Bicycle Days by John Burnham Schwartz

By John Burnham Schwartz

While Alec Stern arrives in Japan, he discovers a land of chance. for less than in Tokyo might an impressionable younger guy clean out of faculty locate, in a single stroke, a brand new activity, a brand new relatives, and a society that lavishes awareness on Japanese-speaking gaijin. but, whilst Alec claims a spot during this new global, he's haunted by means of stories of the single he left behind—a international as soon as infinitely safe yet which disintegrated with the breakup of his mom and dad' marriage.In this incandescently saw novel, John Burnham Schwartz introduces readers to at least one of the main beautiful protagonists in modern fiction whereas enthralling them with the zeal of his eye and the aptness of his voice. via its exquisitely rendered scenes—a fishing journey of Zen-like serenity; an evening at a intercourse membership the place laughing businessmen dive into the action—and vividly imagined characters—the giggling mom who taught Alec to trip a bicycle; the attractive unhappy jap lady who teaches him how you can love—Bicycle Days surprises, strikes, and enlightens us as only a few books do.

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Do you understand, Alec-san? ” Her words had been partly muffled as she chewed a large shrimp taken from his plate, and Alec wasn’t sure he had understood. “I am working at an American company,” he said. She shook her head until she had finished chewing. “The subway,” she said. “You will ride it to work. ” She began to act out the role of a subway passenger, her arm raised upward and bent at the elbow, her thick body rocking violently back and forth. “Oh, yes, yes. I see. ” The Japanese words collided against each other in his mouth.

Hasegawa’s overly masculine, grunting Japanese. Distracted by all the chest tapping, Alec was not really listening to what Takahara was saying but thinking instead of Kawashima, the young woman sitting at the other desk. He wondered why she had not turned around to face him. He had only caught a glimpse of her face when Boon had first introduced them, enough to tell him that she was attractive and probably in her late twenties. She had turned quickly back to her work then, and Takahara had done all the talking.

The sky was cloudless, and Tokyo lay sprawled out before him, silent and waiting, offering him his own private viewing. About an hour later, Alec stood in a closet-size room, his yukata hanging on a hook behind him. He was looking down at a Japanese-style toilet and felt much more naked than he normally would with no clothes on. The toilet was just a porcelain hole in the ground with a single pipe curving out of it and into the wall. There was nothing to indicate the proper mounting procedure. He supposed it was something like a bidet and did not want to be facing the wrong way when the time came to flush.

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