My non-fiction book that I’m so proud of despite its terrible, terrible title – BIG LIKE: CASCADE INTO AN ODYSSEY (I mean, come on!) – received 13 reviews on Amazon, including a 1-star. She didn’t buy the book, didn’t read it, didn’t discuss it. She had a mysterious ax to grind and thought my articles, the very ones you’ve been reading, are “paid-for promos.” Clearly, she never read any of my articles either.
The remaining 12 reviews were all 5-star. Many other readers have contacted me via the “Contact” tab to let me know how much they enjoyed the book. Writing a book is a dreadfully lonesome activity that can drag out over years. So I always absolutely love hearing from my readers.
One reviewer on Amazon was my high school sweetheart. She’d popped in and out of my life somewhat painfully for about another 15 years before and in between her various marriages until I finally succeeded in drawing a line and losing touch with her. Well, she left a 5-star review. How did she find the book? Google me? You’ll recognize the review when you see it.
And you know what? That 5-star review from her felt totally awesome! They all do.
I write between 5 and 10 articles every week. The successful pieces are read by tens of thousands of people. I love that. But the pleasure I get from people reading my book is very different. Knowing that people enjoy what I spent so much effort creating specifically for their enjoyment is a wonderful gift.
So now Mark Hansen, WOLF STREET’S new voice from Australia, discovered BIG LIKE. I’m a regular reader of his website, Market Cap, where he posted his review of my book. It warmed my soul. So here it is, cross-posted from his site.
By Mark Hansen, Australia, MarketCap:
At its heart, BIG LIKE is a love story set against the enigmatic social mores of Japan. It is well written and offers fascinating insights into the culture. For example (the only spoiler), there is no Japanese word for “love.” The phrase “big like” is the closest approximation, and thus the book’s title.
The story begins in the US with Wolf quitting his job of 10 years, to everyone’s surprise. His plan is to travel the world and expand his horizons before he dies.
His first point of call is France, where he meets his soon to be lover, Izumi. While he is in Europe we find out much about his childhood and why he left his home for the US, at the age of 17.
Wolf travels through Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Bali before heading to Japan. This first section of the book is short and sets the scene for an absolute tour de force: His love affair with Izumi and his love/hate affair with Japan.
The ending is inconclusive, one suspects a sequel may be in the pipeline. The section set in Japan would make a great movie, perhaps comparable with Lost in Translation (2003).