Wolf Richter writes on finance and economics at Wolf Street. He suggested I might enjoy his book, and I did.

At its heart, Big Like is a love story set against the enigmatic social mores of Japan. It is well written and offers fascinating insights into the culture. For example (the only spoiler), there is no Japanese word for love. Big like is the closest approximation, and thus the book’s title.

The story begins in the US with Wolf quitting his job of 10 years, to everyone’s surprise.  His plan is to travel the world and expand his horizons before he dies.

His first point of call is France, where he meets his soon to be lover, Izumi. While he is in Europe we find out much about his childhood and why he left his home for the US, at the age of 17.

Wolf travels through Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Bali before heading to Japan. This first section of the book is short and sets the scene for an absolute tour de force. His love affair with Izumi and his love/hate affair with Japan.

The ending is inconclusive, one suspects a sequel may be in the pipeline. The section set in Japan would make a great movie, perhaps comparable with Lost in Translation (2003).

I highly recommend Big Like. Buy it here.


Big Like – Cascade into an Odyssey

By Wolf Richter, 2011