Wonderfully surreal and painfully real, this is the story of a Japanese salaryman who loses his job at a TV corporation on his 40th birthday and slips through to a different layer of society. In a shadowy world where curious characters show him the way—a traveling salesman with a passion for Elvis, a pachinko pro with dreams of returning to Hawaii, and a TV producer who will stop at nothing to get his big break—Kenji sets off on a roller-coaster ride of misadventures. Via a bizarre chain of happenstance (including being struck by lightning while wielding a golf club) he finds himself responsible for a bizarre TV reality game show. Against all odds, the salaryman dies—to be reborn as a human being. Fresh, original, and funny, this astonishing debut novel brilliantly captures the fast-changing culture of Japan and its surreal underside in an engaging portrait of an ordinary man battling with the contradictory demands of contemporary life.