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Download December 6: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample December 6: A Novel Audiobook, 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 Slattery Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2002 ISBN: 9780743567626
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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 the 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. Download and start listening now!

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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth (Liz) | 1/8/2014

    " This book had amazing detail about life in Japan at the outbreak of WWII. I wish there was a sequel! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven Slavick | 1/5/2014

    " The two main characters were pretty interesting, but the author seemed very restrained when writing this book, as though he feared giving away too much about the characters, as though we might not like them if he really included who they truly were. I expected more historical information, but it was a decent read overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian Williams | 12/25/2013

    " A good suspenseful novel but with a lot of dark violence. A good story - I was never sure what side Harry Niles was on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Erickson | 11/26/2013

    " Of the Martin Cruz Smith novels I've read, this is the most engaging. He has a clear love for Japan and a ghost of mourning shadows the whole narrative. It's beautiful and tragic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob Rosenow | 9/19/2013

    " Fascinating story of Pearl harbor day told from the perpsective of someone in Tokyo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles | 9/17/2013

    " A good story... a solid 3 star. Interesting, although not entirely believable characters in a creative, although not entirely believable tale. A few, but too few, interesting twists of fate and of narative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 6/22/2013

    " Excellent story with incredible detail about a changing Japan at the time immediately prior to WWII. Exceptional characters and great story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pam | 3/25/2013

    " I found this book to be boring. The characters were shallow and the plot was obscure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray Melville | 1/6/2013

    " Excellent read, amazing insight into the history and culture of the Japanese. Gripping! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 5/1/2012

    " This book has stuck with me. I will probably read it again in the near future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 4/9/2012

    " A look from the Japanese side. Very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Jolly | 4/5/2012

    " December 6: A Novel by Martin Cruz Smith (2008) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alfredo Chizzoni | 12/27/2011

    " Interessante l'ambientazione giapponese, ma la trama si perde per strada e lascia un finale insoddisfacente. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger | 12/17/2011

    " Disappointed in this book. I liked previous Cruz Smith efforts, Gorky Park and Havana. This one was fun, but not what I expected. Characters weren't nearly as well developed and the plot was disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 11/20/2011

    " This is a what-if story told from the other side of an historical event. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judi | 3/23/2011

    " Very different take on WWII - an American in Japan days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. All I could say at the end was WOW! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sho | 3/19/2011

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 2/21/2011

    " Of the Martin Cruz Smith novels I've read, this is the most engaging. He has a clear love for Japan and a ghost of mourning shadows the whole narrative. It's beautiful and tragic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pam | 2/16/2011

    " I found this book to be boring. The characters were shallow and the plot was obscure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 1/12/2011

    " One of a few books that is written about Japan in the time leading up to World War II. The story is told by an American boy. Very interesting! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carolinecarver | 1/11/2011

    " I expected to understand more about the Japanese and came away disappointed. Think Cruz Smith should stick to Russia. I didn't care for this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leofwin | 1/1/2011

    " Interesting, but not one of Martin Cruz-Smith's best. A little disappointed in the ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magcos | 12/4/2010

    " good story, set in Japan right before Pearl Harbor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 11/19/2010

    " A look from the Japanese side. Very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 katen | 10/6/2010

    " so what happened? got to the end and.....? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 9/13/2010

    " Well written, but I just didn't connect with the characters. I love his Arkady Renko series, but didn't care for this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 8/29/2010

    " The day before Pearl Harbor from the Japanese perspective. Very interesting historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 7/28/2010

    " December 6: A Novel by Martin Cruz Smith (2008) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 6/15/2010

    " Great story with helpful insights into the scene in Tokyo on the eve of Pearl Harbor. "

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About the Author
Author Martin Cruz Smith

Martin Cruz-Smith’s novels include Stalin’s Ghost, Gorky Park, Rose, December 6, Polar Star, and Stallion Gate. He is a two-time winner of the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers and a recipient of Britain’s Golden Dagger Award. Currently, he lives in California.