Day three in my series showcasing my top reads of 2018, following the innovative idea of #bookvent from Jen Lucas of Jen Med’s Book Reviews.
My third choice was an immersive and utterly compelling read. Though billed as a mystery, it is literary fiction, and damned fine literary fiction at that. Not that classification matters when a book is as good as this one. The mark of a good book is that it stays with you, and this one is as clear to me today as it was when I read it back in February this year.
1985. Kazumasa Yuuki, a seasoned reporter at the North Kanto Times, runs a daily gauntlet against the power struggles and office politics that plague its newsroom. But when an air disaster of unprecedented scale occurs on the paper’s doorstep, its staff is united by an unimaginable horror, and a once-in-a-lifetime scoop.
2002. Seventeen years later, Yuuki remembers the adrenaline-fuelled, emotionally charged seven days that changed his and his colleagues’ lives. He does so while making good on a promise he made that fateful week – one that holds the key to its last unsolved mystery, and represents Yuuki’s final, unconquered fear.
Seventeen is one of those books that stay with you. On one level it is a fascinating insight into the workings of a small daily newspaper with all the tensions, infighting and personality conflicts that come from a group of people working together. Overlaying that is the local and regional political dimension control of the newspaper is in the hands of rival political factions, and each side spends a long time trying to oust the other in a rivalry that seeks to benefit local politicians, but has no thought for the readers of the paper.
For those who love newspapers, this is a must read. For an insight into the world of journalism and macho culture, it is exceptional. For those who just love to read a deeply personal story of loss and self-realisation, it is a unique and joyous read.
You can read my review here. Buy the book.
Drop by tomorrow to see my 4th book of the year