The Push Man collects sixteen short stories by the acclaimed Japanese manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Tatsumi is particularly renowned and recognized for his art style, which is “restrained, minimal, and stylized,” according to Adrian Tomine. No one has the big eyes and triangular faces in Tatsumi’s books–the simple line drawings seem to be a blend of Japanese and American styles. The sixteen short stories in this book are all snapshots in the lives of men in their twenties, many of them sexual in nature. One story is about a man who makes his living running pornography at private parties, another is a tale of a man who purposely engineers an accident at work so he can collect the disability insurance so his wife can start a club. The protagonists feel helpless and under the thumb of the women they are romantically or sexually involved with. These men then take drastic steps to feel in control s, typically ending up in a worse place than they started out. The Push Man showcase an interesting and insightful perspective on life in Japan. “I myself am a very normal person,” says Yoshihiro Tatsumi in the book’s epilogue. “Please do not interpret these stories as representative of the author’s personality.” The fact that he felt such a statement was necessary encompasses the tone of The Push Man –not appropriate for kids and younger teens.

The Push Man and Other Stories
by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
ISBN: 9781896597850
Drawn and Quarterly, 2005

  • Gina Gagliano

    Past Reviewer

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