End of the World Blues

Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Author . Bantam Spectra $12 (348p) ISBN 978-0-553-58996-2

Straightforward explanations and linear plotting are in short supply in this stand-alone novel; rather, Grimwood's latest tale reads as if Kurt Vonnegut were writing manga for the producers of Doctor Who . The story starts in near-future Tokyo, where expatriate soldier Kit Nouveau runs an Irish bar. A runaway teenage girl, Lady Neku, hides $15 million in a train station locker and then tidily kills a mugger to save Kit's life, and soon both are deeply enmeshed in multi-layered clan wars. Kit's involves a reputed yakuza syndicate, various British police and spy agencies and several of his past and present lovers. Neku's concerns the alternate reality where she's a semi-immortal princess and the incipient bride to the heir of a rival family. The connections between the two are often vague, but Grimwood (Stamping Butterflies ) stabilizes the story with uniformly compelling characterizations and vivid settings. Genre fans may find the book difficult to label, but readers with flexible expectations will find it easy to enjoy. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/20/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Paperback - 343 pages - 978-0-575-07953-3
Open Ebook - 356 pages - 978-0-553-90426-0
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!