Read In Search Of A Distant Voice by Taichi Yamada Online


Kazama Tsuneo is an immigration officer in Tokyo, struggling to live a 'normal' life after an event that happened eight years previously. His problems worsen following the emergence of a strange voice - a woman who is trying to contact him. Tsuneo desperately chases this woman, and the mystery behind what happened eight years earlier....

Title : In Search Of A Distant Voice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780571229727
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 183 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In Search Of A Distant Voice Reviews

  • David
    2019-05-30 13:42

    The book of the writing of "In Search of a Distant Voice" would be interesting. Or, I'd like to be Japanese and read it again. Why is "Eric" American? What does Yamada think of him and his behaviour? What does Yamada think we should be thinking? Does he anticipate different reactions from a Western audience? And how does Yamada think Erik's story complements or contradicts the idea of true expression of human feeling? It's an intriguing little book.

  • Ying Ying
    2019-06-08 06:45

    This is a short and quite fascinating read. The mystery keeps on going throughout the book and even after you finish reading: who was this voice and how did it reach Tsuneo? While the plot goes on, the author throws us questions about emotions, love, trauma, mental health, and inner voice.

  • Phakin
    2019-06-06 13:56

    ประหลาดมากๆ ชอบปมของเรื่อง ความกระอักกระอ่วนของคนจนตรอก ชอบความไม่มีที่มาที่ไปของสิ่งต่างๆ ชอบที่มันไม่บอกอะไรออกมาตรงๆ ทุกเรื่อง

  • Jessica Brown
    2019-06-12 09:55

    [Originally appeared on New Reads and Old Standbys in June 2009:]Nobody does crushing loneliness and uncertainty like the Japanese, and of those novelists one of the very best is Yamada Taichi. It’s a real shame his body of work has gone largely untranslated, and an even bigger shame that only one of his three novels in English has received a wide release. Like his previous works, In Search of a Distant voice is about the loneliness that inhabits even the busiest city-dweller, the emptiness at the bottom of the soul that exists possibly in greater quantities when the bearer is entrenched firmly in city life. There’s a combination of hopelessness and nonchalance about the whole thing that is decidedly Japanese. This mix of emotions and reactions could quite possibly exist nowhere else on the planet. Kasama Tsuneo is twenty-nine and about to get married to a woman he met through his boss. It’s an arranged marriage, loveless and sexless and as formal as formality gets. As an immigrations officer, Tsuneo spends most of his time at work and doesn’t have much opportunity to meet women, so having his boss set him up seems a stroke of luck.In the predawn hours of what would normally be an average morning, Tsuneo participates in a raid on a residence full of illegal Indonesian residents. One man slips out a window and into a neighboring graveyard. Tsuneo corners the man and is about to arrest him when he is suddenly struck by a wave of emotion that culminates in a body-shaking orgasm. Humiliated and terrified, Tsuneo lets the man escape. In the days that follow Tsuneo is haunted by a feminine voice asking who and where he is. He responds, sometimes audibly, sometimes internally, until the stress of it all threatens a complete nervous breakdown. Finally, in exchange for an arrangement to meet face-to-face, Tsuneo tells the woman about his time in America in his early twenties, and about a man he once knew named Eric.Anyone who’s read either of Yamada’s previous works, Strangers and I Haven’t Dreamed of Flying For a While, will know what they’re getting into. I won’t spoil the plot any further, but if you’ve read one Yamada ending you will definitely have a heads up on what’s coming. For anyone else, rid yourself of expectations and you may enjoy it. Perhaps even reading Strangers first would be advisable, as it’s his strongest English work to date.Yamada’s not for everyone, but his books are incredibly quick, accessible reads. A few hours spent with his characters are easily worth the less than two hundred pages that encompass In Search of a Distant Voice.

