Completed Bicycle Days by John Burnham Schwartz. It is a very old book, it was published way back in 1989 – 18 years to date. I had seen the book in a second hand bookstore and bought it, as the premise seemed interesting. I was neither satisfied with the book, nor would I say I was completely dissatisfied.
Some of the parts were genuinely touching and some incidents were very funny, but overall the book left a lot to be desired. The author captured Japan well, but since I recently read Kafka on the Shore (which is authored by a Japanese) I was not too impressed by that part.
It is the story of a fresh college graduate – Alec Stern – who longs to find his place in the world. To meet this end, he runs away from everything that is familiar to him and lands up at a job in Japan. He tries hard to find his place there, and to an extent even succeeds. He excels at work, makes good friends, and carves a niche for himself; he has an independent identity, and still he desires more.
The most interesting part of the book was a bill I found hidden in the pages of the book. The book at that time, in 1989, cost $18.95! I thought books are expensive in India, I am glad now that I do not have to buy books in USA. I would have filed for bankruptcy in no time 🙂
Technorati: Bicycle Days, John Burnham Schwartz, Book Review, Review