Baby, You're a Rich Man, vividly illustrated by Max Currie, follows the story of Kent Richman, a down-on-his luck, B-level variety star on Japanese television who is forced to go into hiding when he becomes the target of an escaped prisoner. Kent winds up at a Buddhist retreat where he embarks on a journey of mishap, paranoia, desperation, and self-discovery that leads toBaby, You're a Rich Man, vividly illustrated by Max Currie, follows the story of Kent Richman, a down-on-his luck, B-level variety star on Japanese television who is forced to go into hiding when he becomes the target of an escaped prisoner. Kent winds up at a Buddhist retreat where he embarks on a journey of mishap, paranoia, desperation, and self-discovery that leads to an illuminating showdown as he attempts to right the wrongs of his past. Baby, You're a Rich Man offers a unique look into contemporary Japan and the ubiquitous struggle for a place to call home....
|Title||:||Baby, You're a Rich Man|
|Number of Pages||:||300 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Baby, You're a Rich Man Reviews
Kent Richman, what a worthless bastard. Initially, I wanted to hate the story but then I realized that my reaction was so visceral because I so thoroughly believed this character. That's evidence of good writing. I've never wanted a character to die so much. Each page, I just kept wishing and hoping that someone, anyone would kill Kent Richman. He's was the type of guy that you beat up in an alley, urinate on and then stab because you don't want to waste bullets on such an asshole.
Baby, You’re A Rich Man is a musical composition, and many of its abundant riches are musical in nature. Above all I love the tone. Humor and pathos alike are rendered in a minor key that the author’s sure hand maintains throughout. Imagine sitting in the sheltered café of a Japanese garden as the rain falls beyond the open walls, sipping tea as you listen to a confidant’s hushed tale of love, loss, and guilt. That’s the feel of this serious, humorous, richly textured book. Bright humorous notes abound and serve as a welcome counterpoint to the book’s predominant blue lines. An untalented American star of a Japanese variety show falls from grace due to scandal and is replaced by a cartoon version ... of himself. A Japanese gossip site sympathizes with the fallen faux–star when his wife leaves him due to his infidelity: “Boo hoo, RI–CHU–MAN–SAN!” The renderings of the doings on Ri–Chu–Man–San’s own variety show, and that of Austrailian–bred shock comic Ozman, Richman’s tormentor, are absurd, funny, and memorable. You just have to read it (humor does not paraphrase well).The author’s rendering of present–day Japan is thoroughly winning. In musical terms, the nightspots and temples and other locales, and the absurd and prosaic doings of the Japanese, bring to mind The Mikado, though Bundy’s sketches cannot be accused of being disrespectful (as G&S sometimes are). I am fascinated by modern Japan, and that’s one of the reasons that I enjoyed Jay McInerny’s “Ransom.” In my opinion, Bundy’s depiction of Japan is richer, more compelling, and even more fun than McInerney’s, and that is no small matter.As a well realized symphony should be, Baby You’re A Rich Man is beautifully paced. Never did I feel that the story rushed ahead or lagged. A writer working on pacing would do well to study Bundy’s baton work.Like a good opera, the story’s content is deep and meaningful. Protagonist Kent Richman has been raised to notoriety twice in odd circumstances. The seven–year–old Kent became a symbol of the insidiousness of TV violence when he accidentally killed his older brother by aping a pro wrestling move. A compelling theme of the book, therefore, is the lingering effect of childhood trauma, manifest here as excruciating guilt. The theme is handled with sensitivity and insight. I do feel, though, that the depth of Kent’s guilt would be more explicable if, in his narration of the fatal wrestling accident, Kent indicated or implied that the fatal act was motivated by malice. The guilt of the protagonist of “A Separate Peace” is especially compelling because, in recalling the moment when Gene caused his friend Phineas to fall from a tree, rendering Phineas a paraplegic, the adult Gene states that he “jounced” the tree. This statement has sent generations of students to the dictionary to look up “jounce,” and makes the depth of Gene’s guilt intellectually satisfying. In Baby You’re A Rich Man, while we do learn that the unfortunate older brother teased Kent in the days prior to the accident, Kent’s climactic narration of the accident does not suggest that he was angry at his brother at the crucial moment, or meant to hurt him. Of course, this is not to suggest that even the accidental killing of a brother would not have profound psychological consequences. In any case, the author renders the lingering effect of Kent’s childhood guilt with painstaking nuance.A second theme, fame, is presented in a thought–provoking manner. The adult Kent is famous for ... What? For looking like John Lennon, for crying out loud. When confused by an absurd statement or act on his TV show, he utters “A–re?”—a Japanese “huh?”—and this mundane remark becomes a national catch phrase. How believable, and how absurd. Kent’s wife Kumi, whom he betrays, is a famous model known for her ... pout. Of course. The question presented is whether this new kind of fame will fill the hole in Kent’s life created by his childhood infamy. If it did, why would he continually try to fill it with shabu (Japanese for meth)? Bundy’s depiction of Kent’s degradation is vivid (scrounging in the urine of a bathroom stall for a dropped rock of meth, anyone?), and puts the lie to the false promise of celebrity.No review of this fine book would be complete without a mention of the superb illustrations by Max Currie. His creative manga–style illustrations complement the story superbly.All in all, this is a symphony of a book. Kudos, Bundy–san!
Christopher Bundy plumbs the depths of current-day fame, irretrievable loss, and expat life in Japan, all embodied in the singular character of Kent Richman. "Richu-man-san" has no discernible talent, but he bears a striking resemblance to John Lennon and is willing to indulge in moronic schtick -- enough to keep him in the tabloids, a steady supply of meth, and a gorgeous model named Kumi.Kent's undoing is his own doing, of course. He brings on the vengeful Ozman, the equally talentless Australian "shock" comic, by sleeping with the man's wife, and loses Kumi along the way. But nasty meth habits and dalliances might not be the worst things Kent has ever been involved in, as we learn more about the death of his brother in their childhood in North Carolina. Kent has a lot of redeeming to do, and he makes a noble if often comic effort of it at a Buddhist monastery high in the hills of interior Japan.Clearly, there's a lot going on in what seems a slim book. Bundy's language is evocative and economical. His characters are original and memorable. And modern Japan is more than a little crazy. I highly recommend this accomplished first novel. Through round spectacles or not, Bundy is a writer to keep an eye on.