Blog Tour: The Accidental Recluse
In the run up to Tom McCulloch's Scottish launch of The Accidental Recluse, following a brilliant evening at Blackwell's in Oxford for the English launch, Tom's on tour - and the best news is that you don't have to leave the comfort of your own home to keep up with it. Thanks to Assistant Publisher Kay Farrell for this guest post.
Early in Tom McCulloch’s The Accidental Recluse, JJ speaks to a Japanese man in his own language only to receive the response, ‘No English, Mr Jackson.’ It was immediately recognisable as something that had happened to me frequently during my years living in Morioka-shi to the north of Honshu.
After I graduated, I wanted to see some of the world so I took a job teaching English abroad. Like Scotland, Japan could be described as ‘whaur extremes meet’: a land of cutting-edge technology and social conservativism, where a monkey throwing real faeces at a celebrity on television is as common as a grand Zen temple or a tranquil stone garden.
It’s this apparent contradiction, and the resulting experience of the foreigner, which Tom’s book captures perfectly. The Accidental Recluse creates a strong sense of place, providing wonderfully real details of places the reader may never have been, to indicate where and how the characters belong and where they feel at rest. In Japan, JJ will forever be ‘gaijin’, no matter how long he lives there – but for a man who never really found a place where he belonged this is a comfort more than a detriment.
Johnny Jackson used to be a famous film director, but his brother Duke was a hero. Just turned 75, JJ is heading home from exile in Japan for one last blockbuster. But going home means revisiting the past and Johnny’s past is a disturbing place. The dead won't tell any tales, but someone else just might.
Get The Accidental Recluse from our distributor here.