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Rainy Day Ramen and the Cosmic Pachinko

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Author Gordon Vanstone
ISBN 9781912049820
Pages 400
Condition Very Good
Format Paperback

A delightfully debauched, spiritual quest through a hallucinatory Japan of cursed gaijin houses, seedy hostess bars, a Beatles-themed McDonalds, mysterious internet cafe denizens, and one seriously pissed off cat. After three years in Japan, Fred Buchanan is broke, unemployed and engaged in a telepathic turf war with a feral cat behind an Okinawa convenience store. Thus begins his metaphysical odyssey back to Tokyo and search for meaning beyond the earthly path followed. Along the way, symbols and sages materialise in the form of a two-fingered jazz musician, the faded tattoo on an ex-yakuza lover, the kite flyer of Kabukicho and Yukie, an alluring hostess with strips of delicious thigh and strange power imbued in the etched eye on her fingernail. Charging through Shinjuku's neon jungle, enveloped in a boozy, nicotine-stained haze, past and present collide as an empty orchestra croons a slow dance of people and place, memory and madness, loss and love. All the while, Fred struggles to be an agent of his destiny and not another ball bearing bouncing through the cosmic pachinko. Rainy Day Ramen and the Cosmic Pachinko is told as a uniquely clever mix of Murakami-esque magical realism and gonzo Japan travelogue. Nimbly structured and loosely presented as a modern mash-up of Homer's Odyssey and Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji.