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Download December 6: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample December 6: A Novel, by Martin Cruz Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (985 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martin Cruz Smith Narrator: John Slatter Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park and Havana Bay, comes another audacious novel of exotic locales, intimate intrigues, and the mysteries of the human heart: December 6.

Set in the crazed, nationalistic Tokyo of late 1941, December 6 explores the coming world war through the other end of history’s prism—a prism held here by an unforgettable rogue and lover, Harry Niles.

In many ways, Niles is as American as apple pie: raised by ultra-protective missionary parents, taught to honor and respect his elders and be an upright Christian citizen. But Niles is also Japanese: reared in the aesthetics of Shinto and educated in the dance halls and back room poker gatherings of Tokyo’s shady underworld. As a gaijin, a foreigner—especially one with a gift for the artful scam—he draws suspicion and disfavor from Japanese police. This potent mixture of stiff tradition and intrigue—not to mention his brazen love affair with a Japanese mistress who would rather kill Harry than lose him—fills Harry’s final days in Tokyo with suspense and fear. Who is he really working for? Is he a spy? For America? For the Emperor?

Now, on the eve of Pearl Harbor, Harry himself must decide where his true allegiances lie. Suspenseful, exciting, and replete with detailed research Martin Cruz Smith brings to all his novels, December 6 is a triumph of imagination, history, and storytelling melded into a magnificent whole.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[December 6] packs plenty of suspense…A solid piece of entertainment and an undeniably brilliant display of the author’s literary genius.” 

    Denver Post

  • “[Smith] tells a moving, believable love story in which individual lives are invested with great dignity, even in the face of national ideals.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[A] slickly plotted, exotically atmospheric thriller...Brilliantly convoluted and captivating.” 

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Well loved and well regarded, Smith opens his new thriller on the day before Pearl Harbor erupts in a wall of flames. Readers will love not only Harry but also his opponents, pillow partners, and allies. The pace is like a bullet train, the characters are limned far beyond the usual stereotype, and the locale is as evocative as the cherry blossom itself.”

    Library Journal

  • “A historical thriller brimming with action, odd characters, and an ending well worth the read.”

    School Library Journal

  • One of the 2002 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by JoTownhead | 2/10/2014

    " Harry Niles is the errant son of American missionaries based in Japan. In childhood he is steeped in Japanese culture and (being largely unsupervised) initiated at an early stage into the seedier side of Tokyo. The immminent Second World War brings challenges to the adult Harry, as an American in Japan. The relationship between Harry and those he grew up with is central and unfolds like origami as the novel progresses, highlighting cultural differences and facets of Harry's complex character. Explicit death scenes make for unpleasant reading but overall an interesting insight into a period now fading from living memory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sho | 1/15/2014

    " A novel about Tokyo over the weekend of 6th December 1941... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lee | 1/13/2014

    " One of the best mystery thrillers I've read in a while. Imagine Casablanca landing in Tokyo in the final hours before the attack on Pearl Harbour. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by MD | 1/11/2014

    " I've read a couple of Smith's other books and enjoyed them so I had high expectations of this one. For the most part I did enjoy reading the book. But sometimes the character held a distinctly American mindset that seemed at odds with the background Smith gave him. I also found the ending implausible and out of keeping with one of the characters in particular. But I did like the twist with the DC-3 and wonder whether it was historic. For a better story of a Westerner in Asia in WWII I'd recommend JG Ballard's Empire of the Sun. "

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