Excerpt from December 6 by Martin Cruz Smith, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

December 6

by Martin Cruz Smith

December 6
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2003, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Harry turned away to deal with Willie and DeGeorge. Al DeGeorge was the correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor and as stir-crazy as a zoo bear. Willie Staub was a young German businessman headed home from China via Japan and looked like an innocent among thieves.

DeGeorge was saying, "Harry runs a pool on when war will start between America and Japan, Tokyo time. Say there's even military action. The Philippines are on our side of the dateline, Hawaii's a day behind, doesn't matter, has to be Tokyo time. There's got to be at least ten thousand yen in there now. Of course, the house -- that's Harry -- takes five percent. Harry would take five percent on the apocalypse. Today's the fifth. Hell, Willie, you've still got most of December. I got Christmas Day."

"You're a sentimentalist," said Harry.

"The only problem," DeGeorge said, "is that if we're still here when the war begins, we're fucked. No way out." He directed a baleful gaze at Harry. "Rumor is, they're going to get Nippon Air flying again. Put on a show with champagne, cute air hostesses and photographers, and fly some foreign bigwigs to Hong Kong as if everything is absolutely normal. My question is, who gets on that plane?" He turned to Willie. "The embassy sent special-delivery letters telling all Americans to leave. But no, we waited to see what Harry would do. We figured the boat Harry takes, that's the last boat out. Now all the boats are gone and we're down to a single plane."

"I don't know anything about this," Willie said. "I just got here."

"The Nazis must have told you to stay away from Harry."

"I am a Nazi."

"Willie thinks he's a Nazi," Harry told DeGeorge. "Anyway, don't you have a job to do? Didn't you tell me that the first man who calls the war can pick up a Pulitzer?"

"There's no point in staying if I can't do my job. No one will be interviewed by an American. I can't even get them on the telephone because the Japs say all calls have to be in Japanese. Who speaks Japanese?"

Willie told Harry, "My embassy said you were engaged in sharp practices and I should stay away from you."

"Good advice," said Harry.

"But they don't want me, either. I told them about my China report."

"What report?" DeGeorge asked.

Harry said, "Willie was factory manager for Deutsche-Fon in China. He saw a lot."

DeGeorge lowered his voice. "Jap atrocities? Rape of Nanking?"

"Exactly," Willie said.

"Old news."

"Not in Berlin. Germans should know these things."

"It was just one of those things..." Michiko hugged herself as if holding someone tight, her face conveying a private reverie that men in the Happy Paris yearned to join. The noise level was high because the Japanese loved to drink and got drunk fast and flirted with the waitresses even as they craved Michiko. Kimi batted her eyes at Willie, who had the golden looks of Gary Cooper and displayed a wounded Cooperish look when people disappointed him.

"I don't think the German people are interested in atrocities," Harry said. "There's been a lot going on there that you haven't heard about in the hinterlands of Asia."

"But Germany is winning the war."

"Maybe. You should probably keep your nose clean and stay away from me."

"You're the only person I know in Tokyo. Also I had to show you something." Willie pulled a folded newspaper from his jacket, but Harry was distracted by a customer who grabbed Haruko and planted her on his lap while she squirmed like a satin worm. This wasn't a rare occurrence; she had many admirers.

Harry joined them. "Haruko, go wait on tables. Matsu, let her go."

"He's just playful," Haruko said.

Copyright © 2002 by Titanic Productions

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!