  • Ippino
    2019-05-20 05:51

    L'idea è interessante, ma si trascina troppo ed è inconcludente.Non è scritto bene, e in almeno un paio di parti sembra di leggere la sceneggiatura per un serial tv.L'unica cosa che ho apprezzato veramente sono le parti della storia d'amore, mancata, tra Tsuneo, il protagonista, e la sua fidanzata: è un bello spaccato della società giapponese, dei matrimoni combinati e del loro protocollo.La cosa peggiore è il finale, che semplicemente non c'è: o sono io che non l'ho capito, o è l'autore che non sapeva come chiudere questa farsa.Per tutto il libro c'è il mistero che avvolge la voce che parla a Tsuneo, alla fine sembra che si debbano vedere, ma poi lei scappa per sempre: che conseguenze lascia nella psiche di lui? Nessuna, a parte qualche mese di vaga depressione. Che strascichi lascia nella sua vita? Nessuno.Ma che razza di finale è, allora? Cos'è questa voce?E' la voce della sua coscienza?Oppure la voce del suo senso di colpa per avere causato la morte del suo amante?Oppure è semplicemente un fantasma? E in questo caso, si diverte solamente a prendere in giro Tsuneo, oppure c'è un motivo per cui ha scelto proprio lui?Non si capisce, e non perché l'autore lasci una libera interpretazione con finale aperto. Questo è un finale "tronco", non aperto.A che pro raccontare della sua travagliata esperienza omosessuale se poi non ha nessuna rilevanza ai fini della trama e dell'evoluzione del personaggio? A che pro lasciare alcuni indizi, ad esempio quando la voce parla dell'oceano, se poi non hanno un seguito nella trama?Per me questo è un romanzetto sopravvalutato.

  • Ape
    2019-06-08 12:49

    2009 bookcrossing:Wow. This book was absolutely fantastic. I just loved it. I thought the ending was great, and in some ways the best way to end the book. But at the same time I wanted to know all the answers, I wanted to see just as the main character, Tsuneo did. So was the woman a horribly disfigured person; a woman with incredibly low self-esteem; a ghost... or maybe even Erik? I mean, if the blind girl was paid to play a part, maybe the other people he met on those renez vous were as well? So frustrating that I will never know.This book is set in Tokyo, and is about a young man nearing 30, Tsuneo, who works for the immigration department, rounding up illegal immigrints. He is getting engaged to a girl he hardly knows and has no feelings for, all through the old Japanese style formality of getting engaged. And he drifts through his life, expecting nothing more than existance from life - which is very sad in itself. And he starts having these strange experiences, connecting with "the woman" in his head, having conversations with her and feeling her emotions. And through this, his own inner self is opened up: he falls into depression and confussion, and admits to her and himself about a past episode in his life that has haunted him, when he himself was an illegal immigrint in America.This is such a beautifully written story, quite heart breaking in some ways. Really would recommend it.

  • Boorrito
    2019-06-14 10:01

    The idea is interesting - an immigrant officer who's trying to forget an incident in Portland 7 years before starts hearing a mysterious voice and feeling someone else's emotions - but it never really capitalises on it. I also started laughing after one line in the revelation section about what happened in Portland and I just couldn't take it what happened that seriously afterwards. I'm not sure wherever it was the translation or it read that awkwardly in Japanese too. (view spoiler)[For those who are interested, it was the line "And yet that weekend, at Cannon Beach, Eric's penis did penetrate my rectum. And that wasn't all . Whenever Eric penetrated me, my own penis grew hard, and every time, each and every time, I ejaculated." Probably because it reads like a badly translated yaoi manga. Also funny: "His face looked like the actor Donald Sutherland, except that his face didn't have that eerie aura about him that Sutherland has." (hide spoiler)]The ending was also a let-down. I've read that ambiguous endings are more acceptable in Japanese works (as in audiences don't tend to feel cheated by them like English language audiences do - very much generalising here) but it felt more like he didn't know how to conclude it than a satisfying yet ambiguous end. Read Strangers instead.

