Access to the e-book edition is included with the paperback purchase.
Written in 1960, Gentle Mako explores the timeless, universal theme of a young man’s quest to fill his shoes. Richard M. Baker, Jr., employs a first-person narrative style to effectively invite the reader along for the ride in this delightfully witty, sensitive journey of self-discovery prompted by a father who has stumbled too far from himself to turn back...other than through his son.
James Clifton, 21, is encouraged to step out of his father’s disappointingly predictable college-marriage-career tow line onto the more challenging path of personal fulfillment -- to escape from conformity, to be more, to be himself. We travel with him on a fully-sponsored trip to Japan where James walks a new and old world divide from the Ginza District of Tokyo to the small island of Yushima; from a harrowing cab ride to a trip back in time. Along the way, preconceived notions litter the trail as the young American ladies’ man steps beyond familiar shores into the lives of women on similar journeys.
Mr. Baker peppers Gentle Mako with humor, charm, insight, and poignancy. Through James we explore a world at relative peace between the Korean and Vietnamese conflicts and at the onset of the commercial jet age that narrowed the distance between continents. The author treats us to an artfully descriptive, time-capsule view of Japanese culture and traditions, and a prophetic message of approaching globalism.
Gentle Mako is richly relevant. Young James could be any one of us...that is, those who have learned that filling our own involves first walking in the shoes of others.