Book Review: The Thief (2009) by Fuminori Nakamura

Within the huge plethora of literary works tailored into Japanese cinema, it’s a surprise why Fuminori Nakamura’s Oe Prize Winner “The Thief” has not been transferred to the massive display screen but, though, contemplating the “The Gun” has already finished so, this one won’t be delayed for much longer. Allow us to take a more in-depth take a look at this really nice ebook, although. 


The Thief, who stays anonymous all through the novel, is a seasoned pickpocket, whose thought and mentality about “the artwork” might present materials for a complete guide. In his tailor-made go well with, he strikes by means of the crowds, preferring trains and subway stations, scans his victims, and proceeds on “lightening” them from their wallets with an ease that often even leads him to neglect his deeds. He’s additionally a loner, with no seen social connections of any sort, which primarily, permits him to deal solely along with his chosen “career”. He does have a previous, nevertheless, which finally catches as much as him, when Ishikawa, his first companion and mentor, reappears in his life after a time, and presents him a job he can’t refuse, however attributable to blackmail and never the worth of the chance. The job is, supposedly, a straightforward breaking and getting into, but in addition acquaints him with Kizaki, a real villain with a grasp plan whose measurement even he can’t fully fathom. In the meantime, the Thief additionally will get acquainted with a prostitute and her son, a younger boy who needs to observe in his footsteps.  

Evidently, probably the most spectacular side of the ebook is the evaluation of pickpocketing. The element right here, from the scanning of the sufferer, the way in which many thieves often cooperate to make their deed simpler, to the way in which the fingers must be positioned to ensure that the motion to go away no hint to the sufferer by any means, is actually astonishing. Much more so, Fuminori Nakamura implements the boy to additionally spotlight frequent errors inexperienced pickpockets are likely to make, in a method that appears very similar to a lesson, and by no likelihood, a cautionary story. One might simply draw a comparability with Kazuhiko Hasegawa’s movie “The Man Who Stole the Solar”, which portrayed with each element how one can construct a home made atomic bomb, with the quantity of element right here being positively of the identical degree. 

Other than this central side, Nakamura additionally presents an intricate thriller, with the agony relating to The Thief’s actions permeating the entire novel, and turning into much more intense upon the looks of his former colleague, and much more so, Kizaki. The latter, particularly, emerges as a really spectacular character, whose genius is simply matched by his cruelty, in top-of-the-line villains we have now seen in against the law novel, moreover as a result of he’s fully unpredictable. The best way he impacts the protagonist’s life is actually memorable, with their each interplay being charming, and the ending really surprising in its multi-twist and openness. On one other degree, his presence additionally makes a remark about destiny, and the way the way forward for individuals is formed by others. 

The Thief, nevertheless, is not any much less fascinating. Nakamura chooses to not dwell on his previous significantly, avoiding the cliche of constructing his scenario one in every of a melodramatic household background that pushed him into crime or one thing related, however as a substitute presents just some glimpses on it, of which the idea of the tower emerges as probably the most fascinating, if additionally ineligible one. Moreover, by means of his character, and this specific method, Nakamura additionally feedback on the idea of crime, in a method that may very well be described as philosophical, whereas, in reference to the sensible evaluation, completes the “guide” much more. Lastly,  the way in which The Thief, considerably unwillingly, turns into related to the boy and his mom, makes him an interesting determine, additionally permitting the reader to empathize with him, along with his total perspective on thieving additionally shifting into the identical path. 

In equally spectacular vogue, the entire aforementioned are offered within the simply 211 pages of the novel (Corsair version), with Nakamura being brilliantly laconic with phrases and fairly tight in his construction, in method although, that doesn’t strip the ebook of any sort contextual worth, primarily highlighting all his feedback with none pointless muddle. Reality be informed, the final half is considerably far-fetched, significantly relating to the final goal, however the agony deriving from that half makes it fairly simple to disregard even this minor fault. 

“The Thief” is a really nice ebook, one that’s as simple to learn as it’s charming and conceptually wealthy. All we have now to do now could be await the film. 



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