  • Gertrude & Victoria
    2019-06-02 12:40

    From humorous beginning to exotic end, this story, In Search of a Distant Voice, is an exciting and fast paced quest for truth and self-discovery. Yamada Taichi always enchants with his exceptional depictions of life, where reality gives way to supernatural fantasy.Yamada's prose is easy to understand, at least on its surface. However, with some reflection the story is deeper than first thought. This story looks into subconscious desire. The main character, Tsuneo, an immigration officer, seeks only to live a normal life like everyone else, when he begins to hear voices, the voices of a woman.Initially, he thinks these voices are only in his head, signs of a vigorous imagination, but later he feels that he is actually going crazy. Neither of these are happening though. The voices are real - too real - as he becomes intoxicated by its alluring call. During the course of these inscrutable episodes, Tsuneo recalls his troubling past in the U.S., a past where one encounter with an Oregon man changes his life for good. The plot keeps the reader spellbound. The main character's unique problem and his determination to find answers sustains our interest throughout. The sytle is easy yet appealing. And all this makes for an enjoyable reading experience.

  • Nurul Nadzirin
    2019-06-06 07:57

    I have to say, I'm biased in this rating because I relate so well to the premise of the book - which is deeply connecting with a stranger without actually meeting him/her. I think this is one of those books that won't go beyond mildly celebrated, mostly because the approach is quite flat, and thus it would bore most readers. I found that I had to actively try to absorb the intent of the author; it did not come naturally. However what I did absorb made this quite a meaningful read.

  • Arwen56
    2019-06-01 05:39

    Chiedo preventivamente scusa agli estimatori dell'autore, ma, personalmente, l'ho trovata una delle peggiori storie mai lette. Inconcludente, mal strutturata, mediocramente scritta. Si vuol far passare come "originalità" una completa mancanza di idee, che si risolve in un insieme di fatti slegati ed improbabili. A tratti è persino irritante.

  • Irina Trancă
    2019-05-29 12:04

    This book is really gross at times, although the idea of someone talking to you from far away is pretty cool.

  • Claudia Boldor
    2019-05-19 06:59

    This book literally left me heartbroken.

  • Sandra Sandra Coroian
    2019-05-23 10:56

    The most amazing book I have ever read. It just takes you to another world and makes your skin crawl. AMAZING!!!

  • Jen
    2019-06-02 08:52

    Intriguing Japanese ghost story - part mystery, part psychological/supernatural novel, with ambiguous ending. Very easy to read.

  • Josh
    2019-05-20 05:50

    I'm very particular about endings and this one was particularly frustrating. Might have muttered some colorful cursing at the book as though it were a living thing and not a (piece of shit) inanimate object that I was about to drop an extremely subjective review for. So yeah, take it with a grain of salt, take a chance on the cool-sounding book, or take a wall, any wall, and repeatedly hit your head into it until successfully concussed. Or don't do any of those things. Meh.

  • Selene
    2019-05-23 11:49

    This was great in places, but we never meet the ghost and that was sad.

  • Jacqui
    2019-06-06 06:46

    After reading wonderful reviews for some of Taichi Yamada’s others works such as Strangers and [Book: I Haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While], I had high hopes for this book and really wanted to like it; but i didn't. At first i thought it was merely the translation that was letting it down, as the book explored some inetersting themes - loneliness and a sense of longing, the quest for truth and understanding, the search for something greater, ideas of sexuality, guilt and identity. However, by the end of the book, depsite Yamada's ability to capture and evoke in the reader a sense of haunting melancholy, i didn't feel that there was enough substance or depth to the characters he was portraying and the ambiguous ending left me feeling like i'd come full circle - i was just as unclear in the end as i was in the beginning. Memorable Quotes"People who have nothing but work are weak. If they fail at their job, they have a hard time picking themselves up again.""...try to work at taking it easy.""The sadness enters me. I feel incredibly sad. I don't have any idea where the sadness comes from. Because I'm not the one who's sad. I just feel an unbelievably deep sadness. And then, after a while, the sadness goes away. It slips away from me and it's gone. And I'm left there with nothing but my own feelings. They're so weak and pathetic I hardly feel justified in calling them feelings at all, and I start to wonder if maybe the truth is that I've never really been sad, not once, in my whole life.""A thick, deep feeling passes through me. It goes right through me. And all I'm left with afterwards is my own worthless, flimsy emotions."

