Read December 6 by Martin Cruz Smith Online


Suspenseful, exciting and replete with the detailed research Martin Cruz Smith brings to all his novels, December 6 is a triumph of imagination, history and storytelling melded into a magnificent whole. From Martin Cruz Smith, author of"Gorky Park and Havana Bay, comes another audacious novel of exotic locales, intimate intrigues and the mysteries of the human heart: "DecSuspenseful, exciting and replete with the detailed research Martin Cruz Smith brings to all his novels, December 6 is a triumph of imagination, history and storytelling melded into a magnificent whole.From Martin Cruz Smith, author of"Gorky Park and Havana Bay, comes another audacious novel of exotic locales, intimate intrigues and the mysteries of the human heart: "December 6." Set in the crazed, nationalistic Tokyo of late 1941, December 6 explores the coming world war through the other end of history's prism -- a prism held here by an unforgettable rogue and lover, Harry Niles.In many ways, Niles should be as American as apple pie: raised by missionary parents, taught to respect his elders and be an honorable and upright Christian citizen dreaming of the good life on the sun-blessed shores of California. But Niles is also Japanese: reared in the aesthetics of Shinto and educated in the dance halls and backroom poker gatherings of Tokyo's shady underworld to steal, trick and run for his life. As a gaijin, a foreigner --Especially one with a gift for the artful scam -- he draws suspicion and disfavor from Japanese police. This potent mixture of stiff tradition and intrigue -- not to mention his brazen love affair with a Japanese mistress who would rather kill Harry than lose him -- fills Harry's final days in Tokyo with suspense and fear. Who is he really working for? Is he a spy? For America? For the emperor?Now, on the eve of Pearl Harbor, Harry himself must decide where his true allegiances lie....

Title : December 6
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780684872537
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

December 6 Reviews

  • Klodovik2
    2019-03-13 10:36

    Jako dobar politički krimić alternativne povijesti Japanskog napada na Pearl Harbor.

  • Tony Taylor
    2019-03-17 07:45

    Ever wonder how things might have been different for Rick Blaine, the ostensibly selfish nightclub owner from Casablanca, had he lived in Japan during the 1940s, rather than Morocco? Martin Cruz Smith offers a reasonable scenario in December 6.This slickly plotted, exotically atmospheric thriller opens in Tokyo just a few days before bombs start raining on Pearl Harbor. There we meet roguish Harry Niles, the culturally conflicted son of religious missionaries and owner of the Happy Paris, a club known for its enigmatic jukebox jockey, Michiko, who also happens to be Harry's mistress. With war rumors rampant, Harry--distrusted by both U.S. and Japanese authorities--"was skipping town. Any sane person would." He has a seat waiting on what may be the final flight out to Hong Kong, and plans to escape from there to the States with a British diplomat's wife. But first, there are business and personal affairs to settle, not the least of which is an oil-tank con he's been running on the Imperial Navy--a desperate strategy to stop his beloved Japan from entering into self-destructive conflict with America. Harry also has to duck a sword-wielding military fanatic, who's seeking revenge for a long-ago incident that cost him honor, and bid sayonara to Michiko, a woman as scary as she is seductive. (Oh, well, at least they'll always have the Happy Paris.)This book memorably re-creates wartime Tokyo, with its pet beetles and mincing geishas and naive belief that "victory lies in a faith in victory." Yet it's Harry Niles--cynical on top, sentimental beneath--who really carries December 6, a novel as brilliantly convoluted and captivating as any Smith (Gorky Park , Havana Bay ) has yet concocted. --J. Kingston Pierce

  • Jim Haberkorn
    2019-03-04 05:34

    December 6 is not a perfect book, it was a little too gritty in places for my taste, but, nevertheless, it was a great read. A lot of people can write. And some work very hard to develop their craft. But Martin Cruz Smith is, in my opinion, one of those supremely talented writers that every generation seems to have only a very few. What I particularly marvel at in Smith's writing is the extraordinary creativity he puts into his sentences. He approaches each sentence thoughtfully and uniquely - truly uniquely, both in structure and in perspective. I also admire how he flushes out important scenes, brushing on layer upon layer of richness, weaving actions, thoughts, and dialogue in some truly memorable portraits - for example, if you read December 6 and come to the scene in the Willow House between Harry, his girl friend, and Ishigami - just consider how long the scene lasts and all the territory of emotions, character development, and tension that were covered. And then ask yourself how on earth did that scene come to be written or even imagined.

