man who had been hiding his true identity. Though this mystery person makes almost no personal appearances in the novel, it is a testament to the authors ability that by the end of it, we get a clear and vivid sense of who he was, and what motivated his strange actions. Hirano demonstrates strong insight into people, and accurate understanding of topics like law, society, genetics, etc. The narrator, Brian Nishii, does a terrific job. He meets all the criteria of what makes a great audiobook narrator: being able to capture the emotion in the text, to voice the opposite gender, to give each major character a distinct personality. Furthermore his pronunciation of Japanese words is spot on.

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  • federico
  • 08-08-2020

Sutil

Poetic . Philosophical. Beautifully written. Entreating cinematographic description . Contemplative. sincere out pour of emotions Highly recommend

3 people found this helpful

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  • Edward Erickson
  • 28-08-2020

Beautiful

I really appreciated the insight of Japanese history and the Korean racial histories. With all that is happening in the U.S. right now around historical racial issues it is interesting to learn about challenges in other cultures. The story is very absorbing and the exploration of the subject fascinating. The philosophical contemplations and relational struggles are masterfully done. I would like to read additional works by this author. Thank you for bringing this to the English language. The performance by Nishii is terrific. Handles so many voices and personalities in nuanced and expert ways. I really enjoyed this book as I worked on putting in a new floor and cabinets in my kitchen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John S.
  • 18-07-2020

Definitely recommended

I found the author pulled off the double-mystery angle here well. Main character, not part of either situation directly, came across well enough that the details of his own personal life were relavant for me. Had to pay attention to the audio to keep from losing the plot; in that respect, reading print might have been easier, especially with Japanese names! However, Brian Nishii's specialization in Japanese terms works well with him overall as narrator. Translation so efficient that I got the feeling it had been written in English in the first place.

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  • Cherry Davis
  • 22-08-2020

Wonderful

A thoughtful story that takes its time enveloping you in the lives of memorable characters as it unwinds a mystery involving love, loss and the search for identify. Superb narration as well

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kawailani
  • 16-08-2020

Intriguing

This is my first book by Japanese writer in English translation. Audible narrator does good job pronouncing Japanese names and places naturally.

1 person found this helpful

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  • freehope
  • 28-06-2020

Interesting story, good narration

This was an interesting story, somewhat hard to relate to if you don't understand Japanese culture and the pressures to conform and be accepted by society.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tiffany
  • 04-06-2020

WTF... it's so good

I love this story so much. The narrator was also top notch. I'm recommending this to everyone I know

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kent M. Pitman
  • 25-10-2020

An interesting topic, but a bit abstract

I wanted to really like this, but the pace is slow and there is little action to distinguish the many parts of the book, and it somewhat falls into the pit for which aspiring writers are often admonished "show, don't tell". It does more telling than showing. It might have been more interesting if the author had told us the story of the people he writes about and only then later the mystery that ensued. The trouble is that the topics raised are interesting and the thought on the topics are substantial, but we have only the author's words to confirm his conjectures, where usually a more worked and immersive narrative would do that. Even a story that was less complete on the abstract theme and merely told a few of these people's stories in detail might ultimately have been more satisfying, even leaving room for sequels to be read and recommended by engaged readers. As to the identity theme, the book deals confusingly with the nature vs. nurture question, not always on one side or the other, but again by asserting rather than showing worked cases. And perhaps most tragically although the issue of race fills the book, it mostly overlooks the opportunity to confront race as a nature vs. nurture issue. I'd not previously seen a link there and I was excited that there might be more done with that but it wasn't. A reader/listener with patience and a strong interest in the topic of how identity of individuals relates to society may find this of interest. But I can't recommend it to the casual consumer.

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  • Mr Chops
  • 21-06-2020

Not my style

Found all the intricate detail of the mundane a bit slow. Perhaps that is a Japanese style of writing, but failed to hold my interest.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anna Edgar
  • 21-06-2020

Too far?

Is it the translation, the hard to remember names, the subject, the at times odd reader inflections, that made this a disconnected story for me? in its emotional flatness it was disturbing but I remained unmoved. Perhaps I didn't fully understand, or perhaps 'lost in translation'?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elizabete
  • 13-08-2020

Boring

I struggled to finish this audiobook as I found it very, very boring. I catched myself multiple times not really listening and my mind wondering somewhere else.

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