  • Reika
    2019-06-04 11:49

    The cover as well as the title of this book caught my attention when I was browsing for some thrillers at the Kinokuniya bookstore, KLCC, about two years ago. "Don't judge a book by its cover!" — I guess most of you who is reading this review now would make a remark like that. But indeed the cover of this book does reflect on its content — it is a good read! It was originally written by a Japanese author, Taichi Yamada, in 1986, and was translated into English in 2006. The story revolves around the protagonist named, Kasama Tsuneo, who is an immigration officer in Tokyo, who is struggling to lead a 'normal life'. In the midst of one of his operations to catch the illegal immigrants, which led to a chase into a graveyard, which then led to a series of supernatural phenomenons, Tsuneo begins to hear a strange voice — a woman who is trying to contact him and Tsuneo began to search desperately for that woman. Along the way, it brought back a dark past of Tsuneo that happened in Portland, Oregon about 8 years ago — a secret, that Tsuneo wished no one will ever know!The story is quick paced and well-developed by Yamada, and I must also give credit to the translator, Michael Emmerich, who help to reproduce the scenes so vividly from Japanese to English. The story is eerie in its own way, but somehow it managed to bring out the romantic feelings between Tsuneo and the woman that he's searching for, portraying a sense of melancholic longing between them. Well, like usual, I must refrain from telling to much, to avoid spoiler...go read it yourself!

  • Ada Bonnefoi
    2019-06-14 06:49

    For Kasama Tsuneo, an official of the Japanese immigration authorities, the most important thing is a regular, normal life. To get closer to this life he agrees to an arranged marriage with Yoshie Shibata. But suddenly his life gets out of control: It perceives a foreign power, which squeezes in his life. At first it's just a very intense feeling, then Tsuneo hears the voice of a woman who comes into contact with him. Soon Tsuneo know that it can be... anything, and not a side effect of his demanding job. He suspects a connection with an event in his past. The woman, however, denies this. It pushes more and more into his life. Although Tsuneo realizes the danger to his "normal" life, he begins to desire the voice and finally, he tells the story of this woman. A story he has never told someone before and which is burdening his conscience. When the woman withdraws from his life it normalizes temporarily, but Tsuneo is waiting for the day when the voice wants to contact him again. Taichi Yamada's novel is about a man who does have a problem in his life, but he does not or cannot recognize it, not really. Through mystical, bizarre happenings his facade of a normal life crumbles and the protagonist is suddenly torn from his apparent reality and realizes there is another life besides his job. His book moves through the supernatural element with a special flair, being a mirror of a life where having a prestigious job is all that matters.

  • Becky
    2019-05-31 08:44

    I had high hopes for this book after reading, and thoroughly enjoying, Yamada’s I Haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While. However, whereas I found that book instantly compelling, in contrast I found In Search of a Distant Voice very difficult to get into. At times I found the way this book was written slightly irksome, but perhaps that owes more to the translation than the author’s intent. Yamada does manage to evoke and maintain a sense of eeriness and melancholy throughout this book, which I liked. And I did find myself sympathising with the protagonist Tsuneo, and the conflict between what he wants and what is expected of him. However, I found the ambiguous ending very unsatisfying. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind books that make you read between the lines a little, but I felt like I was waiting for a revelation that never came, and ultimately the book posed more questions that it answered. Overall, I found this a disappointing read. I have yet to read Strangers, but am hopeful I will enjoy it more.

  • g026r
    2019-05-23 12:55

    Yamada's a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine: I don't find the translations all that great (at least, I expect the translations are the issue), they often just sort of end in a very unresolved manner, and he's prone to reusing a few themes over and over again. That said, they make a quick one-night read.This one, however, just went nowhere at all. Strangers was a nice enough ghost story. I Haven't Dreamed of Flying in a While occasionally got the difficulty of connecting with other human beings and an air of loss across at points. In Search of a Distant Voice, about an immigration worker who suddenly starts hearing a voice talking to him, never really did anything interesting with the initial concept and I came out of it disappointed.

