Book Review: Bullet Train by Kōtarō Isaka

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Kōtarō Isaka, Bullet Train

Title: Bullet Train
Author: Kōtarō Isaka
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 432 (Paperback)
Published: September 23rd, 2010

My Rating: ★★
Read: 11/6/2022 – 11/9/2022

Review:

If you have knowledge of Japanese culture and literature, this is probably an enjoyable book. Unfortunately, I am not all too familiar with these things and found myself lost throughout most of the story.

The plot itself is fairly simple — five assassins on a train and a briefcase. I really couldn’t tell you much more than that. The characters all blended together for me and I could never remember who was who (and I wasn’t invested enough to put a great effort into doing so).

I got more of a heist vibe from this story than a thriller. I think I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if I was better acquainted with Japanese literature. It felt slow yet hectic which was an odd combination, and the names were confusing to me as well. Definitely a situation where the problem is my personal preference rather than the book itself (although I have nothing to compare it to in this genre). If not for this being a book club read, I wouldn’t have bothered to finish it. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • There were some quotes I really liked.
  • It was interesting reading about a different culture.

What I didn’t like:

  • I’m sorry but the Thomas and Friends mentions got old really quickly.
  • The pace was surprisingly slow.
  • I found the characters confusing.

Afterthoughts:

This was the November book club read with Book Santas and Lovers on Discord. I don’t have much else to say on this one. It wasn’t for me.

Where to buy the book:

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