Magazine article World Literature Today

The Gun

Magazine article World Literature Today

The Gun

Article excerpt

Fuminori Nakamura. The Gun. Trans. Allison Markin Powell. New York. SoHo Press. 2016. 208 pages.

In Fuminori Nakamura's The Gun, this master of Hitchcockian noir builds on the style and plotting that made his recent The Thief and Evil and the Mask masterpieces of modern crime fiction.

The novel kicks off with its hook: Nishikawa, a young student out of Tokyo, stumbles across a dead body while out on one of his nightly walks. He discovers a gun on the body and, in a moment of impulsivity, takes it with him. Thus begins his strange obsession with his newfound toy: the gun begins to call out to him, to speak to him. He cancels appointments with friends to simply sit at home, looking at the gun. It's in this obsession that Nakamura's strengths really shine. He is able to deposit the reader into the head of this disturbed, sociopathic young man. While we don't necessarily sympathize with Nishikawa, we are at least made to understand, from a somewhat cold distance, his thought process, his feelings. …

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