Monday, April 1, 2013

Evil and the Mask by Fuminori Nakamura

About the Book

The second book by prize-winning Japanese novelist Fuminori Nakamura to be available in English translation, a follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed The Thief”€another fantastically creepy, electric literary thriller that explores the limits of human depravity”€and the powerful human instinct to resist evil.

When Fumihiro Kuki is eleven years old, his elderly, enigmatic father calls him into his study for a meeting. "I created you to be a cancer on the world," his father tells him. It is a tradition in their wealthy family: a patriarch, when reaching the end of his life, will beget one last child to dedicate to causing misery in a world that cannot be controlled or saved. From this point on, Fuminori will be specially educated to learn to create as much destruction and unhappiness in the world around him as a single person can. Between his education in hedonism and his family's resources, Fuminori's life is one without repercussions. Every door is open to him, for he need obey no laws and may live out any fantasy he might have, no matter how many people are hurt in the process. But as his education progresses, Fuminori begins to question his father's mandate, and starts to resist.

My Review: 

The second book by prize-winning Japanese novelist Fuminori Nakamura, does not disappoint. If you want a book that keeps you on the edge the whole time, this is the book for you. You are pulled in from the very beginning with a boy raised by his father to be a "cancer" in this world as part of a twisted family tradition.  His father, who appears to be a alcoholic, is a cruel, sadistic old man and has plans to destroy anything pure and good in this world, starting with destroying his own son and initiating him with a cruel education he wont forget. This is a very dark book, that includes stealing another persons identity-literally, pre-teen sex, murder, rape, drugs, prostitution, human depravity and so much more. This book is definitely geared toward the mature reader.

About the Author: 

Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. In 2002, he won the prestigious Noma Literary Prize for New Writers 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 2010 Oe Prize, Japan's most prestigious literary award, is also published in English by Soho Press. Visit the authors website.

Disclaimer: I received this book curtesy of SoHo Press for a honest review. The opinions are my own and in no way reflect those of the publishing company or author.
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