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All She Was Worth

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,598 ratings  ·  188 reviews

Here is a deftly written thriller that is also a "deep and moody" (NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW) journey through the dark side of Japan's consumer-crazed society. 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 th

Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 12th 1999 by Mariner Books (first published July 1st 1992)
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Jan 23, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: bookcrossing readers
All She was Worth was billed to me as a mystery and thriller and aside from reading Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto, I've not read a lot of Japanese Literature so I was intrigued to see how this would pan out. Would I be introduced to Japan's answer to Lisbeth Salander, Endeavour Morse or Magnum PI? Er no. None of the above. You will be introduced to Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Shunsuke Honma who is polite, and dogged and due to an injury at work is taking his crime solving at a mor ...more
While Police Detective Shunsuke Honma is on leave after he injured his leg, a distant relative of his late wife appears and asks for help. His fiancée Shoko Sekine has disappeared after a bank rejected her application for a credit card, revealing her past bankruptcy.


Honma’s investigation reveals the woman’s descent into debt, a common problem in Japan’s consumer driven economy. But soon he finds out the fiancée might have murdered the real Shoko Sekine and taken over the woman’s identity.
I was on board with this book almost entirely through, but then somewhere in the last chapter or two felt that the "answer" was a bit less interesting than I had hoped when I went into the reading. The book is still good, particularly as insight into Japanese society and culture in the 1990s.

What's especially "fun" and interesting about this book is that it's so relevant still to today. Credit card debt. Ah, who doesn't have any of that? (Besides me, but only because I don't have one.) I'm surro
Not only well-paced but well-written, this mystery of the missing fiancee lost its momentum in only one scene, in which a Japanese businessman felt it necessary to take an hour out of his busy day to explain to another Japanese citizen the country's policy on identification cards, loans, and bankruptcy. Sure, I may not have known this information as an American and it was helpful to learm, but it was carried out so ollishly and pedantically in this translation, I wish the editors had found some ...more
Ala AbuTaki
نعم الرواية جيدة, لكنّ عنوانها سيءٌ جداً بالمقارنة بجودتها, هذا كلّ ما كان يشغلني حين أتركُ الرواية في مكانٍ ما, العنوان الساذج والسطحي لروايةٍ جيدة.
هذا شعوري الشخصي على أية حال, الرواية قد يتم تصنيفها على أنها بوليسية بشكلٍ ما, ولكن ليس على غرار أغاثا كريستي مثلاً, فهناك الكثير من التفاصيل عن النظام الإقتصادي في اليابان, الجانب الياباني الأسود الذي لا نعرف عنهُ شيئاً, لا أعرف ما إذا كانت الأمور الآن على حالها, فالرواية مطبوعة عام 97 بلغتها الأصلية.
كانت بعض المقاطع "القليلة" تشبه مقاطعاً من كتاب
I picked up All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe a few months ago because I liked Brave Story, a novel geared towards younger audiences. All She Was Worth was Miyabe’s first adult book that I’ve read and one of the few mystery novels I’ve read this year.

All She Was Worth starts off with the disappearance of a woman and follows an on-leave detective as he tries to find her and uncover the unusual circumstances in which she disappeared. Although that’s the main mystery flowing through the book, I di
قد تبدو مشكلة إيجاد فتاة شابة سهلة للغاية بالنسبة لمحقق له باع طويل في هذا المجال كـ "شانسوك" من الوهلة الأولى، لكن أن يغدو إختفاؤها المفاجىء مسألة معقدة للغاية تستجدي منه البحث والتقصي بل والسفر لملاحقة خيوطها هو بالتأكيد أمر محير. "شوكو" خطيبة أحد أقارب المحقق اختفت بعد أن تقدم لخطبتها بدون أن تترك أثرا، وفي بحث "شانسوك" عنها يكتشف أن القضية أكبر بكثير من مجرد إختفاء.
لا أتفق مع وصف القراء الآخرين لهذه الرواية بالبوليسية، فهي أكثر من ذلك بكثير. في خضم عملية البحث تكشف الكاتبة عن الوضع الإقصادي
Well, I had high hopes for this book considering the awards it won (Japan's book of the year) and the fact that Amazon told me that people who like Murakami also liked this book. In my case, Amazon was wrong and I'm hoping I something was lost in translation. The timing was all off on this book, which is supposed to be a murder-mystery. I certainly learned enough about the 1980s consumer credit crisis, and the underworld of seedy loan sharks, but that's about it. There were no "aha!" moments whe ...more
This is quite readable, though I'm not entirely sure why. I found the characterisations quite distant (possibly because of the translation), the mystery not terribly mysterious (mostly focused on finding out how the crime was achieved, not why or by whom), and the ending quite abrupt. Yet some of the book's central themes—the dangers of materialism, of the credit system and how people get caught up in it—are sadly just as relevant now as they were when this book was written in the early 90s. My ...more
Jaycee Lam
A very cold book, indeed.
Even boring in some part, but pretty good.

