The Method Actors: A Novel

Front Cover
Shoemaker & Hoard, 2005 - Fiction - 492 pages
The Method Actors is set in Japan, New York, and New Zealand?places in an age of the global village and pervasive internationalism where many young people find themselves in transit. The story traces the disappearance of a young military historian named Michael Edwards from his desk in Tokyo. His sister Meredith returns to the city in search of him and there she meets up with old friends and acquaintances from all over the world: ex-JET exchange teachers from Canada, ex-drug addicts from Australia, drug dealers from the Netherlands, young American women with Japanese husbands, French kitchen hands, young Japanese mushroom growers, and wealthy young Chinese-Americans living the high life.

Meredith begins to encounter increasing evidence that Michael has been involved in a secret history going back through Japanese war crimes in China in World War II to the quarantining of Dutch merchants on manmade islands during Japan's period of isolationism in the seventeenth century. The secret history works as a juxtaposition to the moral ambiguity of modern gaijin life in Tokyo.

Stylistically daring, this multilevel narrative and cutting-edge debut novel questions no less than the moral framework of our modern world.

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The Method Actors: A Novel

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The use of multiple narrative voices, despite its high risk of failure, has become a calling card of young novelists. Rarely is it employed as effectively as in Shuker's exciting debut, a sprawling ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

Carl Shuker is the author of four novels, including The Method Actors, The Lazy Boys, and Anti Lebanon. The Method Actors won the 2006 Prize in Modern Letters. He works for the British Medical Journal, one of the oldest medical journals in the world. He lived in Tokyo and London for many years and now lives in his home country New Zealand with his wife, the novelist Anna Smaill, and their two children.

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