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CompleteMartialArts.com - Zen Attitude


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Manufacturer: Harper Paperbacks
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813.54
EAN: 9780060899219
ISBN: 0060899212
Label: Harper Paperbacks
Manufacturer: Harper Paperbacks
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 336
Publication Date: 2005-12-01
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Release Date: 2005-11-29
Studio: Harper Paperbacks

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Editorial Reviews:

Life in modern Tokyo is a blast for Rei Shimura, a young Japanese-American woman who enjoys busy days as an antiques dealer and steamy nights with a devoted new boyfriend. But things come to a standstill when Rei overpays for a rare old chest of drawers for a wealthy client, the owner of a famous Zen temple in Kamakura. The exquisite tansu turns out to be a fake: the worst deal Rei has ever made. When the temple family turns on Rei -- and the con man who sold the tansu is murdered -- she realizes she's opened a Pandora's box of deception and murder. A young martial artist, an aspiring rock singer, and an elderly antiques mentor all become part of Rei's search for the killer through the shadows of an ancient culture. As her world begins to rapidly and inexplicably unravel, Rei realizes that it will take strength, wit, and a Zen attitude to survive.




Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: page turner with errors
Comment: I like all of Sujata Massey's books I have read (so far have read the first 3) - they are all quick moving and good escapist reading. She has quite a few improbable scenes and a plot line that stretches credibility, but the overall enjoyment she offers outweighs these difficulties. I was surprised by this one though that she has so many glaring errors. She states that in Japanese Buddhism women are not allowed to be priests - I personally have met 3 women Buddhist priests in Japan. One is the heir to the title of abbot of a family-run Buddhist temple. This means that one of the central devices of her plot is incorrect - that the young woman Akemi can't inherit the title of abbot of her family's temple.

Other than that there are some basic flaws in her explanation of Buddhism (what a sutra is, what Pali is, etc..) These things should have been caught by the editors.

Still I do recommend this as a fun read, if you don't believe it as actual Japanese culture.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Love Her or Hate Her, but You Can't Put the Book Down
Comment: Rei Shimura has moved up in the world, now she lives in luxury with her lover, Scottish Lawyer Hugh Glendenning, and she's selling antiques, her lifelong dream. This is a big change for the Rei we met in "The Salaryman's Wife." She has been hired by a major player in the antiques world, the formidable Nana Mihori. The right deal with Mihori can set Rei up for life, so when she finds a ceremonial chest of drawers worth millions of yen, she is overjoyed. She spends way too much on behalf of Mihori, has the priceless piece delivered to her apartment, then finds to her horror that it's a fake.

Once again Sujata Massey takes us on a wild Japanese ride and along the way we meet a female judo champion, Hugh's spoiled brother Angus who will smoke anything in sight, a hip young car salesman who may or may not be a serial killer, a buddhist temple run by the Mihoris, and the very scary daughter of the Mihori clan and of course there's Rei Shimura herself, who seems so exasperating as she gets involved in murder.

Rei Shimura is a character that you'll either love or hate as you flip though the pages as fast as you can read, because love her or hate her, you won't be able to put the book down.

Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Cultural Interest Has No Borders
Comment: Massey's goal is to explore and teach about culture. Born in England to Indian and German parents, she's fascinated by Japan, so she sets her novels in that country and makes her main character Japanese-American. (I understand the strategy completely; I'm Italian-American, but my protagonists are Hispanic or Greek.) Zen Attitude is a worthy contribution to her series. It's an amiable mystery that allows Rei Shimura to continue her Japanese odyssey. Shimura's identity makes her a logical, trustworthy narrator. I like the anitquities angle. Since I know nothing about Japanese furniture, it's easy enough for Massey to plant clues I miss, yet I don't feel cheated that I missed them. I enjoyed reading about Shimura's boyfriend problems, especially when the problematic kid brother arrives, since this is the kind of familiar mess we all dread. The end of the book is a little too dramatic to be completely effective, but it doesn't mar the overall experience.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Simply Captivating
Comment: This second in the utterly charming Rei Shimura series is even more delightful--and more addictive--than its wonderful predecessor, "The Salaryman's Wife."

In this story, Ms. Shimura has taken some giant strides. She now lives in luxury with her lover, Hugh Glendenning, the Scots lawyer--but as always, her simple Japanese side is at war with her American side over the opulence of their apartment. She has given up her lowly job, and is now selling antiques, her lifelong dream. Her Japanese side allows her entree into the most conservative of Japanese homes, while her American side allows her to bargan cannily for the best price.

Such is the situation when we happily meet Ms. Shimura again in "Zen Attitude." She has been hired on consignment by a major player in the antiques world, the formidable Nana Mihori. One antiquing coup with Mihori can set Shimura up for life. Therefore, when she finds the quintessential "tansu," a ceremonial chest of drawers worth millions of yen, Ms. Shimura is overjoyed. She spends way too much on behalf of her client, has the priceless piece delivered to her own apartment--and then finds out to her horror that it is a fake.

And that's just the beginning. Throw in Hugh's majorly cool but spoiled rotten brother Angus, who will smoke anything and everything in sight; a hip young car salesman who may or may not be a serial killer; a buddhist temple run by the Mihoris but seemingly fraught with evil; and the overly macho, very scary daughter of the Mihori clan, and you have but a taste of the adventures to come. All I will say here is...all is NOT what it seems.

This series is a find. An absolute treasure. I cannot wait to ready the next, and recommend Ms. Massey's unique, deceptively zenlike series to anybody who likes the truly different.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: OK, but...
Comment: Sujata Massey's books are entertaining but in this book she gave too much free reign to Angus, Hugh's vile brother. Of course, the audience isn't supposed to emphathise with Angus but his rantings against the Japanese, et al were tedious and racist. I almost expected him to declare his membership of the British National Front!


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