REVIEWS

 Spotlight Reviews Feathered Quill

 Spotlight Reviews Feathered Quill

The Last Train (Detective Hiroshi series, Book 1) By: Michael Pronko Publisher: Raked Gravel Press Publication Date: May 2017 ISBN: 978-1942410126 Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko Review Date: July 2, 2017 Professor and award-winning essayist, Michael Pronko, takes readers on a fast-paced ride through the streets of Japan in his debut mystery novel, The Last Train. Detective… Continue Reading

Booklife Critic’s Report

Booklife Critic’s Report

BookLife Prize – 2017  Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10 Originality: 10 out of 10 Prose: 10 out of 10 Character/Execution: 10 out of 10 Overall: 10.00 out of 10 Assessment: Plot: This story grips the reader from the very beginning with its creepy and eerie premise, original story line, and rage-filled killer with icy determination. Prose: Well written and engaging throughout, the… Continue Reading

Reader Views Review of The Last Train

Reader Views Review of The Last Train

THE LAST TRAIN Michael Pronko Raked Gravel Press (2017) ISBN 9781942410126 Reviewed By Michel Violante for Reader Views (5/17) Article first published as Book Review: ‘The Last Train’ by Michael Pronko on Blogcritics. “The Last Train” by Michael Pronko begins late one evening with a beautiful, long haired brunette holding up and guiding an overweight drunken man at least… Continue Reading

Foreword/Clarion Review of The Last Train

Foreword/Clarion Review of The Last Train

The Last Train Reviewed by Shana Creaney  June 6, 2017 The Last Train is a well-paced and absorbing mystery, with quick action and a look at urban life. In The Last Train by Michael Pronko, Detective Hiroshi Shimizu and the Tokyo homicide unit go on a thrilling hunt for a murderer of rich men. Theirs is an utterly page-turning… Continue Reading

Review from Indie Reader

Review from Indie Reader

THE LAST TRAIN by Michael Pronko June 5, 2017/in Fiction, Indie Book Reviews, Mystery/Thriller /by IR Staff Verdict: Lyrically written, with plenty of suspense, THE LAST TRAIN is a novel that aims to please, and can’t really help but do so. Suicide by train is an all too common event in Tokyo, but the death of a Western businessman named Steve… Continue Reading

Review from BestThrillers.com

Review from BestThrillers.com

The Last Train, an Unforgettable Crime Thriller Set in Tokyo by BestThrillers Staff on May 25, 2017 in Crime Thriller Books, Mystery Books, New Book Releases, Thriller Book Reviews, Thriller Reviews The Bottom Line: Set in Tokyo, this exotic crime thriller is a lightning-fast chase to the finish line that you won’t soon forget. Mystery… Continue Reading

Starred Review from Blue Ink

Starred Review from Blue Ink

In all, this is one you won’t want to miss. The Last Train will leave you scrambling for Pronko’s two other books featuring detective Shimizu: Thai Girl in Tokyo and Japan Hand. Continue Reading

4 1/2 Stars from The Bookbag

4 1/2 Stars from The Bookbag

Michael Pronko knows Tokyo well and what comes through in The Last Train is that this is a book written from knowledge rather than research and that he knows a lot more than he has any need to tell us. Continue Reading

Five Star Review from For Novel Lovers

Five Star Review from For Novel Lovers

I wanted to say before I begin this review is going to be slightly longer than some of the other ones I do …I really loved being about to learn more about the cultural and social side of my favourite country in the world, some of the things Pronko talks about like the hanko, slight hand gestures and social awareness I never knew before but reading this book has helped me understand better… Continue Reading

Review from Bookpleasures.com

Review from Bookpleasures.com

Michael Pronko has a natural talent to spin out words and astute perceptions in concise, steady and refreshing prose wherein every word counts and nothing is extra. One of the joys in reading these essays is that the language is precisely crafted. Continue Reading

★★★★★ from Self-Publishing Review

★★★★★ from Self-Publishing Review

“…Beauty and Chaos is a spectacular read. Its essays are long enough to be cohesive and provocative while remaining short and sweet. The collection is masterful and unique, and well worth the time to read through. Pronko illustrates his points with marvelous skill.” Continue Reading

Review from Midwest Book Review

Review from Midwest Book Review

If Michael Pronko’s prior Beauty and Chaos captured the exquisite essence of the urban heartbeat that is Tokyo, then this follow-up essay collection, Tokyo’s Mystery Deepens, is its soul, offering up pieces of Tokyo’s psyche through the observations of a visitor who became immersed in its culture. Continue Reading

4 out of 4 Stars Online Book Club

4 out of 4 Stars Online Book Club

Tokyo’s Mystery Deepens is so much more than just a guidebook to Tokyo. You can pick up any random book in the travel department of the bookstore and learn all about hot springs, famous shrines, and maid cafes. This book doesn’t have any of that; it actually plunges into the minuscule details of what it is like to be a Tokyoite. Continue Reading

4 out 5 from Luxury Reading

4 out 5 from Luxury Reading

An insider’s view of what life is really like in this pulsing, densely populated Asian metropolis…this little book of short, easy to read essays delivers to its readers an education about the cultural variances between Americans and Tokyoites. Continue Reading

Excellent Rating from Bookreview.com

Excellent Rating from Bookreview.com

Now, the man writes so well you will want to keep turning the pages, but I would suggest that you pull back and read one or two essays at a time. Tokyo—all the different Tokyos that we meet—takes a bit of getting used to. Continue Reading