  • Bruce
    2019-03-15 03:32

    Avoid the Kingston Pierce synopsis above if you're allergic to spoilers. I'm afraid that if you read it, you'll find very little left to discover in this slight book. Cruz Smith's protagonist here (Harry Niles) is a Japanese-raised gaijin gambler, but he thinks, reacts, and speaks with the voice of Arkady Renko, Cruz Smith's Gorky Park series detective. (I somehow suspect that this is Cruz Smith's own voice.)The author unspools the plot and main character cleverly by interposing flashbacks with Harry's present plight... how to get out of xenophobic Tokyo before the US and Japan go to war. But then the title already tells you all you need to know, Harry's looking for an exit on the very eve of Pearl Harbor and with all the flashbacks, "24" this ain't.The atmosphere is well-drawn and the backstage information offered about access to oil predetermining the outcome of the war in the Pacific is intriguing, even if you might be left to wonder whether this represents more 20/20 hindsight than insight. Alas, Cruz Smith has to keep the smoke and mirrors going because ultimately if Niles cannot find a way out of Tokyo alive -- and this conflict is but an early blind that Cruz Smith quickly abandons -- our intrepid hero, like the book itself, simply has no place to go.

  • Susan
    2019-03-21 03:50

    It's 1941 and the world is teetering on the brink of another world war. Martin Cruz Smith delivers another sizzling historical thriller with a fascinating cast of characters. Harry Niles, the son of American missionaries, lives in Tokyo. He grew up in Japan during the 1920s and speaks fluent Japanese. Equally important, he understands the culture. He can't decide what to do about Michiko, his beautiful hot-tempered lover. Michiko believes he's going to leave her. He says he won't, but ...Deftly folding in back story, Cruz Smith shows us Harry's unusual (to put it mildly) childhood. With his parents off preaching the Gospel, Harry lived with an uncle, but spent most of his time with his Japanese playmates. By chance he stumbled into a brothel one day and made two new friends, an older Japanese man (an artist) and a beautiful young Japanese woman. But by 1941 Harry is older and wiser, a grifter with a good heart. That's why Ishigami, a member of Japan's elite fighter force, is trying to kill him. If Michiko doesn't kill him first. And then there's the affair Harry's carrying on with the British Ambassador's wife. Convinced that the Japanese are about to bomb Pearl Harbor, Harry is desperate to get out of Japan. You know what happened on December 6, 1941, but don't let that stop you. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Martin Cruz Smith will keep you on the edge of your seat.

  • Liz
    2019-03-22 08:52

    The day before Pearl Harbor as seen from the perspective of an American living in Tokyo. Martin Cruz Smith always seems to be able to find a unique viewpoint in his thrillers, making them much more than the standard "spies, girls, and guns" fare that permeate the genre. Instead, like John Le Carre, Smith uses the thriller as a means to explore the intersection between corruption and selflessness. Harry Niles is a man apparently driven by self-interest, and certainly not above breaking all kinds of laws in the pursuit of that self-interest, and yet he is drawn into a situation here where he finds himself, albeit reluctantly, elevated to the status of hero. The fact that his mission - to thwart the plan for attacking Pearl Harbor - is doomed to failure from the outset, makes his increasingly desperate attempts both poignant and nail-bitingly suspenseful. There is a good deal of graphic violence in the novel (mostly involving samurai swords and severed heads), but the plot and characterization kept me turning pages.

  • Jim
    2019-02-26 08:41

    I enjoyed this for its look into the culture and society of pre -WWII Japan through the eyes of the lead character - Harry Niles. The novel kept me engaged until the end where Mr. Cruz Smith seemed to run out of steam (IMO). But the first 90% of this novel makes up for the the final bit. I enjoyed the way he switched between the grown Harry Niles dealing with the race to war and the younger harry Niles on the verge of manhood set in the 1920s as it helps to explain how he became the man we see as an adult.

  • Maria Beltrami
    2019-03-25 05:46

    Piacevole, ben scritto, ambientato con cura, insomma un ottimo libro di evasione per una serata rilassante.

  • Tim
    2019-03-24 09:49

    It's Chinatown in pre-war Tokyo. A brutal thriller where the identity of the murderer is never a secret, and the real mystery is who is the Saint Christopher of the antihero Harry Niles.

