Read Nakamura Reality by Alex Austin Online


Absenting himself for a brief intimacy with a former girlfriend, Hugh Mcpherson leaves his surfing obsessed sons on an isolated California beach. When he returns, the eleven-year-old twins have vanished. A ferocious riptide has swept Takumi and Hitoshi out to sea, their bodies unrecovered. Devastated by the loss, Hugh and his Japanese wife Setsuko divorce. Severing all tieAbsenting himself for a brief intimacy with a former girlfriend, Hugh Mcpherson leaves his surfing obsessed sons on an isolated California beach. When he returns, the eleven-year-old twins have vanished. A ferocious riptide has swept Takumi and Hitoshi out to sea, their bodies unrecovered. Devastated by the loss, Hugh and his Japanese wife Setsuko divorce. Severing all ties to America, Setsuko returns to Japan to live with her father, Kazuki Ono, a prominent author of mind-bending novels. After grieving for ten years and longing for Setsuko, Hugh swims out to sea to drown himself. As he sinks, his sons appear to him, holding the last letter that he had sent to their mother, begging her forgiveness. Abandoning his suicide, Hugh swims back to shore. The incident awakens memories that throw doubt on the accepted version ofhis sons’ deaths. His doubts are intensified when he learns that Kazuki Ono has come to California to finish a novel called Fingal’s Cave, the tale of a brash American who marries a Japanese woman against the wishes of her father, a powerful businessman with ties to the Yakuza. Provoked by his memories and obliquely revealing passages found in Kazuki’s books, Hugh begins a Quixotic journey across the California landscape, encountering numerous characters of ill-will and cross-purpose, but who inexorably lead him toward a film-industry firm called Nakamura Reality, and a labyrinth that challenges him to separate reality from fiction to find his way out...and perhaps back to his sons....

Title : Nakamura Reality
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781579624095
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nakamura Reality Reviews

  • Elyse
    2019-03-25 22:04

    This is my first book I've read by Alex Austin....Southern California guy! A journalist, teacher, and novelist, Alex has a unique style of storytelling. This wasn't a fast read for me. The uniqueness slowed me down. Lovely writing had me pause. Other times I read slow because I wasn't sure I understood something. ( had to read it again). The dialogue is very strong..( mysterious, intriguing, and entertaining). There is a story within a story.....which was 'at times' confusing to me. The story 'within' is suppose to be by another author ( an ex-father-in-law: *Kazuki*), writing a novel. But it's Hugh's story I'm wanting more of. I never seem to want him to leave a chapter. I wasn't so sure how I felt when Kazuki took charge of the storytelling. I was always happy to come back to Hugh leading the dialogue. Hugh's character is a like permanent scar that remains after surgery. The Prologue - with Huge in it - is so strong- so gripping - so unreal - ( can't be I said to myself)...I HAD to read it twice. I haven't read other reviews-- so I don't know if anyone has given details of this beginning away or not ---but I WON'T....I will say, I was so shocked -that I had about 5 questions (and assumptions) for the author....NOT BAD THINGS... just 'what type of person writes this type of story'...( then came my assumptions: I had the authors entire life figured how). God... I hope he's not reading this - and hates me! lolHowever... I KEPT READING.... Things are NOT AS THEY ALWAYS SEEM....( but... they might me)....Anyone who has read this review - and is totally confused...AND somewhat interested in reading this mysterious novel...I welcome chatting with you about it. There are many things I love about Japanese of them being a general aura of calmness.I've have many Japanese friends, and I never get the feeling (no matter how much responsibility they have-no matter how busy they are), that they come across as being rushed.'s no wonder -this was not a book to rush. The entire background feels like a tribute to the Japanese culture -blended with our challenges in being able to understand the deeper layers which are often very private. ( NOT as easy to understand - being an American as we might think...even if we do read books, have friends, lovers, spouses who 'are' Japanese). I almost should write a review of this book - a second time a few months from I have a feeling ...this story is just beginning to settle into my bones. I believe this is one of those books that will continue to unravel insights to me --( I still have thinking to do) time goes on. For those not familiar with Alex Austin....Here's a sample of his writing which I liked:"Failure rose in his gut like bile. An ultimately fruitless quest, like those that drove on the steadfast but hapless detectives who trudged through the noir screenplays he once wrote. His sons were gone beyond recall. It was irrational to believe that he'd find even a trace of Takumi and Hitoshi after all this time. He stopped, a gloom settling on his intentions. He had no chance. He was like--it came to him, the boys' favorite cartoon. He was like Road Runner's Wile E. Coyote. Having vaulted off a cliff in pursuit of the bird, he was trying to find purchase in the thin air but succeeded only in climbing to the top of his vaulting stick, which upon left him at pole's bottom again, plummeting over downward to the dusty canyon floor where Coyote's previous falls had etched the sand". Sticks and Stones may break our bones, but water????A very different -surreal- type story.... which will command your attention.... especially the beginning few chapters, and definitely the ending. ............and look at this gorgeous book cover? It's black & white photo silky smooth cover is a beauty to touch!!

