“Oh!” News and Reviews

The Marketplace of Ideas interview with Todd Shimoda

Colin Marshall interviews Todd about Oh!, writing, books, and Kobo Abe – go to iTunes (free podcast) … or go to Three Quarks Daily (transcript)

NPR features “Oh! A mystery of mono no aware” in Independent Booksellers Pick Summer’s Best Reads

cover_angled Lucia Silva, book buyer at Portrait of a Bookstore in Studio City, CA chose “Oh! A mystery of mono no aware” as an NPR summer reading pick. She’s an enthusiastic fan of the novel and its publisher, Chin Music Press. Here’s a sample of her review:

In seamless counterpoint to the philosophical current, Shimoda shapes a delicate mystery that grows darker as the novel progresses. The book itself is a fine work of art, with a gorgeous, embossed cover, rice-paper-thin pages, and textured paper inserts with illustrations that offer clues to Zack’s fate— a triumphant kick in the pants for anyone who doubts the future of paper-and-ink books. Read more . . .

Explore an excerpt from the novel “Oh! A mystery of mono no aware” by Todd Shimoda and published by Chin Music Press. Read more . . .

The Asian Art Museum Blog has picked OH! as one of its Notable Books of 2009

“The Hawaii-based Shimoda teases an engaging novel from the hard-to-translate concept of mono no aware….The Seattle publisher Chin Music Press is also responsible for one of my favorite collections, Kuhaku (2004). All of their books are works of art: from the quality of the binding to the illustrations (by Linda Shimoda), Oh! is a book you’ll want to give as a gift, and then immediately borrow.” Read more

Powell’s Bookstore top 2009 picks

A Powell’s staff member selected OH! as a top book in 2009 See the list

OH! tops the Avid Bookstore of Athens, GA list of 2009 favorite reads

“And what a beautiful book it is! The people of Chin Music Press pride themselves on high-quality, appealing design. … The content is as compelling as the book’s look. Shimoda’s story is sparse in some places, rich with detail and emotion in others. … I just loved it.” Read more

Nichi Bei Times review

“People looking for an introspective winter read may enjoy this novel … it is more a contemplative work of art, a modern poem in prose that attempts to characterize the state of a modern man’s search for the meaning of life.” To Nichi Bei Times

Japan Times review by Jeff Kingston

“Detached and contemplative, “Oh!” draws the reader into a mesmerizing journey of discovery while also exploring contemporary Japanese pathologies along the way. This philosophical mystery gives us leads on understanding sadness, loss, family ties, identity and suicide. It is also a search for clues about what connects and motivates people, one that overlaps with the protagonist’s own search for roots and attempts to break out of his shell.” Read more

Asian Review of Books review by Melanie Ho

“Shimoda’s third novel is a rich mystery: complex, entertaining, intelligent and an absolute pleasure to unravel and digest. Following the “Oh” is the mystery of mono no aware, which loosely translates in English as a type of “sensibility”, a sense of sudden emotional awareness and the need to then express emotion.” Read more

Live Journal, asianamlitfans by stephen hong sohn

“Shimoda sets the novel’s spatial trajectory vividly and we get a sense of the various cities and villages that Zack eventually travels to and explores. Each location becomes a terrain upon which the protagonist can investigate various philosophical musings. As the novel moves more firmly into its various mysteries, the pace picks up and we are left with a cliffhanger conclusion that is supposed to be unraveled through a careful consideration of the visuals that have been included. The images that do appear in tandem with the text often are incorporated in the space between the short chapters; in this regard, the reader is forced to look back and try to make sense of them in a different way. The “mystery” then unfolds in the artistic vision that Linda Shimoda provides. … I would highly recommend this book simply for its production value; Chin Music Press has made it a point to reconstruct the “novel” into a multifaceted experience.” Read more

For more media mentions go to the press page.