  • Amy Malone
    2019-03-09 04:36

    Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park is a tour de force. He captured the delicate balance of the consummate Russian soul - the self-doubt and growth that emerges in the conflict between spiritualism and modern scepticism, for example. December 6 is set in a different world - Japan immediately before Pearl Harbor, told by an American born and raised Japanese. Harry Niles, the protagonist, exhibits some similar internal conflicts, torn between loyalties to two women, two cultures, two societies, but this reader was left ultimately confused about his choices and ultimately, him. With Smith, maybe that was part of the point. An interesting foil to See's Shanghai Girls (read last month) and Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha (delicious, read a few years ago), both of which cover the Asian theater in pre-WWII. (Didn't know that the nape of a woman's neck is considered eminently sexual in Japan - the only Japanese guy I knew was fascinated with corn-fed American tits) Quote: "...said Harry, who thanked God for women, or else the world would be full of proud men sitting on their thumbs."

  • International Cat Lady
    2019-03-22 02:51

    While I've read many of Martin Cruz Smith's books, this was the first of his non-Arkady Renko books that I've read. Even though it wasn't quite the type of book I normally read, I definitely enjoyed it - and I have to say, it didn't seem anything like a typical MCS novel (and while I love MCS, this actually wasn't a bad thing). This book is weird, almost surrealist. It follows the life of an American fellow living in Japan in the days leading up to Pearl Harbor, interwoven with tales from this fellow's youth. Oh, and did I mention that this guy accidentally caused the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor? And that there's a crazed modern samurai running about lopping people's heads off with a sword? It's almost Murakami-esque.

  • Carol Cram
    2019-03-05 08:34

    Smith is a venerable author, highly skilled with an amazing breadth of research and some excellent plot twists. The development of the main character – the con man Harry Niles living in Tokyo at the outbreak of World War II—is first rate. Smith expertly builds sympathy for Harry who thinks of himself as an amoral rogue but is really highly ethical and irrepressibly kind, but always believable and in character. The novel is a little slow to get into, but eventually all the various threads come together to lead to an explosive—and satisfying—end. Smith is certainly a marvelous author to learn from. I hope to read at least one more of his books this year.

  • Amanda Patterson
    2019-03-07 08:50

    Tokyo Station has all the ingredients of a Hollywood thriller. Harry Niles is a trouble-maker. An American missionary child turned Tokyo Night Club owner, he tells the story of the political intrigue in the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. He is a gaijin - foreigner - brought up on the streets of Tokyo. As an outsider, an observer, he sees and reflects the paranoia of the military and underworld operatives. Which information is correct and whose instincts can be trusted? Highly recommended for thriller fans.3.5/5

  • Beth
    2019-02-26 06:52

    I am a big fan of Martin Cruz Smith, and regard his "Rose" as one of my favorite books. December 6 did not disappoint. Smith's professional scam artist with a heart of gold, Harry Niles, is the son of American missionaries and is in the wrong place, Japan, at the wrong time, just days prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. December 6 is a marvelous history lesson and cultural expose of Japan in 1941. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • Brendan
    2019-03-02 09:52

    This is very cool pulp storytelling, full of melodramatic subplots and movie-ready characters. I dug the historical setting -- Japan just prior to Pearl Harbor, duh, see the title -- and of course the sword fighting. The protagonist is a Westerner among the Japanese, a theme that calls to mind John Burdett's Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Tattoo.

  • David Canford
    2019-03-16 05:54

    I enjoyed this book. It was fascinating to read about Japanese culture in the 1920s and in the build up to Pearl Harbour. The European characters were a little caricatured but the Japanese ones much more interesting.

  • Papatodd Coxnet
    2019-02-27 07:45

    A lot of fun. Wasn't thrilled with the ending, but the characters kept you reading.

  • Ram
    2019-03-15 03:41

  • James Kayler
    2019-03-18 07:44

    Contrived plot. Characters less than believable. Author did place attack on Pearl Harbor in historical context but that is about all I can say about this one.

  • Dan F
    2019-03-07 04:37

    Interesting departure from his detective novels. A very good story of Japan leading up to Pearl Harbor taken from a personal view of a westerner who had grown up there. Thoroughly liked it.