  • ZaRi
    2019-03-24 18:12

    I received this book from the author and my GR friend Alex Austin. I enjoy reading this book. Before I read it, by its name I thought it must be multi genre book, now I finish it and be sure about it. It's hard to categorize this book; it does neither complete real, nor surreal. Of course it is not in magic real category. I think the author has written this book in real genre but he also has added suspense element. I cannot say it surreal. It can be suspense even sometime it seems it hasn't good executed. The story is about a man named Hugh who lost his eleven twins in California beach because of his intimacy with his former girlfriend. As the consequence his life changes in whole; so he always wants to know what was happened. His Japanese wife divorced and came back to the Japan. Ten years later, Hugh has made the decision to take his own life, but when he swims out to sea to drown himself, his sons appear to him, and start making him consider their true fate. With their bodies never recovered, did they really die? Or is there something else going on?After finding out that his ex-father-in-law is back in America writing a novel with details familiar to his own life, Hugh sets out on a journey to discover what really happened to his sons that day. The story alternates between Hugh’s perspective, and Kazuki’s perspective—I really interest in Hugh' perspective. Sometimes I was boring when I read Kazuki'view-even like to skim it! The interesting point for me in theses alternates view among chapters and line the reader can somehow familiar with Japanese culture; about their odyssey, mystery and culture. Sometime I strongly feel the author is influenced by Haruki Murakami.Also I found myself completely baffled by the ending to this novel. I think Austin was trying to make the ending metaphorical, but again, it was poorly executed. Overall, while I was interested in what happened to Hugh’s sons, I had a rough time reading this book to its end but at the end I feel confused. Finally I should say I like the idea of this book more than writing style. I believe that sometimes I read clumsy written book especially as I said before when I faced with suspense element.The story is full of emotion, grief, inconsolable loss, regretness, forgiveness, the value of life, redemption and guilt but it is not always good presented. It is really brilliant idea and story but unfortunately sometimes it is poorly executed. Anyway I really enjoy it.

  • Jill Corley
    2019-03-28 23:13

    I received an ARC of Nakamura Reality for an honest review. I highly recommend reading this book. The protagonist, Hugh, is having a rough time getting over the loss of his sons. He unable to reconcile never seeing them again, so he decides it’s time to join them. The way he plans to join his sons is not what actually happens and, until the very end of the book, you’re not really sure that he will be with them in the way in which he expects. Mr. Austin weaves the story using real time and book excerpts written by Kazuki, who is Hugh’s ex-father-in-law, which gives a glimpse into the grandfather’s feelings and perspective of Hugh’s relationship with his sons.This is a fast paced read without being rushed. Both plot and characters are well developed without bogging the story down with irrelevant details. I found myself totally disliking one of the characters, but by the end of the book I changed my mind as I recalled the saying, “It takes two to tango.” The characters are very human in strength and weakness causing me to mull over what I had read as I did mundane chores. What I thought would happen did, and didn’t, which is highly entertaining. There is unconditional love, conditional love, complete soul shattering despair, euphoric joy, danger, and mystery that causes intended puzzlement and a bit of misdirection. The ups and downs have you on an emotional rollercoaster. The mystery and clues keep you interested and engaged about what is coming for the characters and how the actions may, or may not, be related. This is a book that I found interesting enough to keep on my shelf and reread. It has been several days since I finished and it’s still on my mind. Please read this book. You’ll be glad you did. --- Jill

