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Roseway Publishing

Living North of Lucky
Erik Gingles
1999, 208pp, soft cover, ISBN: 1-896496-13-X, $16.95 Can. $10.95 U.S.
Available from, Chapters online, and bookstores, or from the author

Chapters review: Erik Gingles and his wife Caroline did what many fresh-faced graduates burdened by students loans do - they leapt on the Far Eastern cash wagon for a six-month stay. Or so they thought! Nine years later, the pair had to wrench themselves away from a wealth of life-changing experiences and friendships. Full of trenchant and delightful observations about culture, tourism and seeing the world the old-fashioned, non-virtual way, Gingles' Living North of Lucky contains hysterical anecdotes about everything from tofu to Love Hotels. Yes, the Gingles came home filthy rich - but not in the monetary sense.

Reader Reviews from Chapters online

Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!! By: Murray Keenan from Halifax, N.S ( Date: 9/20/99 7:34:16 PM This book had me laughing out loud. It consisted of pages and pages of comedy and warmth. An absolute "Must Read"!

Laugh Out Loud!! By: Jayne Fownes from Moncton, NB ( Date: 8/9/99 5:48:53 PM I laughed at and loved every page! I have owned the book for three days and already read it twice! The author finds humour in any situation. I'd take a trip with him any day!


A series of anecdotes and observations about life in Japan from Erik Gingles, a Canadian writer and CBC broadcaster. In 1990, Erik and his wife Caroline were part of the mass exodus of recent university graduates who headed to the Far East to teach English, earn some decent cash and see another part of the world. While most did not stay as long as Erik and Caroline (nine years), all will be able to relate to the experiences presented in Living North Of Lucky. From his arrival at Tokyo's Narita International Airport to his work covering the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998, the author accumulated a number of comical stories and observations; sadly, too many of them involve simple linguistic misunderstandings and cultural gaffes. Yes, they are fun to read about -- the department store that thought an appropriate Christmas decoration would be Santa Claus nailed to a cross, the people that were convinced Erik was tennis player John McEnroe -- but eventually these stories wear a bit thin. The author seems like an extremely likable person, even taking a paragraph to apologize for the one chapter that relates a serious incident, but by the end of the book one wishes he would at least speculate on the cultural forces that make these experiences so amusing.

Winter Olympic Correspondent for USA TODAY online, and McLean's magazine contributor, Erik Gingles, is back from Japan (finally paid off his student loan) What started out as a six month whim, ended up being a nine year experience of cultural blunders and guffaws in the country's North Alps. This is not a book on Japan per se, but life and its funny ironies.

Find out about : -The "Tofu Man " -The "Garbage Gestapo" -Why it's perfectly natural to bathe naked in very close proximity to strangers and a whole lot more."Hilarious! Funny, funny, funny!" -- Ray Gingles (father)

"Erik's writing is so refreshing, yet so familiar." -- Barbara Gingles(mother)

"If I could only read one book into the new millennium this wouldbe it!" -- Coroline Gingles (wife)