Review of ‘No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners!’ by Joe Palermo

This short memoir about an American’s experiences living in Japan in the 1980s is a good read. The title refers to the property adverts he kept finding when he was looking for places to live. I think it sums up the book’s content quite well, as the author communicates what he has learnt about Japanese attitudes towards foreigners and Americans in particular.

Book cover with Japanese flag design.

The author went to Japan as an English teacher and stayed on, marrying a Japanese woman and building up his career. Eventually he moved back to the US but still visited Japan often. The writing style doesn’t have much flair and is not always engaging, but it’s an easy read and educational. The experiences are personal ones, so he writes about buying a car, getting married, going to the dentist, business trips, and other ordinary things which nevertheless demonstrate cultural differences. This book is an ideal quick read for anyone who wants to learn about Japan and also for those who have been there and want to read about similar experiences.

Independently published in 2020.

2 thoughts on “Review of ‘No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners!’ by Joe Palermo”

  1. Great review☺️ I love learning about the small differences in culture in different countries which affect everyday activities. Japan is somewhere I’d love to visit one day, it’s so different to here but so interesting too.

    1. Thanks! Japan is fascinating for a lot of people, I doubt I’d ever get there as I’m more of an armchair traveller, but it’s interesting to read about.

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