File Size: 2119 KB
Print Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Latitude 20 (August 28, 2012)
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Mark Panek draws together the world of Atroz, the local Hawaiian family, relentless land development, the crystal meth epidemic, Hawaii politics and corruption, Japanese organized crime, and even the questionable tactics of a popular bounty hunter, showing how every single one of these things are connected to Percy and his tragic death. Also though it is a work of nonfiction, the guide reads like a well-crafted novel. From Percy's rise in the field of Sumo, to the struggle of the community to deal with the drug problem that has invaded their lives, to the dramatic trial of his murderer, the story feels as captivating and larger-than-life as fiction. I was never bored, not even during the elements of the book that deal with the political scene in Hawaii (something that would usually interest me very little). Why? Because the author makes the reader feel that the choices of distant politicians and rich land programmers are affecting real live people. They certainly afflicted Percy. Which is, to myself, the real triumph of the book: it jewelry every thread of modern society to the life and death of a single precious individual, and makes you feel that all of it matters.
Ultimate Grade: A, So many different thoughts coursing through my mind after finishing the book. It's skillfully written and the subject and protagonist are deserving subjects. I read the prior reviews and felt I might not " get it" since I didn't grow up in Hawaii. Which was not the case. This could be about a young man (football star) from Nebraska or California with similar storyline lines and conclusion. Typically the writer does an excellent job framing Percy's life -his personality, the surprise and cross of being a Hawaiin and the life of a sumo. So what's wrong with the story? Nothing really, it's a modern day Greek disaster. Who failed Percy? Has been it the community, his family, the Federal authorities, the State of Beautiful hawaii, politicians, the writer? Unfortunately, the answer then is yes to all of the above. We all failed Percy including Percy himself. I guess essential I give it four stars (4 1/2 really). I'm so bummed at the ending that I can't give it five. Typically the " justice" is no consolation., This book struck home as the killing occurred right down the street from where I live. My son and in fact all my children and the children that were raised by us and our friends all knew Percy and even Meheula. I couldn't put the guide down. I read it in a matter of days. Now I am going to order some hard replicates as my nieces and nephews want to read it! Oahu is absolutely a small island and if you meet someone from another part of the island from where you live, you can discover people in common you know or even are related to!, Not a work of fiction. A true story of a Hawaiin young man who finds success in Japan as a Sumo wrestler, but on returning at the ending of his career his return to his Hawaiin community finds a community over run with snow and the violence and social problems associated with it. A must read if you are looking for understanding of modern Hawaii, This book is about an accomplished Sumo wrestler from Hawaii and the wrestler's downhill spiral into the world of crystal meth. The author makes use of a murder trial, his personal relationship with the Sumo wrestler, and numerous interactions with local Hawaiians to describe how crystal meth erupted in Hawaii and subsequently devastated the local culture. It's a good read. Mcdougal doesn't put on the false bravado of James Frey or shoehorn in unrelated personal stories like Krakauer so often does.
I enjoyed this book because it talks about the seldom discussed secretive world of Japanese Sumo and explains the life of a non-stereotypical drug addict. Is actually being a Bryson book, in that you hear a personal story followed up with true facts, but the author is much more relatable and by the ending of the guide you really feel like you're section of the story. In case you want to know about Sumo, crystal meth, Hawaii, or what it's like to helplessly watch a friend destroy his life, I recommend reading this book., "Big Happiness" by Mark Panek is a skillfully written guide that represents a combination of journalism and literature. It tells a complicated story about a small place in Hawaii, the cultural impact of the meth trade, larger economical and racial forces which have altered the state, and the intimate and tragic details about one man's fight to find a place in a world he could not understand. Situated in fact, the author uses his personal relationship with the the killed hero to tell the storyline in a highly understandable, accessible fashion. This is powerful stuff., Mark Panek has written a thorough accounting of an personal tragedy that reflects a greater tragedy for the Hawaii people.
In a clear unmistakable voice Mark combines courage with corruption, the personal with the political and local geography with widespread greed throughout the life of a single Hawaii warrior.
There are no missteps here as the author paints a damaging picture of what the scourge of "ice" has done to the island of Oahu.
The guide is part historical biography, part murder mystery, part sports story and completely engrossing. You won't be able to put it down.
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