Review from The Bookbag

Review from The Bookbag

“The thing to remember, Pronko emphasises, is that Tokyo is never just one thing: generalisations don’t work perfectly; it’s a city of multiple layers, both literally and metaphorically.” Continue Reading

4 out of 4 stars from OnlineBookClub.org

4 out of 4 stars from OnlineBookClub.org

This book sparkles and succeeds as a love letter of sorts to Tokyo. The author’s writing is a joy to read, with wonderful phrasing and vivid descriptions…As someone who knows very little about Tokyo, I loved this book. As someone who appreciates good writing, I loved this book. Continue Reading

Five-plus stars, Publishers Daily Reviews

Five-plus stars, Publishers Daily Reviews

This is a memoir to be savored like a fine red wine, crafted with supreme care by a man who clearly has fallen in love with his adopted city — and we are the beneficiaries of his lyrical reflections, making us want to visit and absorb the rich megalopolis of Tokyo for ourselves. Continue Reading

5 stars from Self-Publishing Review

5 stars from Self-Publishing Review

Anyone familiar with, or wishing to become familiar with the quirks of Japanese culture and Tokyo life, Pronko’s essays are a wonderful start or addition to a breadth of knowledge. Pronko is an insightful author capable of seeing a deeper beauty in everything he writes, and this collection is something to behold. Continue Reading

Review from The Bookbag

Review from The Bookbag

Pronko’s topics are varied and surprising. He notices the kinds of things that might be taken for granted by the Japanese and overlooked entirely by visitors…These pieces feel flowing and natural, perhaps because many arose simply from walking around, people-watching. Continue Reading

Kirkus Review

Kirkus Review

A clear-eyed but affectionate portrait of a city that reaches beyond simple stereotypes. An elegantly written, precisely observed portrait of a Japanese city and its culture. Continue Reading

Midwest Book Review

Midwest Book Review

Beauty and Chaos is a rare gem of exploration that holds the ability to sweep observer/readers into a series of vignettes that penetrate the heart of Tokyo’s fast-paced world. Anyone planning a trip to the city (and many an armchair reader who holds a special affection for Japan) must have this in hand – and, in mind. Very highly recommended. Continue Reading

★★★★★ Review from Readers’ Favorite

★★★★★ Review from Readers’ Favorite

“Every small thing that makes Tokyo what it is gives the book a unique and special tone. Whether it is the cherry blossoms, the bars and restaurants, the standing libraries or clothing, the author has researched the place well and revealed to readers a Tokyo not captured so intensely by travelers. The author’s love for the city is evident in the manner in which he has explored the place and soaked up every small detail that covers everything about life in Tokyo.” Continue Reading

More Reviews from Reader’s Favorite

More Reviews from Reader’s Favorite

Motions and Moments: More Essays on Tokyo by Michael Pronko perfectly captures the surreal feel and allure of Tokyo. It is an unbiased in-depth view of Tokyo from someone who not only lives in the city but has formed a deep personal connection with it. Continue Reading

Review from Publishers Daily Reviews

Review from Publishers Daily Reviews

This is a memoir to be savored like a fine red wine, crafted with supreme care by a man who clearly has fallen in love with his adopted city — and we are the beneficiaries of his lyrical reflections, making us want to visit and absorb the rich megalopolis of Tokyo for ourselves. Continue Reading

4 Star (out of 4) Review from Online Book Club

4 Star (out of 4) Review from Online Book Club

This book sparkles and succeeds as a love letter of sorts to Tokyo. The author’s writing is a joy to read, with wonderful phrasing and vivid descriptions. I have no doubt he could write the great American novel, if he so chooses; a book of essays about his adopted country is still a fine choice. His wise and thoughtful take on Tokyo shines through the pages. Continue Reading

Review from The Bookbag

Review from The Bookbag

The thing to remember, Pronko emphasises, is that Tokyo is never just one thing: generalisations don’t work perfectly; it’s a city of multiple layers, both literally and metaphorically. Continue Reading

Best Nonfiction of 2015

Best Nonfiction of 2015

It’s always great to get positive feedback, but when it comes from a super-cool site that focuses on non-fiction, it’s especially welcome. Doing Dewey is devoted to reviewing non-fiction, and the site covers a lot of amazing books that you might not find elsewhere. Be careful, though, as once you start reading the blog, you’ll… Continue Reading

SPR Review of Beauty and Chaos

SPR Review of Beauty and Chaos

Beauty and Chaos is a spectacular read. Its essays are long enough to be cohesive and provocative while remaining short and sweet, never rushing points but never falling too far off track. The collection is masterful and unique. Continue Reading

Midwest Book Review of Beauty and Chaos

Midwest Book Review of Beauty and Chaos

by Diane Donovan Anyone with an interest in Tokyo will want to consider the fifteen years of experience that’s gone into Michael Pronko’s Beauty and Chaos, an essay collection that comes from a professor with much experience in the city, who can bring it to life through flowery written descriptions. Just what is so special… Continue Reading

Bookbag Review of Beauty and Chaos

Bookbag Review of Beauty and Chaos

Adapting a Buddhist metaphor, Michael Pronko declares that ‘writing about [Tokyo] is like catching fish with a hollow gourd.’ In other words, it is an elusive and contradictory place that resists easy conclusions. Anyone who has seen the Bill Murray film Lost in Translation will retain the sense of a glittering, bewildering place that Westerners… Continue Reading

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