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The ABCs by Tony Monbetsu

Small-Town Japan can be anything but peaceful. 

Moriarty Jackson is an English teacher in the idyllic Japanese countryside. Idyllic, that is, until he’s called upon to solve a heinous crime. Now Jackson will have to turn this sleepy town and upside down if he’s going to save the day and get the girl.

Note: The ABCs is unfinished, and will likely remain so.


An abandoned novel

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Listed: Jan 16, 2014

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Unfinished in Japan, that means the story abruptly ends, if you don’t know

By Sten Düring, author of Frays in the Weave

Jul 5, 2015: While searching for more unreviewed stories matching my current taste I ran into this three part, twelve thousand plus words, unfinished story. At the very end it promises a part four mid january 2014 and a wrap with part five. That means one unhappy reader here, if you don’t know.

It’s a kind of satiric attempt to combine a slice of life story with the feeling of a fifties film noir. And it only partially succeds. There’s this tinder-dry humor that wraps around itself and ends with a self-reflecting punch-line. It permeates the story, and not always in a good way, if you don’t know.

As for the actual story. You have your foreigner working as an English teacher in a small town, who suddenly takes it upon himself to solve a crime in order to earn brownie-points with an very young and very cute female teacher. While doing so the first person main character encounters a lot of Japanese phenomena, all of which are marked in italics and then translated into English, and after that very often explained to some extent for you as a reader if you don’t know.

The language used is very good, and for a collector of words for everyday living in Japan the story should work just fine as a work of reference. But as a story it’s a somewhat tedious read. With the same joke used over and over again. Which gets boring very quickly, if you don’t know.

If by now you’re sick and tired of a certain expression I have used in this review, and want to avoid seeing it at all costs, there are other stories out there to read instead if you don’t know.

5 of 6 members found this review helpful.
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