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?
"Oooh, a chilling premise. Let's find out what happened to these missing girls! Creepy! Who did this? Are they satanic? Are they... oh, I'm getting bored. yawn. Wait, what just happened? Better rewind... Oh, okay, this is getting better... Ooooh no way! Wow this is getting good!... Oh. Actually, that's kind of a letdown.... Well, I saw that coming. Should I just stop listening? No, i really want to see what happens. What should I have for dinner? ..."
-My brain while listening to this book
As a true crime lover and someone not familiar with this story, I learned not only about the story of the crime, but also the background. Learning about subculture of Japan was fascinating.
Narration was excellent. The delivery was like a news announcement, in a way, but kept my attention. It was dramatic but not theatrical. There were times when I felt the author could have included less detail but at the same time that detail was necessary to understanding the characters involved, the crime, and the society in which that crime occurred. Overall highly recommended.
The pace of Parry's reporting is nearly perfect. He neither prolongs nor rushes the story.
This narrative is short on dialogue, but there are enough transcribed telephone conversations, interview excepts, and diary entries to break up the detailed descriptive content.
The author tried to dress up the victim's tawdry line of work. His careful phrasing respected Japanese and Korean cultures. He made the hostess clubs of the east seem more accessible and less foreign to even the most conservative, Judeo-Christian, western ears. That's difficult to do.
I didn't understand the book's initial reference to old men and sleeping girls early in the book.
I did not at all appreciate the irrelevant chapter about political oddballs who sent the author hate mail.
Do you really need to know about Jane's childhood or Japan's once upon an empire subjugation of Korea? By the end, you realize yes, definitely. It works. Like Joji Obara, I didn't want it to end.
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