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.
“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)
Fact based book which was gripping, sad (because it was true) and a solid story about the dealings of life. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes true fiction (crime or mystery) but a book which allows us to reflect and analyze life.
If you like true crime, you will love this well-written book. The murders occurred in Japan. The author explores the psychology of Japanese culture as well as that of the murderer himself. I recommend this book.
Probably not from this author, but Simon Vance is as good as always.
His accent is appealing and he always does a good job as narrator.
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.
Saving the world, one person at a time, starting with me.
I would listen and will be listening to this story again. It is a great read, besides being a fascinating look inside a culture that is hardly ever exposed to us in the states.
The blood money.
Loved Simon's read.
Who are the people who eat darkness?
This book exceeded my expectations--it was thorough, meticulous, and consistently avoided racist or orientalist generalizations.
The (many) passages about the different con artists who tried to or did take advantage of Lucie Blackman's desperate parents.
The parts describing Roppongi nightlife and those contrasting western and Japanese police and legal systems were particularly interesting.
No, but it was a good book and I recommend it.
"Meandering" doesn't even come close to describing this book. I finished it, but only because it became kind of a personal mission to do so. (I had to take week-long breaks between listens.) I feel like this book could have been 3 hours shorter than it was, and the voice of the reader was like a spike in my ear by the end. In my humble opinion--it was about as bad as a book can get.
I couldn't stop listening once I started this audiobook. The story, from how Lucy found herself working as a Hostess in Roppongi to Joji Obara's fantastical defense left me feeling deeply uneasy. A harrowing true crime story I'd recommend to anyone but especially fans of the genre.
Designer, Dreamer, Digital Doer. I love to take walks, garden, and putter around while listening to a good book.
Yes. Simon Vance is one of the reasons I purchased it. I love his reading of the Stieg Larsson books. However, even Simon Vance started to sound bored by chapter two.
Disappointment. I did not care about a single character. There was no action.
This book was horrible. It would have made a nice long magazine article but as a book it sucked. I did not care about a single person in the book and it just did not get better the longer I listened. I'm sorry I wasted the time listening and will second guess any more recommendations from 99% Invisible...As the author said in chapter 26, "It's been such a long haul, a merciless torture..." DON'T LISTEN TO THIS!
Announced by a boring, monotonous voice, on the one hand, the book is tediously long and filled with unnecessary and distracting details. On the other hand, the truly interesting human factors, such as, why Obara actually killed Blackman, are missing. The story could have benefited from a better structured narrative.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.