On A Woman's Nails, Wasatch Range writes, "It's too bad that more of the author's brilliance, discipline and classroom observations couldn't have been interspersed throughout the book. The story appeared to be one horrible grief-stricken viewpoint of what it was like to be left by the love of his life in Japan. I realize that such angst would overtake one's soul at such a point when one is 26 or 27 years old, but he actually did observe a lot of other things that were worth reading about. Some wisdom finally came out in the last 10% of the book. I think this book is best read at top speed. Then the total presence of that grief and the repetitiveness of his trying to get out of it, plus the few minor editing errors don't appear so strong. Anyway, the last 10% of the book is worth it. All the characters plus their characterizations stay with you."
On B-Sides, she wrote, "This is a quite insightful telling of what it's like in Japan from an American's point of view ... who has been there for decades and certainly knows his way around Japan, and can represent its quirks well. For that, it's funny.
"But the major flaw is that Crowe is really, really, really out of touch with the way men in the public eye refer to their wives in the US these days. Crowe's humor about his wife is sooo 30 years ago. Men in the public eye, who want to connect to connect to their audience DO NOT REFER TO THEIR WIVES DISRESPECTFULLY these days! IT IS NOT FUNNY!
"A very good example of how nicely men are referring to their wives in public currently, is Paul Rieser's book, Familyhood. Another set of very good examples is how the married chefs refer to their spouses on the popular TV show The Chew. It may be an accurate description of the male tone in Japan, for an author to still joke disrespectfully of one's wife, but for a reader in the U.S. these days, is a real turnoff.
"Edit (at a later time): I bought Crowe's other Kindle book, A Woman's Nails, because I otherwise really like his kind of humor, his outlook on life, and his niche. I hope, by reading his other book I'll find it possible to like his work anyway, despite what I said before.
"2nd edit: I finally finished A Woman's Nails. It was tough reading the first 90% of that book, because I kept thinking he verified my original opinion of him. It wasn't until the last 10% that I realized that this was an author I really could respect, that he had a brilliant side to him (or he wouldn't have captured the reader all the way through, and he was disciplined towards women as well, despite his own natural urges). It did change my opinion of the author, so I'm putting the deserved stars back on my review."
Many thanks, Wasatch, whoever you are.