Book · review

Six Four : Book Review

Six Four: A NovelAuthor: Hideo Yokoyama
Translator: Jonathan Lloyd-Davies
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN-13: 978-0374265519
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Japanese literature

I got this from Netgalley, despite hating the cover

Six Four is a translated work

To be honest, I am not a fan of Japanese to English translation. If I had a choice, I will read it in Mandarin. Maybe if I ever find this book in Mandarin, I will do another review. But not holding my breath. Main reason: Mandarin translation is more accurate than English translation, the word selection is better and less loss in translation.

Six Four would have been a great novel to read, I love the Japanese’s way of creating mystery. They have a twisted imagination, and the story would be unique. Six Four starts with Yoshinobu Mikami, a Media Director in a police department, and a father of a runaway daughter. From the first chapter, you would be hooked into the multiple plot layers.

Read as poor Mikami struggles to be the peacekeeper between journalists and the police department, while worrying about his wife and daughter. Mikami strives to be more, but someone is stopping him. If you are familiar with Japanese culture, this will be less confusing. He has to navigate layers of red tape, dodging insults, all in a day’s work. Soon, he realizes that there is something going on, and no one is telling him what.

The characters are interesting, bringing the book into another level. Unfortunately, the translation is rough. The translation of Six Four lacks finesse, it felt like the work was translated word for word, and not text as a whole. It made the novel seem clumsy, making it harder to get my head around it sometimes. It is a shame, because I believe that it might be a wonderful novel if not for that.

Verdict

Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama is a fascinating mystery. You will never guess what happens in the book Click To Tweet

That much is true, reading Japanese books is not like reading English mysteries. They test boundaries, and they are not afraid to be unique. Six Four is not just a mystery, it is also a book about playing politics. If you need some fresh mystery air, this is for you

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  • It’s so sad when translations jumble up a good story! That’s why, like you, I prefer reading either in the original language, or a language that is close to the original language. All translations are not equal, that’s for sure!
    Great review, Ailyn 🙂
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    • that is true! it is hard to be a good translator.

  • Aww, that is sad about the translation issues! That would be really disappointing, too, especially if it seems like a good book if it hadn’t been badly translated. D: I hope you find it in Mandarin at some point then!

    • it will turn up in my library one day. Because Asians like to read each other’s work, Plus if there is and English one, there will be a Mandarin one