  • Melaslithos
    2019-04-20 21:33

    I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.It has taken me quite some time to review this book, for different reasons. Firstly, because real life can sometime take its toll. But also because I don't really know where to start with my review.Nakamura Reality is an interesting book. It's a nice thriller, but also more than that. While trying to unravel the mystery along with the characters, the reader also takes a plunge into their psyche, with all the mysteries and contradictions a mind can hold.So let's start with the easy part, the storyline, first. The story advances smoothly and I quite liked the pace of it. We go from one point of the story to the other without being rushed, yet there is no undue lengthy parts. The suspense is present, and I must say that for once, I found the conclusion quite unexpected and different from other books of this genre. There is no sudden revelations, but the reader is lead slowly to the answer along with the main character, with small bits and pieces little by little fitting together. I quite like this way of doing.I also found the characters mostly believable. They were complex, realistic, neither good nor bad. I'm not quite sure I like them totally, nor understand them, but that's also the interesting part of reading, discovering other points of views and ways of thinking. A few points did bother me, but I'll put it on the difference in characters between them and me. It's not because I wouldn't do some things or react in a certain way that everyone should.Now, regarding the style. I really liked the fact that we were made to follow the story through two points of view, the one of the main character, Hugh Mcpherson, and the one of his father-in-law, Kazuki Ono. I also liked the fact that Kazuki Ono tells his tale through the book he is currently writting. But this is also were I had trouble with this book. For me, both version felt the same. I had quite some difficulties differentiating one from the other, until I came accross a name, which are different in the two versions. To the point it was sometime a bit confusing to me, not really knowing anymore which version I was reading. I think I would have liked a little bit more of a difference in style between the two versions. As far as I see it, Kazuki Ono is not Alex Austin, the author of this book, or at least should not. So I would have liked for him to have a different writting style than the rest of the book, to feel more different. But I do realize that it must be very difficult for a writter to adopt different styles. On this point, I might have been expecting too much of this book.All in all, this is a good book that I enjoyed reading. The story is great, is well built and those are characters we can relate to, if not always like them.

  • Sheila
    2019-04-19 22:14

    Built into that mysterious space between fairytale, myth and gritty authenticity, Alex Austin’s Nakamura Reality is achingly real, hauntingly surreal, and vividly imaginative. It’s a wonderful tale of love lost, loveless loss, and fiction’s cruel machinations, where family ties tear and weave into a literary tapestry, and a wounded father works his way through the chess game of a broken life.Beautifully descriptive, the author’s writing is as sure and convincing in its depiction of surfing beaches as in the waves of human emotion. Foreshadowed disaster might terrify any parent, and the rear-view desperation of depression is filled with the haunted if-onlys of unshakable guilt. Meanwhile hope seems ever unreachable, a knight’s move away. And the game is afoot.Author of his own life and its sorrows, Hugh McPherson once thought he understood enough of his beloved wife’s Japanese culture. Now he feels more like a character in his father-in-law’s novel, as fictional author Kazuki directs the path of another tale. Well-chosen fonts separate the story’s divided channels. Well-crafted words bring them together. Well-structured mysteries offer a wealth of well-sprinkled clues. And only the final pages will show if revenge or hope was the promise after all.A novel to be read slowly and savored, with mystery seasoning the space between the lines, Nakamura Reality is a masterpiece and highly recommended.Disclosure: I was given a free preview edition by the publisher and I loved it!

  • Kara Kelley
    2019-04-09 20:25

    A story so gripping and satisfyingly complex, it'll leave you thinking about it long after the last page. Skillfully crafted with rich prose and characters, you'll find yourself sympathizing with the main character as you too question the sometimes fine line between sobering reality and heart wrenching allusion. Austin masterfully weaves his characters into a spellbinding world of gritty emotions and a journey that is both addicting and wondrous.

