"Both a comment on contemporary social disconnection and a warning about what can happen when a complacent public welcomes the loss of privacy with open arms, Isaka's Remote Control is a timely thriller. And a rare one that takes an ordinary guy, throws him into the fire, and doesn't make him into some kind of "Sendai's Bravest" hero at the end. Rather, he gets by, with a little help from his friends." - Mystery Scene
"Remote Control by Kotaro Isaka is an exciting, riveting mystery. . . . Recommended!" - J!-ENT
"Set in a near-future Japan, Isaka's remarkable thriller adroitly shifts between the extended pursuit of handsome Masaharu Aoyagi, a former deliveryman accused of killing Prime Minister Sakayoshi Kaneda by dropping a bomb from a remote-control toy helicopter onto the official motorcade, and several other characters associated with Aoyagi, who's been mercilessly set up by high-placed persons unknown. . . . Isaka cuts perilously close to the bone of today's politics in this elegant, intricate, enormously satisfying parable of good and evil." - Publishers Weekly
"Winner of the Sugoro Yamamoto Prize and the Japan Bookseller's Prize, this dynamic and complex political thriller is set in a near-future Japan, where high-tech security pods monitor every move. When the new prime minister is assassinated in a complicated conspiracy involving a remote-control helicopter, the perfect patsy is Masaharu Aoyagi, a flawed hero who gained notoriety after saving an actress from a robbery. . . . VERDICT: With a plot that parallels the JFK assassination and the feverish hunt for Lee Harvey Oswald, this is sure to appeal to fans of conspiracy mysteries." - Library Journal
"A bestseller in Japan, Isaka's near-future thriller is a complex crime story inspired by the Kennedy assassination but set in a futuristic Japanese city where everything is monitored by security pods on every street corner. The newly elected prime minister is killed when his motorcade is attacked by a bomb-carrying, remote-controlled helicopter, setting off a media frenzy. The initial story is told from the point of view of a hospital patient watching the news coverage, followed by a 20-years-later overview of the case, which was never really solved. The remainder of the story is told from the alternating points of view of the main characters. . . . Isaka's manipulation of these narrative devices keeps the pace fast and allows for lots of character development. . . ." -- Booklist
". . . plot twists and turns keep the narrative riveting and surprising, right until the end. In this character-driven work, dialogue supersedes action, yet the pacing will keep readers interested throughout. Remote Contro
is a complicated story, but a quick read. . . . Translating from Japanese to English under any circumstances isn't easy, but maintaining the author's style, wit, and subtle humor when performing that translation is a herculean effort. Stephen Snyder pulled it off flawlessly." - ForeWord Reviews
About the Author
Kotaro Isaka graduated from Tohoku University, School of Law. Formerly a systems engineer, he debuted as a writer with Audubon's Prayer. His novels and short-story collections have been nominated for the Naoki Prize — Japan's most prestigious award for popular fiction — and many have been made into movies, including Remote Control, which was released in 2010 under the book's original title, Golden Slumber.
Stephen Snyder is the acclaimed translator of Natsuo Kirino's Out, Ryu Murakami's Coin Locker Babies, and Yoko Ogawa's The Diving Pool, The Housekeeper and the Professor, and Hotel Iris. He teaches Japanese literature at Middlebury College in Vermont.