Remote Control

Kotaro Isaka, Author, Stephen Snyder, Translator
Kotaro Isaka, trans. from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder, Kodansha, $24.95 (344p) ISBN 978-4-7700-3108-2
Reviewed on: 01/24/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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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 Sadayoshi 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. As Aoyagi runs for his life from trigger-happy security forces in the city of Sendai, constantly under observation by recently installed "Security Pods," he finds unexpected allies in the few people—the young, the homeless, the criminal, and even former girlfriend Haruko Higuchi—who have awakened from the daze a corrupt government fosters among its people so that it can "make laws and rearrange taxes and health care, start a war somewhere." Isaka cuts perilously close to the bone of today's politics in this elegant, intricate, enormously satisfying parable of good and evil. (Mar.)
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