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People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo - and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up | [Richard Lloyd Parry]

People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo - and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up

Lucie Blackman - tall, blond, 21 years old - stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucie’s desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve?
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Publisher's Summary

Lucie Blackman - tall, blond, 21 years old - stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucie’s desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve?

Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, followed the case from the beginning. Over the course of a decade, as the rest of the world forgot but the trial dragged on, he traveled to four continents to interview those connected with the story, assiduously followed the court proceedings, and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. Ultimately he earned the respect of the victim’s family and delved deep into the mind and background of the man accused of the crime - Joji Obara, described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.” The result is a book at once thrilling and revelatory.

Richard Lloyd Parry is the Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief of the London Times and the author of In the Time of Madness.

©2011, 2012 Richard Lloyd Parry (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A masterpiece of writing this surely is, but it is more than that - it is a committed, compassionate, courageous act of journalism that changes the way we think. Everyone who has ever loved someone and held that life dear should read this stunning book, and shiver.” (Chris Cleave, number one New York Times best-selling author of Little Bee)

“I opened this book as a skeptic. I am not a lover of true crime…. But Richard Lloyd Parry's remarkable examination of [this] crime, what it revealed about Japanese society and how it unsettled conventional notions of bereavement, elevates his book above the genre. People Who Eat Darkness is a searing exploration of evil and trauma and how both ultimately elude understanding or resolution.… Just as the grief of Blackman’s parents is unassaugeable, Obara and his motives are unknowable. That is the darkness at the heart of this book, one Lloyd Parry conveys with extraordinary effect and emotion.… People Who Eat Darkness is a fascinating mediation that does not pretend to offer pat answers to obscene mysteries.” (New York Times Book Review)

“[A] masterful literary true crime story, which earns its comparisons to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and Norman Mailer's The Executioner’s Song.… Like the case of Etan Patz, the Lucie Blackman disappearance captured the public imagination. By writing about it in such culturally informed detail, Parry subtly encourages an understanding that goes past the headlines. It is a dark, unforgettable ride.” (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (554 )
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4.2 (484 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Calliope 06-11-14
    Calliope 06-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    252
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    189
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    "Weird title, interesting story"

    I have no idea what the title is about, even after listening to the whole book. It means absolutely nothing in relation to the book,as far as I can tell. But if you ignore the title, it's an interesting story........It looks not only at the Tokyo Hostess Clubs like the one where the dead girl was working, but also at the Tokyo justice system, from the police through the courts.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Chicago, IL, United States 01-29-14
    John Chicago, IL, United States 01-29-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fascinating study of human nature"
    Would you consider the audio edition of People Who Eat Darkness to be better than the print version?

    To call this a "who dunnit" would be doing this book an extreme disservice. It proves the old adage that "truth is stranger than fiction". It explores a side of Japan of which most are unaware. Masterful presentation by Simon Vance.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 10-24-13
    Aaron 10-24-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark, Disturbing...true."

    I sat on this review for the book "People Who Eat Darkness" for a few months. I processed whether or not I actually wanted to write a review.

    We join the parents of Lucie Blackwood in a hopeless search for their missing girl in the huge city of Tokyo.

    This was a compelling read, but not a very nice one. It left me with the desire to wash my hands after having read it, and try to unread portions of this book that left me feeling unclean. For, after all, this book enters the underbelly of Japan in search of a missing girl.

    Parry has written a true story, in a way that makes it read like a crime story - one that enters demented minds of people who operate in darkness.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Thomas Virginia 06-28-13
    Kim Thomas Virginia 06-28-13 Member Since 2013

    the_blonde_chick

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Far too slow"
    Would you try another book from Richard Lloyd Parry and/or Simon Vance?

    Probably not from this author, but Simon Vance is as good as always.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something upbeat.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His accent is appealing and he always does a good job as narrator.


    Did People Who Eat Darkness inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The story starts with Lucy disappearing, and then... nothing happens. Its more than halfway through the book before anything related to her disappearance starts to happen. I was not interested in the detailed back story of Lucy, her family, her boyfriend, her BFF and other people in the story. I also would have preferred if the story were chronological, instead of being told in chunks that go back and forth in time.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 04-07-15
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 04-07-15 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow. Fantastic."

    There is something to be said about a real life mystery. Something that a Fictional story just cannot convey. The author does a tremendous job with the information he gathers being so close to the story. Even when being 'part' of the story, he doesn't inject himself to the point of being subjective. Not knowing about this incident at, all I'm sure, contributed to my liking it this much. But it it a well written book that anyone who enjoys mysteries would enjoy. worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abigail H. 09-29-14
    Abigail H. 09-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too long, distracting narrator"
    Would you try another book from Richard Lloyd Parry and/or Simon Vance?

    Probably not


    What was most disappointing about Richard Lloyd Parry’s story?

    I was told this was an attention getter and downloaded it for a long car trip. I listened to an hour or two the night before because I heard it was a slow start and wanted the interesting parts to keep me alert during driving. It kept me entertained for maybe 4 hours of driving, and then dragged on for too long. I can't tell if everything came together in the end because I had to turn it off and find less boring material to keep me attentive during the drive.


    Do you think People Who Eat Darkness needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Overall, it just dragged on too long and entertained too many offshoots. I hope I get the energy to finish it and see if everything comes together in the end, but am doubtful that the first 7 hours of listening will compel me to finish it. Too long, and the narrators voice was incredibly distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray 08-16-14
    Ray 08-16-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Sad that it's true, but a great read."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes.This book had me in suspense from the start, given that the main character seemingly ran to Tokyo like most ppl walk out to get some air, not an ounce of caution.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of People Who Eat Darkness?

    How the main character despite how uncomfortable the surroundings were, took the hostess job.There were red flags all over doing that.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When they got Obara into the court room.


    If you could give People Who Eat Darkness a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Culture driven sickness


    Any additional comments?

    It's amazing how some ppl reason away the overall strange behavior of this country's people.Different doesn't always mean sick, yet where these ppl are concerned if one looks at how they are when in contact with them in general, warning bells would go off whereas to be politically correct it is always said of different cultures, "That's just their way."This is one place I would never visit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy ny, NY, USA 06-19-14
    Wendy ny, NY, USA 06-19-14 Member Since 2015
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    "yuck"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    well written tale of creepy sleazy people... and a murderer.


    Would you recommend People Who Eat Darkness to your friends? Why or why not?

    interesting enough, but doesn't offer a very sympathetic view of the greedy, attention desperate, druggie drunks that put their dignity at risk by "hostessing" in japan. or their sleazy crazy families...


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    i had pity for the seemingly weakest character, the dead girls sister who seems to be the only one with any sense...poor girl.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from People Who Eat Darkness?

    it was well edited and paced accordingly. there was a ridiculous character tangent (Mike) that amounted to nothing and it was a good 45 minute excursion into idiocy.


    Any additional comments?

    the book was tawdry...but well written...kind of made the poor family look really petty, and stupid.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebekah Lakeview, Arkansas, United States 06-01-14
    Rebekah Lakeview, Arkansas, United States 06-01-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Frightening non-fiction"
    Any additional comments?

    This true story will chill parents of girls and remind us that there are predators who look for naive young people to prey upon. Simon Vance's narration was excellent. Non-fiction audio at its best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LL 05-04-14
    LL 05-04-14
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    "Powerful!"

    The true story is simple: a girl goes missing in Japan. Then it gets strange. If it were a novel, no one would believe the twists and turns. I learned so much about Japan and why young girls are drawn there. One of the best true crime books I have ever read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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