  • Tom Johnson
    2019-04-19 20:20

    “Will Test The Reader’s Imagination”Leaving his sons unattended on the beach, Hugh McPherson returns to find them missing, believed to have been swept away while surfing in the ocean. The loss of his sons breaks up his marriage with his Japanese wife, Setsuko. She returns to Japan, leaving Hugh to suffer his loss alone. Ten years later he decides to join his sons, swimming into the sea to die, but a vision of his two boys makes him see other possibilities. But when chance presents itself Hugh searches out Setsuko’s father who is visiting to finish his novel. Could his sons still be alive?This was a strange mystery novel, leaving the reader questioning reality as truth or fiction. What we see as real may not be the truth. The author delves into the Japanese thought process, as well as reading between the lines for deeper meanings. A good read, but there were times I wasn’t sure I was following the story line, and that posed a problem for me. It all works in the end, but expect some odd roads to the final destination. Recommended to test the reader’s imagination.

  • Kirk
    2019-03-29 20:17

    "We have lingered in the chambers of the sea," famously ends T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. "By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown / Till human voices wake us, and we drown." There's a lot of Eliotic "death by water" imagery in this beautifully written, intricately structured puzzle-novel. That's appropriate because submersion in water hasn't always been a literal threat of drowning, but a metaphor for the porous borders between perception and reality, between the internal consciousness and the external world. That's at heart the question in NAKAMURA REALITY, the gap between what's remembered and what's real, and it makes for a fascinating immersion of its own as readers try to swim through the crosscurrents of two swirling stories, one about Hugh Mcpherson, an Everyman struggling fifteen years later with the death of his two sons, Takumi and Hitoshi, in a surfing accident, and the other about his ex-father-in-law, the boys' grandfather, a famous Haruki Murakami-like novelist named Kazuki Ono whose works are themselves meditations on the theme of the sea as "being in the world." In fact, Ono now writes a novel called FINGAL'S CAVE that parallels Hugh's story of his lost sons. Whether FINGAL'S CAVE recapitulates or creates that story is the mindbender readers will find themselves submerged in. The dive is deep but rewarding for those willing to hold their breath as the suspense unfolds and not gasp to the surface thrashing for easy answers.The novel's insistence on plunging us into interpretive depths is explained, I think, by the epilogue of Ono's novel:"The Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg hypothesized that narrative is rooted in hunting societies, derived from the hunter reading the clues of his invisible prey: scat, spittle, trails, fur, odors, entangled feathers, broken twigs. In deep forests or vast prairies, the hunter must instantaneously recognize and decipher from the track such subtleties as the trail's age, the animal's gender and even its emotional state. The hunter had to assemble the whole from the part, a complex and demanding process that the historian found traceable to the 'narrative axis of metonymy.' The hunter told a story based on the all-but-invisible signs, a sequence of causes and effects that was nothing less than a plot. In a nutshell, Ginzburg argued that the hunter's story told over the millenniums led to the invention of writing, which generated the myriad forms of the reading of shit, blood, piss, pus, guts, fur, feather and stink. From piss to Proust, but never escaping that old tale: No mystery, no narrative."So this is a novel that, in the tradition of many a great metafictional novel, demands that readers pore over clues and solve the riddle of how the part relates to the whole. We follow Hugh through several strange encounters, many of them involving odd doubles: women named Hannah and girls named Anna, young men that go by either Aaron or Jason, a gravestone that may be Hugh's or another Mcpherson named Harry. Then, of course, there are the doubles between Hugh's story and FINGAL's COVE that are just different enough to call attention to the disparity between their parallels, raising the question of not only what is real but which came first. Did the face in the mirror exist before the being in the reflection perceived it? Good question: read the book and figure it out, Jacques Lacan.Postmodern mysteries like this have a long tradition, from Umberto Eco on to the movie MEMENTO and maybe even the first season of TRUE DETECTIVE if you'd like. There's a lot of Pynchon in here---minus the slapstick, however. As Hugh bounds from clue to clue about what "really" happened to his sons, all signs seem to point to a mysterious corporation or group called Nakamura Reality, to which Ono has some mysterious connection. Nakamura Reality is a variation on Pynchon's Thurn and Taxis from THE CRYING OF LOT 49 or Golden Fang from INHERENT VICE, a shadowy, conspiratorial presence whose tentacles seem to reach all the way to the dials and controls of reality itself. I'll admit I was initially leery of the mild pun/misprision the novel makes off of the difference between reality and realty (Nakamura is supposed to be a realty company), having misspelled one for the other enough times in my own work (before proofreading :)). The frisson between the two words, however, once again underscores the idea that doubles exist that aren't identical and that the gap between them occludes our ability to answer what's original and what's a copy or variation.There's enough crime undertones here as well to speed the novel along even as it plumbs these deeper metaphysical questions. The Yakuza may or may not be involved somehow, somebody may or may not have been murdered, and life might just be one amazing conspiracy in which even minor cast members of our life story are complicit. I'm sure there are readers whose circuitry will be fried long before they get too far into the book. But I love stories that make the point that all life is in essence a quest/game/folly of interpretation, especially when they fold back and make their own reading a major theme. (There's a theory in narratology that all texts teach us how to read themselves and that, no matter how explicitly or obscurely, they thematize interpretation. Some day some hearty soul will prove that's as true of 50 SHADES, THE HUNGER GAMES, and HARRY POTTER as of ULYSSES or THE SOUND AND THE FURY). Perhaps I'm too ideal of an audience for NAKAMURA REALITY, but getting to the bottom of Hugh's predicament (or condition) was for me a great descent into murky wonders. Never once did I have the sinking feeling I was being gamed, and that the answer to the riddle would be a cheap trick.Highly recommended.

