By Fuminori Nakamura
A noirish page-turner set in modern-day Tokyo, The Thief follows a seasoned pickpocket involved in a crime that takes him way out of his depth. Fuminori Nakamura is THE exciting new young voice in Japanese fiction.
Nishimura is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves through the crowded Tokyo streets, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes even he doesn't remember the snatch. To him, people are just 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 his old partner-in-crime reappears and offers him a job he can't refuse.
It should have been easy: break into an apartment, tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of his safe, no-one gets hurt. But the day after the job, Nishimura learns that the old man was a prominent politician - and that he has been brutally murdered. Suddenly, Nishimura finds himself caught in a tangle so tight that even he might not be able to escape.
Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. In 2002, he won the prestigious Shincho Newcomer's Award for his first novel, A Gun, and in 2005 he won the Akutagawa prize for The Boy in the Earth.The Thief, winner of the 2009 Oe Prize, Japan's most important literary award, is his first novel to be published in English.
- Other details
- Publication date:
16 Aug 2012
- Page count:
A masterpiece in miniature . . . wonderfully deft . . . The Thief seems destined to become a landmark thriller. — Daily Mail
An intelligent, compelling and surprisingly moving tale, and highly recommended. — Laura Wilson, The Guardian
Nakamura's achievement is to dovetail the various elements in the most adroit of fashions, producing a mesmeric piece of crime fiction and a cold-eyed meditation on modern society in which predatory human nature is accepted as the norm. And the author's fatalistic tone is rounded off with a devastatingly surprising end. — The Independent
Nakamura is a name to watch. — Daily Mirror
An excellent tale...Every word is unfolding towards a cleverly-crafted conclusion. — Yorkshire Evening Post
Japanese fiction is the new Scandicrime - and if The Thief is anything to go by, it is apparently just as dark and plentiful. A detective story told from the other side of the fence, brilliantly spun in the narrative voice of a skilled pickpocket. — The Pulse
A meditation on what it is like to be alone and on the nature of fate and free will, and featuring a lead character who would look at home in a 19th century Russian novel.' — Big Issue
A psychological thriller that will grip your imagination from the very first page. — Crime Ficton Lover
The Thief is a swift piece of crime noir, surprisingly light on grit but weighted by existential dread. It's simple and utterly compelling - great beach reading for the deeply cynical. If you crossed Michael Connelly and Camus and translated it from Japanese. — Grantland
Japanese hard-boiled detective writing... The Thief does for Japanese fiction what John Woo did for Chinese film making: bringing the darker side to a [western] audience. — Daily Beast
There is a feeling right through this excellent tale about a pickpocket that every word is unfolding towards a cleverly crafted conclusion . . . Gripping. — Irish Examiner