(READ EBOOK) ⚞ The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City ⚧ eBook or E-pub free

I really wanted to love this book I ordered it from the UK before it was even published in Canada because I couldn t wait to read it But I think it might be my biggest let down of the year.This book is supposedly an examination of the cultural changes of Japan framed through the author s journey to visit all the sites of Japan s Bells of Time , which for hundreds of years were rung all over the city to signal important moments of the day This book isn t that, though What it is is a hot me I really wanted to love this book I ordered it from the UK before it was even published in Canada because I couldn t wait to read it But I think it might be my biggest let down of the year.This book is supposedly an examination of the cultural changes of Japan framed through the author s journey to visit all the sites of Japan s Bells of Time , which for hundreds of years were rung all over the city to signal important moments of the day This book isn t that, though What it is is a hot mess This structure is completely abandoned without any apparent rhyme or reason, casually and apparently just at the whim of the author There is no cohesion, no semblance of a narrative to tie it all together It s a wild, bumpy ride throughout a staccato history of Japan.I think I could forgive this narrative whiplash were it not for the author s complete lack of regard for her reader She rarely if ever gives context, explanations, or even definitions for very, very critical pieces of information to understand what she s talking about For anyone interested in learningabout Japan but doesn t have even a basic understanding of its history, this book is not for you I spenttime googling basic words, like shogun which is essential to understanding anything in this text and which would ve taken the author one sentence of context to help me out.I was so excited to learnabout the history of Japan, and was so disappointed to find this book so disorganized and inaccessible This had an almost hypnotic effect on me The subject is fascinating, and Sherman does an amazing job of tracking her physical and cerebral journey through the city The language is sharp too, there s not a wasted word in the entire book Whether you know the city or not I d highly recommend it. A basic description of the book ex pat woman uses a search for the time bells of old Tokyo to explore the modern city fails to convey its charm.The prose is clear and thoughtful the history lessons range over events dating from the earliest days of the city to the earthquake of 2011 The people the author meets from the man who runs a coffee shop to temple monks and on to those who run small museums are each interesting in their own way.I was quietly enchanted by the book the author give A basic description of the book ex pat woman uses a search for the time bells of old Tokyo to explore the modern city fails to convey its charm.The prose is clear and thoughtful the history lessons range over events dating from the earliest days of the city to the earthquake of 2011 The people the author meets from the man who runs a coffee shop to temple monks and on to those who run small museums are each interesting in their own way.I was quietly enchanted by the book the author gives the reader a lot to ponder in a short page count I found the chapter notes to be almost as enjoyable as the text.I have only an outsider s knowledge of Tokyo, bolstered somewhat by my father s stories of his trips there in the late 1950s mid 1960s I would hazard a guess that anyone familiar with Tokyo would have a deeper reaction to the book than I did Ufff, reading this was like wading through tar I almost dropped it but then I noticed there s almost hundred pages of notes and source material listing, so I thought to skim through a few dozen pages I had left.I wanted to like this, little images of Japanese history sounded interesting But it was too fragmented, tried sometimes too hard to be poetic and I just didn t find the overall style enjoyable to read at all Shame, because there are fascinating historical tidbits and experiences here a Ufff, reading this was like wading through tar I almost dropped it but then I noticed there s almost hundred pages of notes and source material listing, so I thought to skim through a few dozen pages I had left.I wanted to like this, little images of Japanese history sounded interesting But it was too fragmented, tried sometimes too hard to be poetic and I just didn t find the overall style enjoyable to read at all Shame, because there are fascinating historical tidbits and experiences here and there and the author has interviewed some interesting people but it s just presented as a jumble And I can see the coffee house chapters were important to the author but certainly don t help with the already jumpy structure.So, nope, I can t recommend this Strange and lovely, with poetry and grace, Sherman endeavors to capture time and a restless city Great for lovers of philosophy, history, and Japan. This doesn t take long at all before it descends into a swamp of self parody, my Clicheometer was flashing red within the first ten pages or so as we ticked every single Japanese stereotype from haikus, Buddhism to weird sexual proclivities and paper cranes You know those writers who have that rare and wonderful gift of elevating the most banal of encounters into something quite special, well this isn t one of those This is mostly