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The Gun (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

If there is such a genre as “paranoid noir,” then The Gun is it. Fuminori Nakamura is making a name for himself here in the States and rightfully so. His first book to be translated to English, The Thief, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. The Gun isn’t for those readers who expect nonstop action. This is a book to be savored, and yes, you’ll white-knuckle it but not due to an adrenaline rush so much as the impending dread that something horrible is going to happen. And the ending doesn’t disappoint. An unremarkable Japanese university student happens upon a gun late at night and takes it. He obsesses over it, allowing it to consume his every thought and eventually it seeps into his entire persona, affecting his behavior with young women as well as his estranged family. It’s like watching a tortuous languid demon possession. The Gun is claustrophobic, drenched in atmosphere, and totally seductive. 

— From Sarah Chen

January 2016 Indie Next List

“Alienation and obsession are dissected in this unsettling, spare novel. Nishikawa, a listless college student, happens upon a dead man during a nighttime walk. He inexplicably picks up the pistol lying by the body and brings it to his apartment. From this precipitous moment, the weapon becomes an obsession. Nishikawa finds his tedious reality taking on new meaning through the possibilities of an object that was designed to kill, and yet he must conceal his fetish from his classmates, lovers, and -- most importantly -- the police, who suspect that he has the gun. This award-winning noir novel, translated from Japanese, is an unflinching, dark story of one man's expanding consciousness -- and threat.”
— Cindy Pauldine (W), The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY


A Tokyo college student's discovery and eventual obsession with a stolen handgun awakens something dark inside him.

On a nighttime walk along a Tokyo riverbank, a young man named Nishikawa stumbles on a dead body, beside which lies a gun. From the moment Nishikawa decides to take the gun, the world around him blurs. Knowing he possesses the weapon brings an intoxicating sense of purpose to his dull university life. But soon Nishikawa's personal entanglements become unexpectedly complicated: he finds himself romantically involved with two women while his biological father, whom he's never met, lies dying in a hospital. Through it all, he can't stop thinking about the gun--and the four bullets loaded in its chamber. As he spirals into obsession, his focus is consumed by one idea: that possessing the gun is no longer enough--he must fire it.

About the Author

Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including the Ōe Prize, Japan's largest literary award; the David L. Goodis Award; and the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The Thief, his first novel to be translated into English, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other novels include The Kingdom, Evil and the Mask, The Boy in the EarthLast Winter, We Parted.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781616955908
ISBN-10: 1616955902
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: January 5th, 2016
Pages: 208
Language: English