  • Lee Parker
    2019-04-12 20:11

    I received a copy of this for free through Goodreads First ReadsThis was a wonderfully written thriller. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that I still, after finishing, am still not quite sure exactly what happened. But that doesn't at all detract from my enjoyment of the novel. Its certainly worth a reread, as I'm sure that I missed some things during my first read through.

  • Jim
    2019-03-30 01:29

    The author provided a copy of this book for review.Alex Austin’s novel, Nakamura Reality, is difficult to place in a particular genre or style because he’s incorporated so many ideas and levels for the reader to contemplate. Hugh McPherson, an American teaching English classes in Tokyo, begins an affair with one of his students, Setsuko. Love blossoms and they marry, giving birth to twin sons, Takumi and Hitoshi. Setsuko’s father, Kazuki Ono, is a famous Japanese novelist who is not pleased about the union, but surrenders to the inevitable. However, Kazuki uses his fortune and connections to intervene in Hugh and his family’s life much more than he ever imagined. There is a mystery to solve – and I don’t want to give it away – but this isn’t really a mystery novel. Instead, this seemingly straightforward story about the accidental death of the Hugh’s twin sons expands into a much broader meditation about human relations - specifically between spouses, parents, and children - and how in spite of best intentions and efforts, terrible things can and will tear those relationships apart.Nakamura Reality plays with ideas about appearance, illusion, and naturally, reality. What we see is seldom what it seems to be. There are fictions posing as reality and realities presented as fiction. Kazuki creates as many illusions in “the real world” as he does in his novels. His anger and displeasure at his daughter’s choice of husband manifests as an obsession worthy of the Count of Monte Cristo, complete with numerous accomplices and ample resources to create any illusion he deems necessary to teach Hugh a lesson. In the end, Kazuki fails to protect his daughter, Setsuko, but somehow he finds grace at the end of his life and leaves Hugh with a true gift.Austin exercises restraint in telling a story that could easily have been much longer. Instead of spelling out every issue and obsession he provides the reader with just enough information to feel the characters’ traumas and sorrows. Much of the story takes place in boats, in cars, in water, and in the fresh air of nature – all of these elements becoming a part of both the oppression and the release of some serious dramas. Again, Austin places us in specific environments without telling us how to feel, instead letting our collective primal experience of these elements create the drama of the book. This is central to the story’s power and a reason to recommend the book.

