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United States of Japan

Narrated by: Adam Sims
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Summary

United States of Japan is set in a gripping alternate history where the Japanese Empire rules over America with huge robots. Is resistance possible in the form of subversive video games?

Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible emperor, and nobody believes that Japan's conduct in the war was anything but exemplary.

Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons, a group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest terrorist tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead. Captain Beniko Ishimura's job is to censor video games, and he is tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development.

But Ishimura's hiding something...kind of. He's slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive video game's origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.

A spiritual sequel to Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, United States of Japan carries on the legacy of Dick's famous alternate history, focusing on how Americans and Japanese deal with their guilt and troubled relationship to the past.

Peter Tieryas is a character artist who has worked on films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Alice in Wonderland and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

His novel, Bald New World, was listed as one of Buzzfeed's 15 Highly Anticipated Books as well as Publishers Weekly's Best Science Fiction Books of Summer 2014.

©2016 Peter Tieryas (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Don't be fooled by the cover..

Giants robots are mostly in the background in this novel.

Nice world building that rather overshadows the actual plot, and an ending that gives a finger to any hopes that this is not a one off.

NarratIon was good and understandable at x2 playback speed.

Still, I'm glad I 'read' this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Unique

The performance is absolutely amazing. The setup is quite unique and well designed. The story is more like a tool that allows facts to be revealed from the past one after the the other, but still the story is pretty much OK. There is a lot of pain and violence in there, very slight optimism, but if you can live with that then you will find this book completely worth to listen.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Passable but incredulous story

I enjoyed the story enough to listen all the way through. It was a little ridiculous and there were parts that had me screwing up my face in disbelief. Beniko and Akiko were intresting characters and I liked both of them but I really hated the campy narration. The men sounded all sounded like teenage stoners and the women were all overly aggressive in their tone. I would reccomend as a curiosity but it's no Orwell novel.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been so much better

Would you consider the audio edition of United States of Japan to be better than the print version?

Never read print version as I am blind and unable to read print

If you’ve listened to books by Peter Tieryas before, how does this one compare?

First timer to this author

What about Adam Sims’s performance did you like?

Read very well with good voices

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No

Any additional comments?

Could have been so much better

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Pointlessly violent

This book feels like the author has a grudge against the Japanese. I'm no fan of them, but they're portrayed as monsters.

Aside from that, the graphic violence that appears to be used as filler for a weak story became tedious very quickly. It doesn't advance the story in any way.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Holly
  • Holly
  • 17-09-16

An intricate look at a grim alternate history

I picked up United States of Japan on a recommendation from a friend and was expecting a fun but blockbuster-style action/adventure. Instead, I was totally blown away by the intensity and intricacy of the storyline and the ideas presented here. This is, at its heart, a very serious book. There are fun things like the huge towering mecha battles and a look at an alternate universe where technology took a very different course, but what really shines here are the characters and the decisions they make. This is not a world I'd want to live in, and it's a grim mirror to where we could have gone. The people here are making the best of a horrific society--some by trying to make it a better place, some by sinking into violence or depravity. The lines between good and bad people are almost non-existent. And in that backdrop, the story slowly and quietly spins out a tale of love, dedication, anger, and hope.

This is a brutal and often hard story to read, but one very worth reading.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JP
  • JP
  • 18-03-16

Decent story, spotty narration

They story was well enough, not great, but definitely entertaining. The narrator on the other hand, with his shaky/nervous sounding delivery certainly took away from the overall experience.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jim "The Impatient"
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 19-05-16

FLESH PHONE

As soon as I saw this in the Coming soon section, I put it on my wish list. I am a fan of this type of scenario. No, I don't want a foreign government to take us over, but neither do I want a Zombie Apocalypse, yet I enjoy those type of books I am a fan of Vaughn Heppner's Invasion series. I am also a fan of robots, especially giant robots. As another reviewer mentions in the first three hours, a robot is mentioned and that is it. I could not get past three hours. Peter Tieryas tells us things, but shows us nothing. Seemed more like a soap opera about some loser, than anything else. Peter has a great idea, he just needs to get a co/author to help with the writing.
The narrator sounds like he is on the verge of crying his eyes out, no matter what character he is attempting.

18 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marky Mark
  • Marky Mark
  • 19-06-16

decent story, awful narration


the story was decent, certainly able to finish. I actually finished it in 2 days. I had some issues with the story, and some aspects seemed forced. I mean, The colored hair? why? My real issue was with the narration. The shaky voice made it almost unbearable. Also, the fact he couldnt pronounce "mecha" correctly was really annoying.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jessie
  • Jessie
  • 28-09-19

crazy story

what kind of world would it be if Japan toke over the United States and America list WW2? it is kind of a scary thought, that is what this books is. America lost and Japan now runs the USA, with a good character story arc's. dark and grim world.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JW Crummett
  • JW Crummett
  • 21-09-19

Needs to be re-narrated

The story wasn’t bad despite it being a Man in the High Castle knock-off. The narration is awful. As everyone points out, he can’t pronounce “mecha,” though he can somehow say “deus ex machina” correctly. But what was even more annoying for me was most of the Japanese pronunciations were way off. Lastly, as stated elsewhere the character voices are infuriating also.

There are narrators that I really enjoy and I seek their work out. This is the first narrator I’ll avoid.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John
  • John
  • 20-09-19

Unbridled meh

Most of the characters sound like they're either whining or on the verge of tears. Cover is very misleading, grabbed this hoping for awesome mech fights. Kinda sorta got one maybe one and a half. All in all, do not recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 19-09-19

Worth the credit

It took an hour of wondering if I had wasted my credit on this book. Even half way through something still bothered me that I couldn't put my finger on then it came to me. The narrator's voice alternate to give distinction between two or more characters was whiny and almost continuously pleady. Which gave a weird context to characters who needed to come off domineering. I do listen on 1.45 speed because I find the speed most books are recorded tedious, however, even at speed 1 I found hear the pleading of character voices that needed to be fierce. That being said I did enjoy the story though some of the plotline seemed a bit like Philip K Dick. I will get the second book.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tanuki_Link
  • Tanuki_Link
  • 04-09-19

terrible reader

The narrator is terrible and ruins the book, which might be good but it's unlistenable. His female voices are especially bad, but all are awful. and he can't pronounce mecha, which, in a book with a mech on its cover, is a problem.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R. Hinckley
  • R. Hinckley
  • 11-08-19

Interesting premise, dull execution

The theory behind this alt-history title is a solid premise, but where it derails is extreme repetition coupled with a fairly dull story. The narrators mispronunciations and mostly flat reading contribute to the book being lifeless instead of elevating the material.