Shelved for 2012: Into the Forbidden Zone

Into the Forbidden Zone

I wanted to read this story because if you weren’t a reader at the time, I was scheduled to leave to Tokyo two days after the earthquake. I love Japan- the culture, the food, the history, everything Japanese. It was a perfect way to celebrate my 30th birthday and anniversary with Scott. As I watched CNN on March 11, with shock, I’ll admit, I had a “Seinfeld” moment- you know, one of those, “what about my vacation?!” moment. That selfish feeling lasted for a few seconds. It wasn’t just an earthquake with shaken walls, it was a blanket of ocean taking thousands of lives, stealing a last breath without warning. It was devastating and I cried for weeks, I felt like I was mourning with Japan.

William T. Volmmann returned to Japan shortly after the Tsunami last year. I was curious on reading a detailed story besides small bits through news stories. It was a good book, and I rated it two stars, “just ok” (according to Goodreads ratings). I didn’t love it, but the stories of the people who experienced and lived through the event was the reason I kept reading. As for Volmmann’s writing, he’s a book award winner, but for my taste, it was overwritten. I couldn’t keep up with his style. The actual journalism was great; it was factual, detailed, and emotional. At the time same time, it seems he writes for the art of it, rather for the certainty of it, which I don't like. It also felt like it was cut short. What happened to each person he interviewed? What happened when he went in deeper to Sendai?

Into the Forbidden Zone is recommended for the curious on Japan and the March 2011 earthquake. It’s also a short read- it’s about 50 pages and took me a couple hours to finish. This is one of the many books I’ll be reading this year for Shelved 2012.