John's Reviews > Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries

Tune in Tokyo by Tim  Anderson
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's review
Apr 25, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: bio-and-memoir, lgbt, library_books, travel
Read on February 07, 2017

I had seen this book mentioned on Andrew Sullivan's blog a while ago, forgotten about it, and then recently saw it on my library's New Books shelf, so thought I'd check it out.
Gay American underemployed fellow (phi beta kappa from UNC isn't exactly chopped liver) decides to chuck it all for a job teaching ESL in Japan. Well, he does remind us that he's gay, but there's little about the gay Japanese "scene" until a chapter late in the book. Unfortunately, that's about when references to drug use begin to escalate ... ho hum. He's funny, but by the end the humor seemed forced to me. Moreover, Tim doesn't explain that he isn't single until late in the book either. Actually, he doesn't explain his relationship with Jimmy much at all; he's abruptly introduced as a "given" and the chapter runs with his visit.
Recommended, though I wouldn't blame folks who say they couldn't finish it.


I decided to listen to the audio edition, not recalling the details of the story, so it was "new" for me. This time I wasn't as taken with the drugs, as I was how . . . ummmm . . . flamboyant the narration made him seem, which made it tough to read the book in more than small doses. There are many funny episodes, such as having a crazy lady "act out" seated at the next restaurant table, but a fair amount of the time it's a bit self-absorbed. The audio experience may be more like hearing Tim relate the episodes himself; however, I'm not sure folks with a low tolerance for drama queens (to be blunt about it) could manage that format.
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02/07 marked as: read

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