Big in Japan is a well written novel that is fast paced and extremely engaging. With each turn of the page, I itched to see what would happen next. It’s an inspiring story of an underdog who goes through tremendous brutality to become a stronger and mightier man both physically and mentally.
Though many stories display their heroes as being of a certain acceptable weight and build, Griffith’s main character, Buck Cooper, is an obese Texan. Like a Sumo “Kung Fu Panda,” he takes the hits and stings of training, and brutal hazing, only to emerge as a Sumo knight in shining armor, fighting for what he knows to be right and for the chance to love and be loved by the girl of his dreams. Buck’s old-fashioned values of integrity and honesty, coupled with Southern charm and good manners, immediately endeared him to me, and he retained my support as he stuck to his strong values, even in the face of dire consequences. He emulates a true, everyday hero, someone I want to be like. I found myself cheering when he overcame and conquered, and cringing when he was cut down. I felt for this character. I deeply cared for Buck and what became of him.
Griffith’s vivid descriptions took me to the very streets of Japan, allowing me to experience its vibrant sights and smells. She brought the world of Japanese Sumo wrestling to life with brilliant narrative without slowing the story in any way. Big in Japan is a gem worth keeping in anyone’s treasure trove of books. Pick up your copy at Barnes and Noble, on Amazon e-readers or order it at any bookstore. This book is a keeper, one to be read over again.