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One Morning Like a Bird [Paperback]

Andrew Miller

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Book Description

July 23 2009
Tokyo, 1940. While Japan's war against China escalates, young Yuji Takano clings to his cocooned life: his beloved evenings of French conversation at Monsieur Feneon's, visits to the bathhouse with friends, his books, his poetry. But conscription looms and the mood turns against foreigners, just when Yuji gets entangled with Feneon's daughter. As the nation heads towards conflict with the Allies, Yuji must decide where his duty - and his heart - lies.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (July 23 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340952164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340952160
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g

Product Description


A revelatory perspective on an Eastern city in the second world war ...The prose is as delicate as a Japanese print David Grylls, Sunday Times [Yuji] is a character so well realised as to engage all of our sympathies Peter Carty, Independent Not only does he combine delicious literary conceits with thought-provoking explorations into the human condition, he has the rare gift of tossing out perfect sentences that make you stop in your tracks Claire Allfree, Metro Miller's delicate prose most closely recalls the tone of emotional restraint in Kazuo Ishiguro's early novels ... Crisply defined characters offer a foil to Yuji's progressive ruminations, which Miller deftly coheres into a typically bittersweet resolution. James Urquhart, Independent on Sunday The frank simplicity of Miller's prose, and his search for truth in the reality of the quotidian feels (to this Western reader) convincingly Japanese. Miller places his words and plot developments carefully, like the smooth grey pebbles of a Zen garden, with all but the most essential adjectives weathered away. There are moments of beauty, truth and irony. Helen Brown, Daily Telegraph Deeply moving, written with loving attention to language, it felt like Pasternak back from the dead. Tom Adair, Scotsman 'Detail by delicate detail Miller conjures Yuji's dim, mysterious world of gradual dissolution." Natalie Sandison, The Times Miller's Japanese characters are densely believable, and his recreation of their world is a real achievement Christopher Tayler, Guardian Miller's writing is cinematic; it has a heightened visual sense and it shifts smoothly from dialogue to mood to location. At all times the author is in command TLS

About the Author

Andrew Miller was born in Bristol in 1960. He has lived in Spain, Japan, Ireland and France, and currently lives in Somerset. His first novel, INGENIOUS PAIN, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour prize in Italy. He has since written four novels: CASANOVA, OXYGEN, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker Prize in 2001, THE OPTIMISTS, and ONE MORNING LIKE A BIRD.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Threadbare plot, insipid main character and repetitively dull Nov. 18 2010
By Kiwifunlad - Published on
For those readers who like intricate tapestries in three similar shades of grey, this is the book for you. This novel is heavily weighted on atmosphere over substance and whilst the approaching war is increasingly worrying for the young poet Yuji, the lack of any plot substance for the first three quarters of the book places severe demands on the reader. Yuji, the main character of the novel, is lacking any depth and plods his way through the novel like a reluctant donkey. The novel moves too slowly to outweigh the quality of writing sufficiently for me to recommend this book.

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