made up of bland, forgettable clich s wrapped up in pseudo spir This doesn t take long at all before it descends into a swamp of self parody, my Clicheometer was flashing red within the first ten pages or so as we ticked every single Japanese stereotype from haikus, Buddhism to weird sexual proclivities and paper cranes You know those writers who have that rare and wonderful gift of elevating the most banal of encounters into something quite special, well this isn t one of those This is mostly made up of bland, forgettable clich s wrapped up in pseudo spiritualist rubbish on a journey to nowhere This really is the height of mediocre bourgeois self indulgence.I realise that complaining about white middle class writers from elite universities in the book world is like ruing the absence of truth and integrity within politics, but sweet baby Jesus come on There is no coherent structure, but hey it s OK because we can get away with that by calling it a meditation and then get some rent a quote to write a bit of fluff describing the book as a tour de force This is just a series of dull, self indulgent ruminations from a privileged white girl who faces such devastating hardships like seeing her beloved coffee shops close down and shock, horror being replaced by Starbucks as she hunts for a bell and meets forgettable locals who have nothing to share beyond dull, empty clich s dressed as profound insights.The only time when this became briefly interesting was when she dipped a toe into WWII and related some of the horrifying accounts of the Tokyo firebombing and we also get a hint of the nation s superstition, xenophobia, sexism and cruelty which resulted in numerous acts of genocide and war crimes in the 20th Century.Anyway that s my thoughts Phew That feels a lot better I wanted to love it but didn t The author gave no context when we moved locations, thoughts or time I was lost most of the time as a reader, though when I did work out the context, the richness of Japanese culture and history shone through. After living in Japan for about three years and working in a library in Tokyo for two of them, I ve read a number of gaijin memoirs This is the first one that thoughtfully engaged with Tokyo and really represented how it feels to be here It was poetic, it was research heavy without being overbearing, it was nuanced, and, most importantly, there was no ego If you are the kind of person who likes to walk around neighborhoods, then please read this. (READ EBOOK) ⚣ The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City Ù An elegant and absorbing tour of Tokyo and its residentsFromuntil , Japan s rulers restricted contact with foreign countries, a near isolation that fostered a remarkable and unique culture that endures to this day In hypnotic prose and sensual detail, Anna Sherman describes searching for the great bells by which the inhabitants of Edo, later called Tokyo, kept the hours in the shoguns cityAn exploration of Tokyo becomes a meditation not just on time, but on history, memory, and impermanence Through Sherman s journeys around the city and her friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art form, The Bells of Old Tokyo follows haunting voices through the labyrinth that is the Japanese capital an old woman remembers escaping from the American firebombs of World War II A scientist builds the most accurate clock in the world, a clock that will not lose a second in five billion years The head of the Tokugawa shogunal house reflects on the destruction of his grandfathers city A lost thing is lost To chase it leads to darkness The Bells of Old Tokyo marks the arrival of a dazzling new writer who presents an absorbing and alluring meditation on life in the guise of a tour through a city and its people The Bells of Old Tokyo by Anna Sherman combines the author s personal memoir of her time as an expat in Tokyo, and a study of the cultural history of Tokyo Both aspects flow together as Sherman goes on a journey to learn about Tokyo s bells of time , the bells through which time was told in the city in the past The book finds a balance between the authors personal exploration of the city and detailed study of Tokyo s history which makes that for most of the time, the book does not feel like The Bells of Old Tokyo by Anna Sherman combines the author s personal memoir of her time as an expat in Tokyo, and a study of the cultural history of Tokyo Both aspects flow together as Sherman goes on a journey to learn about Tokyo s bells of time , the bells through which time was told in the city in the past The book finds a balance between the authors personal exploration of the city and detailed study of Tokyo s history which makes that for most of the time, the book does not feel like non fiction The book reflects on how our experience of time influences the way we look at the world around us, and how this can differ throughout history and between different parts of the world I enjoyed reading about the authors personal experience the most, particularly the scenes that took place in Daibo s coffee house The book includes many notes, on sources used to write the book and extra background information that were not included in the main text itself The many notes that take up one third of the book sometimes took me out of the flow of the memoir However, this book definitely gave me something to think about, and it captures the atmosphere of a different time and place very well Thank you to Picador for sending me a copy of this book