— Khi bước vào cuốn sách này, Jay từng hy vọng một cái gì đó giống như The Ring lol :v Phần giới thiệu sách quá lôi cuốn, Jay tưởng chừng sẽ gặp một cái gì đó ghê gợn, sởn tóc gáy một chút…Nope. Jay đã lầm.

— Kesha là một câu truyện trinh thám rất lạnh lùng và rất thật. Thật đến mức đôi khi khô khan và cứng nhắc. Jay đọc được gần nửa quyển sách đã bắt đầu thấy ngao ngán. Các chi tiết rất hoàn hảo và chằn chịt, đá phăng mọi mơ tưở
Gertrude & Victoria
Debt, deception, and demise: this novel presents an interesting and in-depth account of a woman's bondage to debt and submission to its consequences. If the mingle of crushing debt, false identities, the mafia, and murder are the desired elements for a fast-paced mystery story, then Miyabe provides the neccessaries.

All She Was Worth by Miyabe Miyuki is a dark story about a young man in search for his fiancee who has gone missing. With the help of his uncle, a police detective, who in turn enlist
This is my first venture into Japanese crime fiction and Miyuki Miyabe is purported to be one of Japan’s most popular and best known crime authors. The blurb on the back calls this novel “a suspenseful noir thriller,” which I don’t think describes it at all. The quotation from The Washington Post describes it best: “an artful blend of puzzle-solving and social commentary.”

You could almost call this a police procedural. Shunsuke Honma, a seasoned police detective on leave because of injury and by
Dec 25, 2011 BoekenTrol rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: shovelmonkey1
Recommended to BoekenTrol by: chich; Elmindreda
Since I can't update 'my' copy with the BCID of the book, here's the link to the book at BookCrossing:

I liked this book. Not because I think it was such a great thriller, but because of other things.
First of all I loved the insight in the Japanese society. How people live, how things are organised. That world is so different from mine (and therefor so intriguing), that any description of more or less normal Japanese living is welcome.
Secondly, I liked the
The blurb on the back says that All She Was Worth is an "artful blending of puzzle-solving and social commentary," and I suppose it does blend those two, but I'm not sure about how artfully it was done. The social commentary part was pretty heavy-handed, with more than one long-winded description of the evils of the credit industry. The thing is, those descriptions weren't even really necessary; the story got that message through without them.

There were a couple parts I didn't really understand
The way the investigator's boy partially knows, comes to know, and yet can't fully know the motives of the adult characters perfectly evokes the way no person can truly know another's inner world.

Inside this milieux we explore the way debt and credit create another layer of personae and motive - for people to tend, investigate, punish and escape in their encounters with one another.

A world where a person can exhibit fastidious personal habits, love and be loved, while at the same time live dupli
Meghan Fidler
'All She was Worth' was a refreshing change from the overplayed gendered stereotypes of one of Japan's most notorious contemporary female writers, Banana Yoshimoto. Miyuki Miyabe is currently one of the top female writers in Japan. With good reason. The characters are well developed, and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of Japanese bureaucracy and paperwork... which is, of course, why I read the novel. It was wonderful to have the intricacies of personal relationships become entangled ...more
I found this on my parents' bookshelf when I was visiting over the holiday. I am glad that I decided to give it a try. Miyabe writes an absorbing mystery about stolen identities and the harsh consequences of debt in early '90's Japan. I have mixed feelings about the ending; it is a brilliant stroke, given the development of the mystery, but part of me wishes Miyabe had written one more chapter.

I also liked the detective she developed, and I'm disappointed that Honma and his family (biological an
Made DNA
A stunning look at Japanese society, economy (consumer lending culture in particular), culture and more in the 90s. Eye-opening and extremely well-researched (without being heavy or boring) by Miyuki Miyabe. Fiction that tells a very real story of one woman trying to disappear, and the police investigator trying to find her.

Riveting, well-written contemporary fiction by one of Japan's most popular and prolific female writers. I've heard this book is even used in some Western universities to stu
Ghada Mohamed
The novel is very interesting ..

