Thursday, June 20, 2013
The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
The Thief lives his life on the outskirts of society. Living in a small room in Tokyo, he has no family. He steals what he needs, robbing the rich men and women around him, sometimes for profit but more often just to prove that he can. The Thief loves no one and no one loves him.
But that state of affairs changes when he sees a young boy and his mother in a supermarket shoplifting food. They are clumsy and about to get caught so he takes them under his wing. He becomes attached to the boy who looks up to this man who is the only one to show him any care.
A former acquaintance comes back into the Thief's life, and talks him into working with him on a simple robbery for a mob boss, Kizaki. Kizaki needs some loners to fill out his crew for this robbery and offers a fortune for their help. The robbery is successful, but The Thief is now under the control of Kizaki. Will this lead to his downfall?
Readers will be compelled to read and finish the story of The Thief. It is bleak in a way that seems to echo the underside of Japanese society, and in a way that American mysteries rarely exhibit. The reader emphasizes with The Thief, although he lives an amoral life. This book has received many awards. It as one of the Amazon Best Books Of The Month in March 2012. It was a Wall Street Journal Best Mystery of 2012, and won the prestigious Oe Prize for literature in Japan. This book is recommended for mystery and suspense readers.