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Tokyo Zero

(My Tokyo Death Cult)

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Author: Marc Horne
Published: 2004
Language: English
Wordcount: 72,219 / 201 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 72.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 6,737
Added to site: 2004.07.06 8779
License: by-nc-nd

Michael Blake is in Tokyo to help out with the end of the world. Living in the Tokyo of the gangs, the losers and the outsiders, Blake and a cell of Japanese psychopaths plot to unleash a new kind of bio-chemical horror on an unsupecting populace of daydreaming salary-people.

Show Excerpt

fth floor.

I turned from the window and I felt underwater or deep in sand. When I managed to complete the turn, I saw varying degrees of a hundred close but sheltered faces. We were all traveling together.


After nearly an hour the voice of the announcer said "Kanamachhhhhhhh......"

My mind had been listening to train wheels clatter the same word out repeatedly. so I was ready. I wriggled out of the train and on to a nearly empty platform. The station was slightly elevated and fenced off, but very close to the roads and houses and people. There was an enormous painted movie poster which showed either Kevin Costner or Harrison Ford leaping through an enormous fireball. This ambiguity was something that I felt Hollywood should look into. The movie appeared to be called "Rub Bomb"

Then I saw my first Let's Kiosk: a small cheerful box full of telephone-book-thick manga and impossibly glossy 'female' magazines and snacks and drinks. I walked toward it, aware that I was being o

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.6 from 13 reviews: ****

This novel would have been much better if it had remained as a glimmer in the authors mind.


"Tokyo Zero"
Reads like an English teacher in Japan's diary plus unoriginal plot to gas the Tokyo subway. Relatively little happens in this long-winded story burdened with philosophical & cultural ramblings. Poor writing abounds; I had to constantly re-read sections to figure out what was going on.

The text is rife with phrases like, "elicited a smile of impressedness" and discourse such as, "we (man on Earth) communicated like we did sex. In the dark/spasmodically/ somewhat selfishly/ full of inherited symbols/only one on one at root/ amounting to nothing in the best case/in the worst case we were not joined but instead divided... something new came in the world but was too much like us to be relevant."

If uninspired by the first few chapters, just stop reading! It does not get better.


Great book! Serious character development and also gets a bit trippy at times! Lots of action and just a hint of romance.

C. Alan Loewen

I am delighted to read works released under a Creative Commons License that are actually very professional, readable, and thoughtful.

I very much enjoyed what I must assume is the author's familiarity with Tokyo as he weaves a story of a young man who infiltrates a secret society to bring about his own personal aims.

C. Alan Loewen


An interesting story... Having lived in Japan and having made many visits to Tokyo, I could easily related to the places in the story and imagine myself being there again... However, with that being said, I found parts of the books needed to be re-read in order to follow the plot. Hopefully, I understood the end.

Overall, I found it as a good read on my daily commute to work.


A curate's egg.

Bits of this book are really superb. The idea is excellent and the characters are potentially interesting. The writing, where it is good, is very good indeed. Unfortunately, it lacks cohesion and consistency which, ultimately, makes this a patchy read.

Claire Innes

I just stumbled across Tokyo Zero while doing some research and it was a brilliant surprise as I shared a house with you a long time ago in Koiwa. Although I haven't had a chance to read it yet; going by the excerpts it really brings the place alive and you write with such verve. Really looking forward to reading it and remembering some old haunts and so pleased to see that you finished and published the book. Hope itís a big success and that you're well too.


An unusually good book that took me by surprise and had me seeing the world through the eyes of someone totally foreign in outlook and origin. A bit complex, in concept and psychology more than anything obvious. A superb book, welll worth anyone's time.


Fun read especially if you're into Japan and related topics. The author seems to have even spent a bit of time in Tokyo for research as he describes how the character reacts to certain situations. Definitely enjoyed the writing style, "what an incredible fucking suit and inside that suit was a man..." He did a good job in describing the areas of Tokyo, albeit with a few minor continuity issues, ie why would he leave the JR for the subway at Kanda to go to Shibuya to exit the JR Hachiko exit? Or the fact that Koiwa isn't really that ghetto, but to make Tokyo seedy you really need to employ dramatic license so it's understandable (I was ironically reading this as I passed through Koiwa, but i was on the express train so I couldn't get out and check around.) Otherwise great plot, nice twists, interesting characters, good descriptions, quick read, loved the book.

Corbin Went

Fast Paced, present tense and a story I couldn't leave for more than an hour.

I really enjoyed this one -- there were parts where I felt like it could have been tightened up a bit, but the story, the characters, and the overall plot were quite engaging.

52 Books

This book was really difficult to read, but I struggled through it. I had problems with the point of view constantly changing, the incomplete thoughts, and I never seemed to know who was saying what...

The story line was stretched too long, and I think that this story would have been better as a short story rather than a novel.


Tokyo Zero has got to be one of the best books I have ever read. Horne does a good job portraying this semi-cowboy character in Modern Tokyo who has to play his part in a biochemical attack in a Tokyo train station. Parallels can easily seen between the book and Aum Shinrikyo's attack of the same nature. Cyberpunk meets a Tarantino Universe where every moment is filled with non-stop action and plot twists.I loved the book a lot and I recomment it to anyone who loved Snow Crash by Neil Steaphenson or Kill Bill.



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