I was the girl who loves miniseries mail Japanese "Conan" and I grew up and I'm still fond of him and I find great fun too in its follow-up, when I found that the novel was not excited about it but I noticed made it detective novel its author Japanese and takes place in this country "Japan" I remembered then that the fun and that as long as the thrill that I found in the cartoon series Conan p ... so I decided to read it immediately ..We Liked significantly events
Ahmed Jalal
العنوان سيء جدا، فيه حين الرواية جيدة جدا، افتكرتها في الأول مجرد رواية بوليسية بوب و خلاص، طلعت أعمق من كده، القصة و الحبكة و الحالة الغامضة جدا لبطلة القصة، الحاضرة الغائبة و اللي بيتكلموا و يبحثوا عنها من غير ما يشوفوها، و التحليل اللي ممكن يكون كتير شوية عن الوضع الاقتصادي لليابان و الحالة المالية للمواطن الياباني اللي تحول للاستهلاك بصورة قاتلة، و وصف المشاعر و الشخصيات و مشاهد الحب الهادية جدا فيه، كل ده تداخل مع بعضيه في حالة روائية جميلة و شبه لاهثة خاصة في جزأها الأخير، حيث النهاية الغر ...more
I found this story to be interesting, though the scenario wasn't something new. The novel centers around a missing woman and the hunt to find her. I did find it interesting that Miyabe put a spin on the tale; primarily around the mindset and reasons behind why the woman disappears. The ending itself was not what I expected and I felt a little let down that Miyabe didn't explain it more. However, I really enjoyed the novel!
Ethar Mahmoud
هى اممممممم ماعجبتنيش...مش ممتعة :-|....ف تفاصيل كتيييير عاملة زى المتاهة وتفاصيل كده مبالغ فيها الصراحة ...كمية الناس اللى ساعدت (هونما)....وهو أصلا مش بيشتغل رسمى ....مش مقنعة الصراحة .....عنوان الرواية بقى يعنى للدرجادى العقم الفكرى فاختيار عنوان للرواية ....عنوان مالوش علاقة اصلا بيها...المفروض انها طول الرواية متعاطفة مع الشخصية الرئيسية وتجيب عنوان اسمه (هذا كل ماتستحقه) زى مايكون بتهاجمها .....مش مفهومة وجهة نظرها ايه.... وككاتبة مالهاش حق اصلا تبين رأيها فالشخصية .....وضحت جانب خفى واسود ...more
I think this book is what got me interested in exploring Japanese fiction in the first place. It just didn't read the way I had expected it to and I was very impressed. I found the whole idea of the book, the nature of our missing fugitive's financial crimes, fascinating. This mystery is really all about the journey and is filled with an amazing sense of place and excellent character development.
Alison Andersen
A Japanese detective story from the early 90s which was fairly slow but kept me engaged the whole time and was insightful into how Japan functions in everyday life. I think I understand why people prefer one detective novel over another and I think it is due to the setting whether it is Miss Marple's England, Sherlock Holmes' London or Wallander's Sweden or in this case Shunsuke Honma's Tokyo.
I discovered the author from Boxall's 1001 books to read before you die. Although this book was not the entry that won her a spot on that list, it is a mystery, crime, noir novel like Crossfire which earned her that spot.
Overall, while the book was set in Japan, to me it did not read "Japanese" as most Japanese novels I have read use words sparingly and beautifully.
Several reviewers have commented on the lengthy discussions regarding credit in Japan in the 1990s. I didn't see those as dragging

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

Here is a deftly written thriller that is also a “deep and moody” (New York Times Book Review) journey through the dark side of Japan’s consumer-crazed society. 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 claimed to be.
بسبب النهاية المفتوحة نزلت تقييمها بالنسبة إلي .أحداث عديدة وصفحات كثيرة وتحمست وأربط بين الأحداث وفي الأخير لم تعطيني الأجوبة :/
Traded Chomp for this one at Garden Cafe in Granada, Nicaragua. They have great food there at reasonable prices, the atmosphere is cozy and they have several shelves of books which serve as a lending library for patrons. Cool place.
I decided to make a big push and finish this by the end of the year. Hoping to reach my goal of 50 books. Reading as I do about one book a week on average such a goal is not unreasonable. Although if I fixate too much on that goal I tend to avoid long works that are o
Patrick Sherriff
A decent police procedural this, with lots of good touches but a few flaws. On the plus side of the ledger are the sleuth, a widower with an adopted son and a gammy leg; an ingenious believable premise of stolen identity; and the completely authentic setting of the seedier side of 90s Japan trying to keep the bubble inflated on borrowed money.

But in the minus column, a couple of pages demand to be skipped where a lawyer spouts exposition on the dangers to, and legal standing of heretofore not a
MC Kool Bobby Mike
Middle-aged MPD detective Honma suffered a shot to the leg while on the job, putting him out of action and on rehabilitative leave. Too stubborn to admit his disability, he steadies himself with his umbrella while he walks, instead of procuring a cane.

As Honma sits at home, at a loss of what to do with his time off, his late wife's cousin Jun comes to visit with a request: his fiancée, Shoko Sekine, ran out on him in the middle of the night when he discovered she was bankrupt. Too embarrassed to
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See also 宮部 みゆき.宮部美幸

Miyuki Miyabe (宮部みゆき Miyabe Miyuki) is a popular contemporary Japanese author active in a number of genres including science fiction, mystery fiction, historical fiction, social commentary, and juvenile fiction.
Miyabe started writing novels at the age of 23. She has been a prolific writer, publishing dozens of novels and winning many major literary prizes, including the Yamamo
More about Miyuki Miyabe...
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