  • Andreas Schmidt
    2019-03-19 03:57

    Ma devo anche commentare le stronzate del NY Times?Tralasciando le stronzate scritte sulla copertina di questa edizione (specie la Repubblica) che hanno il valore solo di "compra, dai compra che è figo!"; mi chiedo dove sia il thriller ben congegnato. La storia parla di Harry Niles, figlio di missionari in Giappone. Dove nasce e cresce e rimane fino al 1941, 7 dicembre. Vario background in Cina, massacro di Nanchino, amici occidentali in giappone eccetera. A Nanchino ovviamente si fa nemico un tenente che diventa poi colonnello, un guerriero samurai d'altri tempi, a cui "sottrae" l'onore. Nel 1941 questo colonnello lo insegue. Ma nel frattempo Harry, che non è proprio onestissimo, anzi è un incallito truffatore, mago dell'inganno, che decide di ingannare anche la Marina giapponese pur di non far entrare in guerra il paese con gli USA, ha i suoi affari da sbrigare. Ovviamente non ci riesce. Gen il suo amico tenente di marina, che lo chiama per aiutarlo, alla fine si dimostra come il doppiogiochista di turno. E finisce in un teatro, con il colonnello samurai con la spada che affetta Gen e il suo assistente e risparmia Harry, perché vede in lui "il vero Ronin" (che cazzo voglia significare poi lo sa e lo saprà solo l'autore) e infine il colonnello samurai si suicida (perché sempre stato contrario alla guerra condotta come l'ha condotta il Giappone, in modo disonorevole, con i soliti industriali che si arricchivano eccetera, e la guerra con gli USA significa la sconfitta del Giappone). Lo stile della narrazione fa pena anche come script per un film d'azione di hollywood. Le analogie sono davvero carenti (ogni tanto paragona cose con altre in maniera davvero pietosa). I dialoghi sinceramente mi danno da pensare. I giapponesi hanno davvero voglia di parlare ore e ore sostanzialmente per non dire niente come in un film d'azione? E poi il finale. Uno pensa alla resa dei conti, e invece è il nemico numero uno di Harry che sistema tutto. Togliendo il background storico. Togliendo i giapponesi. Cambiando ambientazione e protagonisti, si ha il classico romanzetto d'azione che finge di essere un thriller.

  • Ivana Pleše linić
    2019-03-06 02:29

    "Ne možeš prevariti poštenog čovjeka. Pošten čovjek si može dopustiti da bude objektivan. Kako god stvar ispadne, njemu će biti svejedno, zato ga je teško prevariti. Prevarantova žrtva, s druge strane, želi nešto za ništa. Želi kuglicu ispod orahove ljuske, njegov udio u pronađenoj lisnici, tip o konju koji će pobijediti, naftu za vodu. Njegova je objektivnost već narušena, već je zagrizao. A budući da je sama igra nepoštena, ne može otići plakati policiji kad mu bude uskraćeno ono što se nadao da će ukrasti. Ili Bogu, zato što ne možeš pretvoriti vodu u gorivo za avione."Martin Cruz Smith

  • Suzanne
    2019-03-22 03:59

    Harry Niles is an American who has spent nearly his entire life in Japan.  The son of missionaries, Harry grew up with Tokyo street kids and would have passed for Japanese if not for his gaijin looks.Fast forward to December 6, 1941.  Harry has made of living as a hustler, doing business as easily with the Yakuza as with the US Navy.  His keen powers of observation have led him to discover a secret: the Japanese are going to attack Pearl Harbor.  Where do Harry's loyalities lie?I enjoyed this World War II thriller, although it was a bit slow to start. 3 1/2 stars.

  • Angélique
    2019-03-20 03:38

    For 3/4 of this book, I felt like I was reading a lot of blah, blah, blah. When I finally got hooked on it (the last 1/4... waiting to see how Harry got out of Japan), I was disappointed; the ending completely left me hanging by not answering that. Is there a book coming out entitled December 8 that's going to tell the rest of the story? I won't be recommending this book to anyone. >:(

  • Soul Survivor
    2019-03-22 08:56

    I've read a number of MCS' books and most of them have been 5-star reads . This was a stand-alone work , but I believe both he and his readers would be better served if he stayed with the Arkady Renko series .

  • Liedzeit
    2019-03-03 05:52

    Harry Niles ist eine amerikanische Langnase im Vorkriegstokio. Irgendwie erfährt er von Invasionsplänen und dann ist er zwischen zwei Frauen hin und hergerissen. Ist das Ganze spannend oder wenigstens lehrreich? Nein, nicht besonders. (5/10)

  • Rubberboots
    2019-03-21 02:58

    Great book! I really enjoyed this one. Five stars - but more like 4.5 as some parts did tend to drag on but just a little. Although the book centers on Harry Niles, it provides a great narrative about Japan on the eve of the Dec 7 attach at Pearl Harbour, hence the book title.

  • Paul
    2019-03-11 04:58

    This thought-provoking novel explores the period around what FDR call "the date that will live in infamy through the other end of history.

  • Raisi
    2019-03-13 03:42

    It is always pleasing to read a book filled with suspense and descriptions of Tokyo.

  • Roger Barnstead
    2019-03-05 10:40

    great story