Remote Control (Hardcover)
Kodansha, 9784770031082, 343pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Masaharu Aoyagi, a former delivery-truck driver in the city of Sendai, is unemployed. Two years ago he achieved brief notoriety for rescuing a local actress from a robbery attempt while making a delivery to her apartment. Now he is back in the spotlight - this time as the main suspect in the assassination of a newly elected prime minster who had come to Sendai for a hometown victory parade. Set in a near-future Japan modeled on the United States, Remote Control follows Aoyagi on a forty-eight-hour chase, in a dramatic retelling of the Kennedy killing with Aoyagi in the role of a framed Lee Harvey Oswald. A massive manhunt is underway. As Aoyagi runs, he must negotiate trigger-happy law enforcement and Security Pods set up throughout the city to monitor cell-phone and email transmissions and keep a photo record of street traffic. Can he discover why he has been set up and who is responsible? Can he find the real assassin and prove to the world his innocence - amidst media pronouncements of his guilt - before the conspirators take him out? Isaka's style and worldview are such that he is often compared to Haruki Murakami; but he defies an easy label as a writer, with a voice, a sense of humor, and an imagination that are truly unique. Now, with this excellent translation by Stephen Snyder, readers everywhere can enjoy one of Japan's finest literary talents.
About the Author
Kotaro Isaka graduated from Tohoku University, School of Law. Formerly a systems engineer, he debuted as a writer with Audubon's Prayer. His novels and short-story collections have been nominated for the Naoki Prize - Japan's most prestigious award for popular fiction - and many have been made into movies, including Remote Control, which was released in 2010 under the book's original title, Golden Slumber. Stephen Snyder is the acclaimed translator of Natsuo Kirino's Out, Ryu Murakami's Coin Locker Babies, and Yoko Ogawa's The Diving Pool, The Housekeeper and the Professor, and Hotel Iris. He teaches Japanese literature at Middlebury College in Vermont.