All She Was Worth [Miyuki Miyabe, Alfred Birnbaum] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Here is a deftly written thriller that is also a “deep. All She Was Worth [Miyuki Miyabe] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Title: All She Was Worth Binding: Paperback Author. All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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Born and raised in the shitamachi section of Tokyo, with its vestiges of the old Edo-period plebeian culture, sje continues to live in the area and frequently sets her stories there.

She began writing fiction in her early twenties, and made her miyage debut in when her short story Warera ga rinjin no hanzai Our Neighbor’s Crime won the All Yomimono Mystery Prize for New Writers. Batchelder Award in She is also well known as a video-game enthusiast. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Ordinary people plunge into insurmountable personal debt and fall prey to dangerous webs of underground creditors-so dangerous, in fact, that murder may be the only way out.

A beautiful young woman vanishes, and the detective quickly finds she is not whom she claims to be. Is she a victim, a killer, or both? In a country that tracks wrth citizens at every turn, how can two women claim the same identity and then disappear without a trace?

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Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Devotion of Suspect X: Inspector Imanishi Investigates Soho Crime. Chronicle of a Blood Merchant. Nairobi Heat Melville International Crime. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. In the Miso Soup. Mariner Books; 1 edition May 12, Language: I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers.

Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention japanese culture miyuki miyabe consumer credit shoko sekine distant relative revolves around modern japanese police procedural loose ends police detective personal bankruptcy identity theft gunshot wound missing fiancee story revolves japanese society felt like stolen identity contemporary japan credit card.

Showing of 58 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. This unusual dark mystery is engrossing and atmospheric and it avoids easy answers and cheap thrills.

A temporarily disabled police detective is asked by a relative of his dead wife to find a woman who has vanished. The search itself is fascinating, as is the detective and the people he meets in the course of his search.

Amazon recommended the book to me based on my appreciation of Natsuo Kirino’s novels. This book isn’t quite as hard and pitiliess as her work, but it has some indelible moments and is worth a read for fans of Kirino and unconventional mysteries.


The translation is graceful and unobtrusive. It is a shame that this single volume is the only novel of Miyuki Miyabe’s that has made it into translation.

In Japan, Miyabe is a highly successful writer whose novels have been adapted into 10 films as well. Here she is only barely known, represented only by a single detective story – All She Was Worth.

The enforced inactivity has begun to wear thin on him, and a request from a distant relative to investigate the disappearance of his fiance – Shoko Sekine – tempts him into a freelance investigation that is part meticulous investigation and part social commentary. Shoko disappeared when it was revealed that she had gone through a personal bankruptcy.

ALL SHE WAS WORTH by Miyuki Miyabe , Alfred Birnbaum | Kirkus Reviews

Honma discovers layer after layer of misdirection and subterfuge – the disappearance is only a reflection of the grim truth. The telling of the story reveals many of the inherent differences between Japanese and Western writing, even as it pares away at a social problem – easy credit and indebtedness – that is universal in both cultures. The telling is extremely detailed, with a strong focus not on the plot, but on the social and family milieus of the characters.

The style is very naturalistic, and may irk American readers who are so used to stories that are action based and plot driven. Yet there are opportunities here for the writer to indulge of some niceties of language, many of which come through despite it being a translation. What Miyabe has chronicled is the lives of ordinary Japanese, carrying on with their lives, not the flashy high tech or Samurai mythos face of Japan that we see most often in imported Japanese culture.

This is quite eye-opening, even as we realize that quiet desperation is not just a Western phenomenon.


In a sense, the plot itself isn’t very important. In fact, sye reader will know from fairly early in the novel what the crime is and who committed it.

Miyyki the details of Honma’s investigation, the bits of his family life, the fine grains of Shoko Sekine’s own adventures, fit together like a puzzle, forming a compelling whole of their own. As such, this is an excellent introduction into what makes Japanese popular fiction tick.

All She Was Worth

Miyuki Miyabe is one of Japan’s leading mystery writers. This book concerns a missing person’s case and follows along partly like a police procedural and partly like a private detective story. It is set in contemporary Japan.

The protagonist, Shinsuke Honma is police officer on disability after a gunshot wound. While wofth is rehabbing he is approached by a distant family member to help find a missing fiancee. This search conducted quasi-officially soon plunges Honma into the world of consumer credit and identity fraud.

As a straightforward mystery story it is a wlrth read and the plot and pacing keep things moving along. For the Japanese reader it is the procedural elements on how one goes about finding someone who is missing and miyui nature of the consumer finance bubble which may prove most interesting. For the rest of world and those unfamiliar with day-to-day modern Japanese life, the attraction of the novel is as a novel of manners.


It is a wonderful insight into how modern Japanese society may appear to be quite similar to the West, it has nonetheless many deeply rooted norms and behaviors especially those relating to family and finance. As Honma delves into the missing person case, we learn that consumer credit is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan; we learn that kiyabe concept miyabr individual rights was only introduced formally after the Allied occupation and had been previously subsumed under family rights; we are shown the pervasive sexism in Japanese business which greatly limits opportunity for women in work; we see a more realistic and at worh grimy harsher view of modern Japan.

It brings home the wsa that society obeys laws not necessarily because of a fear of punishment but also out of a sense of social obligation and that this sense varies between countries and peoples. Like the old great English novels of manners Think Jane Austen’s works this story makes its point by how each character behaves, how they speak and how their actions are presumed by the author to be understood by the original Japanese readers.

The ending may disappoint those who expect a crash-bam finale but is true to this theme. We know then who did it, how they did it and why, but the moral and ethical issues remain unclear and are left to the reader to consider. The translation is nice and literate – using modern English idioms and phrasing. See all 58 reviews. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? In the Miso Soup Paperback. Pages with related products.

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