Fiona Campbell (a published student)
May 2008

About the publication

Death of a Salaryman is the story of Japanese salaryman Kenji Yamada, who loses his job at a TV corporation on his 40th birthday, and slips through to a different layer of society, a shadowy world where curious characters show him the way – a travelling 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. He tries to make money from the pachinko machines but ends up in the post room of a huge bank. With a little help from his friends, he makes his way out and, via a bizarre chain of happenstance (including being struck by lightning while wielding a golf club), finds himself responsible for a TV reality game show so weirdly believable that some crazed TV executive may well be pitching it now...


Fiona Campbell's comic caper is an entertaining overview of Japanese society's collision with the worst excesses of western culture.

The Guardian

Kenji is the kind of luckless dreamer it's hard not to root for.

The Observer

This is an absolutely brilliant first novel.

The Times

An enjoyably sentimental journey of self–discovery, the novel betrays no hint of dislocation between author and subject matter.

The Financial Times