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.
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.