  • Cyril
    2019-06-05 08:04

    So this Japanese fellow goes to the States, has a bad moment, nails a not so innocent innocent.goes home.takes a job that satisfies his sense of masochistic schadenfreude.Hears a Voice.Is it his conscience driving him to redemption?Is it a ghost from the past?Is he just an unlucky sod who connects with another dimension and makes all the wrong connections?Is he just plain fucking mad?Is he cured?Does it matter?Do I care?_______________________________________________________Take it to the bookshelf~ "Whose gonna make way for this one" I ask?"That piece of ****?No volunteers here!""Sorry for you", I say . . ." nobody here likes you"and I toss the book onto the pile going to the charity bin.

  • Nicci B
    2019-05-27 05:48

    I'm not sure what I was supposed to get from this book. Unlike Strangers which was full of tanglible loneliness and alienation, this book is asshole. I can't stand books about weak whiny men (it's why I hate Kafka) and this protagonist is the worst of all. What is his problem, and why does he hear a woman's voice in his head? Most of all, who cares? I wanted him to be haunted, driven mad by his past actions. Instead he gets a walk in the park. Did I miss something? Was the female voice his anima or something? I don't want to read this again but I might have to, just to make sure I didn't miss the whole point of the book.

  • Mihaela
    2019-05-29 11:02

    I wanted to read this book because i really liked "Strangers" written by Taichi Yamada too.It was strange, full of mystery and i enjoyed it a lot.But on the other hand i was very dissapointed because i didn't meet the girl, i still don't know who was she, why was she so alone..And i don't know why Tsuneo was so "open", i mean why did her feelings entered in Tsuneo's heart?It's a shocking book i could say, but an extraordinary one too.

  • Elena T.
    2019-05-20 08:49

    Yamada è un buon narratore, la componente nostalgica di chiaro stampo nipponico è sempre presente. Rispetto all'altro suo romanzo "Estranei" , i personaggi sono più ricercati ma manca la tanto attesa risoluzione dell'enigma (ma si sa, il finale aperto è di per sé molto giappo).Una lettura piacevole, per una ghost-story la cui forte pecca non è da associare all'autore, se non all'edizione nostrana (La Nord traduce ahimè dall'inglese all'italiano, manca la sapienza di un Giorgio Amitrano qui..)

  • Nikmaack
    2019-05-30 12:01

    Very compelling. Couldn't stop reading. Beautiful, full of yearning, delicate, wild, fantastic. A tremendous book. I don't want to give away a single thing.Much like his other novel, Strangers, this book is about being an outsider and loneliness. And yet is so much fun. I am genuinely at a loss as to what to say that won't spoil the mood it creates. It's oddly a book of plot and mood.

  • Cecilia
    2019-06-01 05:50

    Più andavo avanti più aumentavano le domande al riguardo, e praticamente sono rimaste tutte senza risposta. Fine alquanto curiosa (cioè leggendolo dall'ebook continuavo a fare lo slide per girare pagina, quando mi sono resa conto che era l'ultima,mah!)Si legge bene e non manca l'elemento "paranormale" che accompagna quasi tutti i libri nipponici

  • Claudia
    2019-06-03 06:50

    i enjoy Yamada's writing style, enjoyed strangers however this book was disappointing. I guess the ending left too much for the reader to guess... I felt it ended too abrupt. I must day that even though I'm criticizing it, I did find it easy and entertaining to read.

  • Agus
    2019-05-18 12:01

    well, it is nice and quick a read, but i'd prefer it had developed much more some of the subjects, which are very superficial. Could have been something very intense, and it is now light and unimportant

  • Zane
    2019-05-26 10:00

    A nice read. As a romance book, it seemed empty but if you approach this novel as a comtemporary novel, it is a enjoyable read. Best read over the weekend in just one go. Something short and sweet just like a dark chocolate parfait difficult to find the sweetness.