  • Jean
    2019-04-18 22:23

    There is a nugget of a story, a mystery, here but so many facets that don't fit together. Hugh McPherson's two sons went missing twelve years ago while surfing at a California beach, while Hugh stepped away for a short while (for a liaison? This seems like only a suggestion in the prolog. If this is a motivating factor for actions against Hugh, it waits too long to be confirmed in the story.) While Hugh grieves and continues his 12- year search for lost twins, Takumi and Hitoshi, his Japanese ex-father-in-law, a noted writer, is writing a parallel story (in the end, this story sheds some light for Hugh but still leaves the reader with questions about what really happened.) After two suicide attempts at the surfing beach where his sons perished, Hugh sees a mysterious boat that gives him the idea his sons might have been kidnapped after all.It seems that nearly all characters in the book are plotting against Hugh: the ex-father-in-law, Hugh's ex-wife, the boat owner, random motorists, two students from Hugh's English classes, a mortuary company, and a Hollywood prop concession (named Nakamura Reality.) Why? Does it all go back to Hugh's lie to his father-in-law before the marriage nearly thirteen years ago?Or something to do with a liaison at the surfing beach?There are many threads to the story, rather tangled. What happened to Hugh immediately following the disappearance of his sons in the surf? Where does the scene fit where Hugh is in a hospital room, apparently receiving news of the sons' drowning deaths? Did Hugh's divorced wife die after she returned to Japan following the loss of their sons? What is the significance of the drowning death of a beach-front bully named Kyle?And how does Kazuki Ono, Hugh's father-in-law know about this accident, and why does he use somewhat magical powers to dispose of the body?And what in the world did the two students have against Hugh, as they falsely accuse him of being a sexual predator?Random creatures, especially red and gray crayfish and seagulls appearing at significant times in the story seem to bestow mystical symbolism. As Memories and dream sequences are woven into the story, the author seems to rely on the reader to sort these out. A puzzling story! I compliment the author for tackling the mystery genre. It must be a real challenge to get all ducks in a row, all mystery elements explained.

  • Nick Rossi
    2019-04-18 01:29

    connection between humanity that intrinsically links us all to one another.In "Nakamura Reality", loss and tragedy quickly strike in the life of Hugh McPherson. His twin sons vanish into the ocean. Fervent surfers, the boys succumb to the immense powers of the sea and meet their demise. Hugh and his wife, Setsuko, cannot weather life together with the loss of their sons. Soon divorcing, the Setsuko chooses to leave her american life behind her and moves back to Japan with her writer-father, Kazuki Ono. Hugh, on the other hand, decides to continue his life in america with the sadness of his sons' deaths never leaving him. As he grows more and more depressed, not only for the loss of his sons' but also of the end of his relationship with his wife, Hugh decides to commit suicide by voluntarily giving himself to the waters that so maniacally took his sons' lives. Whilst committing this act, Hugh sees his sons, who ask him to reconcile with Setsuko.Now this is where the story gets super interesting. Hugh, who finds himself revitalized by this near-death experience, quickly comes to believe that perhaps the death of his sons' wasn't so clear cut. Sure, they had indeed vanished into the ocean, never having their bodies found - but they were also such AMAZING surfers. Could it be there's more to their disappearance then what seemingly transpired? Is Setsuko's father, who recently wrote a novel that seems to echo Hugh and Setsuko's real life, behind this awful tragedy? With this new idea, Hugh begins a new life where he begins to question the life as he had known it in the 10 years that have passed since the disappearance of his sons. The author shines in his portrayal of the mysteries and tumult that surround all the characters has created. His ability to easily sustain the readers' interest page in and page out demonstrates the talent of an author that clearly knows the power that words can bring.Like this review? Read more like it at

