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Reviewed by Ryan Jordan for Readers' Favorite
Motions and Moments: More Essays on Tokyo by Michael Pronko is a collection of essays about life in Tokyo, and particularly how it deviates from the life Western people might be used to in engaging with Eastern culture. Each essay is like a self-contained explanation of one facet of life in the context of a grander conversation, and each one is a complete work in its own right. They all flow very well together and contribute to the whole, some discussing behavior in Tokyo, or demeanor, or social norms, and how to interact effectively. All are told through the lens of one man and his interactions which gives it a narrative flow. This makes it almost feel like a fictional novel of short stories and vignettes rather than a collection of essays.
Each of the essays has an interesting tidbit to share and the quality of them is quite impressive. A lot of similar works don't have the same conversational quality of this work where the author says a lot of interesting things and also sounds like he knows what he's talking about. It was easy to read and contained powerful messages that don't necessarily apply only to life in Tokyo, but pertain to life in general, and this elevates the work to new heights. Motions and Moments: More Essays on Tokyo by Michael Pronko is a real winner and worth reading by anyone who is interested in conversational essays by a talented and experienced author.