The second book by prize-winning Japanese novelist Fuminori Nakamura to be available in English translation, a follow-up to 2012’s critically acclaimed The Thief—another fantastically creepy, electric literary thriller that explores the limits of human depravity—and the powerful human instinct to resist evil.
When Fuminiro Kuki is eleven years old, his elderly, enigmatic father calls him into his study for a meeting. “I created you to be a cancer on the world,” his father tells him.
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When Toru Narazaki's girlfriend, Ryoko, disappears, he tries to track her down, despite the warnings of a private detective he's hired to find her. Ryoko's past is shrouded in mystery, but the one concrete clue leads him to a compound in the heart of Tokyo, with a group that seems to be a cult led by a charismatic guru. Narazaki plunges into the secretive world of the cult, ready to expose himself to any of the guru's brainwashing tactics if it means he can learn the truth about Ryoko. But the cult isn't what he expected, and he has no idea of the bubbling violence beneath its surface.
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The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly that sometimes he doesn't even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him; nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections.... But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life and offers him a job he can't refuse.
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From the moment university student Nishikawa spots the gun next to the dead man he's stumbled across on a nighttime walk, the world around him blurs. The gun - loaded with four bullets - brings an intoxicating sense of excitement to his life. But soon merely possessing the gun is not enough. He must shoot it.
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Yurika is a freelancer in the Tokyo underworld. She poses as a prostitute, carefully targeting potential johns, selecting powerful and high-profile men. When she is alone with them, she drugs them and takes incriminating photos to sell for blackmail purposes. She knows very little about the organization she's working for and is perfectly satisfied with the arrangement, as long as it means she doesn't have to reveal anything about her identity, either. She operates alone and lives a private, solitary life.
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Instantly reminiscent of the work of Osamu Dazai and Patricia Highsmith, Fuminori Nakamura's latest novel is a dark and twisting house of mirrors that philosophically explores the violence of aesthetics and the horrors of identity. A young writer arrives at a prison to interview a convict. The writer has been commissioned to write a full account of the case, from its bizarre and grisly details to the nature of the man behind the crime.
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Fuminori Nakamura's Akutagawa Prize-winner plunges us into the depths of a young man's winding, troubled psyche. An unnamed taxi driver in Tokyo has experienced a rupture in his everyday life. He cannot stop daydreaming of suicide, envisioning himself returning to the earth in what soon become terrifying blackout episodes. His live-in girlfriend, Sayuko, is in a similarly bad phase, surrendering to alcoholism to escape the memory of her miscarriage.
Regular price: $10.49
Yurika is a freelancer in the Tokyo underworld. She poses as a prostitute; carefully targeting powerful, high-profile men - who she then drugs and takes incriminating photos of to sell for blackmail purposes. She knows very little about the organisation she's working for and is perfectly satisfied with the arrangement, as long as it means she doesn't have to reveal anything about her identity. But when a figure from Yurika's past emerges, she finds herself in a trap that she can’t seem to find a way out of....
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On a nighttime walk along a Tokyo riverbank, a young man named Nishikawa stumbles on a dead body, beside which is lying a gun. From the moment Nishikawa makes the decision to take the gun, the world around him blurs. But Nishikawa's life becomes unexpectedly complicated: he finds himself romantically involved with two women while his estranged biological father lies dying in a hospital. Through it all he can't stop thinking about the gun - and the four bullets preloaded in its chamber.
Regular price: $10.84