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Salaryman's Wife Mass Market Paperback – Jul 17 1997


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (July 17 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061044431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061044434
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 10.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,523,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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I suppose there are worse places to spend New Year's Eve than a crowded train with a stranger's hand inching up your thigh. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It was interesting to see the cultural crash of Hip, CyberPunk, Slummy, Night-life Japan crashing into the Beautiful, Traditional, frigid, rejecting Japan.
It also seemed that the seedy side of town was a lot nicer to her then the "upstanding" side of town. She hangs with the other rejected folks, the foreigners, gays, etc. They provide a family and support network that are fascinating to see. (It's this way here, if you don't fit in with the local environment's Barbie's and Ken's, then you drift to the rejected ones.)
It was a little sad to see her pursuing acceptance in a country that would never accept her. Their hangup: she's a mixed race, poor, short-haired, old-maid foreigner.
I've never been to Japan, but I've known (long-term) some (traditional) Japanese guys born here, that seem to reflect a lot of the attitudes that the Rei has experienced. Sorta extreme sexism, extremely spoiled, xenophobia, germ-aphobia, fat-aphobia, smell-aphobia, poor-aphobia... My sibling, hanging with foreign grad students would agree on 80% of the traditional guys.
Anyway so she's being rejected strenously by Japanese mainstream, yet getting groped on trains and getting tricked by her salary-men students to get up on desks to pose for a birthday-party picture, then the guys jab the camera under her skirt taking snapshots. Everyday's a frat party for the salarymen, they are gods.
Story line: she goes to the Japanese Alps for a vacation. She stays in a bed & breakfast and meets the other residents. One of the residents gets killed, her cretin husband is the suspect, as well as this HOT Scottish guy. Wierd things start to happen after the murder.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book because I have a family member who is living in Japan and married to a Japanese woman and I wanted to get a feel for what life there must be like for a foreigner. In this respect Ms. Massey paints a fantastic picture. I enjoyed the look at Japanese culture and interaction both with each other and with foreigners. However the mystery in this book was not really that hard to solve - I would have liked a little more trouble in that case.
Perhaps my real problem though is a lack of good editing. While Ms. Massey's writing is excellent I found myself on more than one occassion tripping over a reference to something that had never occurred anywhere in the book. An example is that the main character, Rei, is surprised in the bath when a man walks in, not realizing it was for women only. Later on the man apologizes to her and references having learned she has been sexually assaulted and post traumatic stress disorder. My guess is this must have been a plot direction which Ms Massey later disgarded, but this particular reference didn't get deleted. It is a small error yes, but when you are caught up in a story such a reference can be jarring to the reader. I found myself going backwards to see if I'd missed something rather than going forwards.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Salaryman's Wife" is a must for those who like their mystery with a dash of the exotic. Rei Shimura is a young Japanese-American woman living in Tokyo. Like many of us, she's underemployed: despite her master's in Asian art, she's working as an English teacher. Rei becomes involved in a murder while vacationing in the Japanese Alps. This is both an engrossing mystery and a fascinating glimpse into modern Japanese culture. Another reason to appreciate Ms. Massey: she's a fellow Johns Hopkins graduate and Baltimore resident!
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By Wendy Kaplan on May 7 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This exquisitely told book has a calm and simple aura that belies its fast-paced story. The first in the Rei Shimura series, it is entirely original--something akin to a traditional Japanese tea ceremony with some good old American moxie thrown in.
Rei Shimura is the cherished twentysomething daughter of mixed-heritage wealthy parents. Her father is Japanese, her mother is American, and Rei is an uneasy mixture of both. She has stubbornly chosen to make her own way in Tokyo as a teacher of English to Japanese businessmen in a corporation. Rei, however, is far from the corporate type. She lives by choice in a dicey neighborhood with an openly gay male companion, the delightful Richard. Her passion is antiques, but she can afford very few. Her clothes are shabby, but not chic. And her hair is unfashionably short, which causes quite a bit of comment, most of it negative, among conservative Japanese.
When Rei takes a much-needed vacation to a ski resort, her warring sensibilities are even more heightened. She loves the ritual of the bath, she loves the zen-like meals and atmosphere of the hotel at which she is staying--but when the beautiful wife of a Japanese businessman is found mysteriously dead on the premises, Rei's impatient American nature leaps to the fore. Convinced it was murder, Rei feels compelled to solve it, at her own considerable risk and that of her unlikely "partner in crime," a Scottish lawyer named Hugh Glendenning.
Even as she is increasingly attracted to the Scotsman, Rei wonders: Did he have something to do with the death of the woman? Was he her lover? Is he friend or is he foe--and what in the world can she do to squelch her growing desire for this highly unsuitable man?
All the answers come in good time...to the great delight of this reader, who has already ordered the next in the series. Very highly recommended!
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