An anonymous Tokyo pickpocket finds his past catching up with him when his first partner reappears in his life and enlists him for a seemingly uncomplicated heist involving a prominent politician who is subsequently found dead.
Instantly reminiscent of the work of Osamu Dazai and Patricia Highsmith, Fuminori Nakamuras 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 the bizarre and grisly details of the crime to the nature of the man behind it. The suspect, a world-renowned photographer named Kiharazaka, has a deeply unsettling portfolio--lurking beneath the surface of each photograph is an acutely obsessive fascination with his subject.
He stands accused of murdering two women--both burned alive--and will likely face the death penalty. But something isnt quite right. As the young writer probes further, his doubts about this man as a killer intensify, and he struggles to maintain his sense of reason and justice. Is Kiharazaka truly guilty, or will he die to protect someone else?
Evoking Truman Capotes In Cold Blood and Rynosuke Akutagawas Hell Screen, Fuminori Nakamura has crafted a twisted talea that asks a deceptively sinister question: Is it possible to truly capture the essence of another human being?
From the Hardcover edition.
In Tokyo a college student’s discovery and eventual obsession with a stolen handgun awakens something dark inside him and threatens to consume not only his life but also his humanity. Nakamura’s Japanese debut is a noir-spun tale that probes the violence inherent to aesthetics. On a nighttime walk along a Tokyo riverbank, a young man named Nishikawa stumbles on a dead body, beside which lies a gun. From the moment Nishikawa decides to take the gun, the world around him blurs. Knowing he possesses the weapon brings an intoxicating sense of purpose to his dull university life. But soon Nishikawa’s personal entanglements become unexpectedly complicated: he finds himself romantically involved with two women while his biological father, whom he’s never met, lies dying in a hospital. Through it all, he can’t stop thinking about the gun--and the four bullets loaded in its chamber. As he spirals into obsession, his focus is consumed by one idea: that possessing the gun is no longer enough--he must fire it. From the Hardcover edition.
Zen-Noir master Nakamura returns to the Tokyo of The Thief, where a young grifter named Yurika finds herself in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the shadowy crime lord Kizaki. 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, doing her best to lock away painful memories. But when a figure from Yurika’s past resurfaces, she realizes there is someone out there who knows all her secrets: her losses, her motivations, her every move. There are whispers of a crime lord named Kizaki--“a monster,” she is told--and Yurika finds herself trapped in a game of cat and mouse. Is she wily enough to escape one of the most sadistic men in Tokyo? From the Hardcover edition.
A darkly melancholic tale that combines Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Camus’ The Fall set in Tokyo--Nakamura’s Akutagawa Prize-winning novel, one of Japan’s most prestigious literary awards, is the here translated into English for the first time and marks another high-water mark in this important writer’s career. The Akutagawa Prize-Winning Novel As an unnamed Tokyo taxi driver works a night shift, picking up fares that offer him glimpses into the lives of ordinary people, he can’t escape his own nihilistic thoughts. Almost without meaning to, he puts himself in harm’s way; he can’t stop daydreaming of suicide, envisioning himself returning to the earth in obsessive fantasies that soon become terrifying blackout episodes. The truth is, his longestranged father has tried to reach out to him, triggering a cascade of traumatic memories. As the cab driver wrestles with the truth about his past and the history of violence in his childhood, he must also confront his present, which is no less complicated or grim. A precursor to Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist The Thief, The Boy in the Earth is a closely told character study that poses a difficult question: Are some lives so damaged they are beyond redemption? Is every child worth trying to save? A poignant and thought-provoking tour de force by one of Japan’s leading literary voices.