  • A.S. McGowan
    2019-04-18 01:03

    I was sent a physical copy of this book by the author. I spent a couple days reading this book from beginning to end. I will be trying my best to give my honest review without any spoilers. First off this book is not a book one can read casually or skim through. To do so would mean missing the intricate details within the story that are vital to the story. This book will challenge you and your perceptions the same way as the great classics such as Wuthering Heights. Yes I do place this book right up there with the famous classics. Starting with the first chapter the author had my attention. Hugh the MC made a terrible mistake that led to the ultimate price. The loss of his two twin sons. As a result he lost his wife Setsuko. Setsuko's father is an author and Hugh tries to find understanding within the novels that his former father-in-law writes. This aspect had me intrigued. The search for self forgiveness. The hard part with this book is that it mixes Hugh's reality with what appears to be delusions. At times it is difficult to understand which is reality and really happening and which is part of a delusion. So I had to read this book really carefully in order to not become to confused and lost in what was happening. However the story moved along rather nicely and the author did a great job throwing in plot twists that I did not see coming. I will not tell you the ending but lets just say that I thought I had it figured out right up until the last paragraph. I did not see that ending coming. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that will take you to new places within your mind and really challenge your perceptions.

  • Lilitiger2
    2019-04-07 00:23

    The word that comes to mind when describing this book is exquisite. A man has lost his twin sons, his "little rippers" to the surf, apparently during a moment when he was having an assignation with an old girlfriend. The story starts twelve years later and follows the man, Hugh MacPherson, whose life is in ruins. He attempts suicide by drowning but is saved, and instead comes to wonder if there wasn't a mysterious boat on the water that day. Perhaps his boys are still alive. The book chronicles his attempts to find out what happened, and the story unfolds both from his perspective and that of the protagonist in a novel his father in law Kazuki is writing.I enjoyed the book so much I read it over one weekend and found it completely engrossing. I will likely read it again. The prose is lovely--accessible and fluid but does not draw attention to itself. Description are outstanding--the aging, ill Kazuki, Hugh himself, the despair of irreparable loss, particularly loss driven by guilt.The aspects of Japanese culture presented here are interesting as well.I'm giving it five starts for the writing and mostly, for my experience reading it. An excellent book.

  • Heavy Feather
    2019-04-19 19:26

    "NAKAMURA REALITY certainly makes reference to Japanese culture, even to Japanese aesthetics and the direct simplicity of Japanese art. Characters are Japanese; there are references to the Buddha, to the bombing of Hiroshima, and seemingly to Kurosawa while it presents questions on the nature of reality, suggesting a Zen-like argument about it being an illusory product of the mind. Despite all this—and this is not a negative criticism—I found Austin’s book much less an attempt to understand or evoke a Japanese point of view and much more an expression of West Coast consciousness and the sociology of Los Angeles."—From Gint Aras's review of NAKAMURA REALITY by Alex Austin on Heavy Feather Review:

  • Lacygnette
    2019-04-14 01:28

    A multi-layered story with a novel-within-a-novel that mirrors the quest of the main character. A good dose of emotion drives the story forward as he searches for his sons, who apparently drowned. As the story progresses, hints surface that the boys may still live. The Japanese culture is strongly featured. For readers who love puzzles or surprising plots, this is a great book.

  • Terri Jacobson
    2019-04-07 18:33

    Nakamura Reality is an unusual book in terms of structure, and I find books like this very appealing. It also deals with Japanese culture, a real area of interest for me. These are qualities that made me especially susceptible to liking this book.The book starts with Hugh Mcpherson and his 11 year old twins, Takumi and Hitoshi, on a beach in California getting ready to surf. Hugh leaves the beach while his sons are in the water, and when he returns they are gone. Presumed drowned, the bodies are never found. This is the prologue to the book.The story picks up 12 years later, and Hugh can't stop thinking about his sons. His Japanese wife divorced him when their sons disappeared, and she took all their belongings as well. His Japanese ex-father-in-law, Kazuki Ono, is a writer of "mind-bending" novels. Hugh believes Kazuki's current work is deeply informed by the mystery of his sons. The book then divides into the main story line of Hugh and his sons, and the concurrent reading of the novel that Kazuki is writing.I'm finding it very difficult to describe this book. I found the story riveting, and the quality of the writing quite high. I was so absorbed with the story lines I finished the book in a day. Nakamura Reality provides a particularly fine reading experience. I liked it very much.

  • Sharron
    2019-04-13 21:30

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Good story