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Friday 17 February 2017

‘The Gun’ By Fuminori Nakamura

Translated by Allison Markin Powell
Published by Soho Crime,
5 January 2016.
ISBN 978-1-6169-5590-8 (HB)
24 January 2017.
ISBN 978-1-6169-5768-1 (PB)

This author does not write simple stories.  They are complex, convoluted, psychologically intense tales requiring the reader’s undivided attention.  Nishikawa is a young man, a student at the university, drifting along with little insight into his own personality and emotions.  One night, while walking at night in a rainstorm with nothing better to do, he encounters a dead man with a gun near the body.

He picks up the revolver, and thus begins an obsessive possession of the weapon.  The gun takes over Nishikawa’s life as he continuously holds it, polishes it and thinks about it.  He merges his mental and physical senses with what he perceives to be the pistol’s purpose.  The book slowly develops, looking into his mind as he acts with what he thinks the weapon wants.   As he ignores any sense of right or wrong, it is a far gone conclusion that fate will be tempted.

The Gun is the third novel by the author translated into English.  Each is a dark thriller pushing the boundaries between good and evil.  It is a forceful examination of a troubled personality reacting to a fixation on an inanimate object, and is a memorable analysis. Recommended.
Reviewer: Theodore Feit

Fuminori Nakamura was born in in Aichi on 2 September 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including the Oe Prize, Japan's largest literary award; the David L. Goodis Award; and the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The Thief (Corsair, 2013), his first novel to be translated into English, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other novels include Evil and the Mask (Soho Press, 2014) and Last Winter, We Parted (Soho Press, 2014)


Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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