Wrong About Japan: A Father’s Journey With His Son
By Peter Carey. Knopf, 2005, 158 pp.
I turned to Wrong About Japan
with great curiosity. Many reader reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads were negative, even hostile, to the book. Yet the ABE included it in its list of “50 Essential Travel Books.” So which was it? “Boring,” “shallow,“nauseating”
? Or “essential”?
The book chronicles a short trip to Japan that Carey took with his 12-year-old son, Charley, to explore manga and anime, with which Charley was obsessed. Carey himself, through his son, became interested in these art forms—the extraordinary Japanese comics and animated films—which he briefly defines for the uninitiated reader. Before leaving the States, where the Australian writer now lives, he contacts people he knows in Japan—and, needless to say, the famous author, a two-time Booker Prize recipient, has terrific contacts, who set up interviews with celebrated directors, including the most celebrated of all, Miyazaki. (more…)