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Piercing [Hardcover]

Ryu Murakami
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jan 2007
Kawashima Masayuki is a successful graphic designer living in Tokyo with his loving wife, Yoko, and their healthy baby girl. Outwardly, their lives are a picture of happiness and contentment. Every night, however, unable to sleep, Kawashima creeps from his bed and watches over the baby's crib while his wife sleeps. But this is no ordinary domestic scene, for on each of those nights, as he stands gazing at his newborn child, Kawashima has an ice-pick in his hand, and an almost visceral desire to use it. One particular night, as this drama unfolds once more, Kawashima makes a decision to confront his demons, and sets into motion an uncontrollable chain of events seeming to lead inexorably to murder The follow up to In the Miso Soup, Piercing confirms Ryu Murakami as the master of the psycho-thriller. Read and be terrified, sickened and utterly gripped. Translated by Ralph McCarthy, translator of In the Miso Soup.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First UK Edition edition (2 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747582203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747582205
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 879,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

`Equally compelling and disturbing ... Piercing is an even darker psycho-thriller' -- Daily Mail

`If Ryu Murakami's short novel were a film it would be a nasty but effective B-movie chiller ... Written in a faintly ironic style reminiscent of Bret Easton Ellis, Piercing is queasily compulsive ... the plot delivers its shocks efficiently' -- Financial Times

`There are echoes here of Edgar Allan Poe and Dostoevsky - Murakami shares their fascination with the darkest layer of the soul, and the appalling isolation of the criminal. Creepy and gripping'
-- The Times

About the Author

Renaissance man for the modern age, Ryu Murakami has played drums for a rock group, made movies and hosted a TV talk show. His first novel, Almost Transparent Blue, written while he was still a student, was awarded Japan's most coveted literary prize and went on to sell over a million copies. His most recent novel to appear in English was In the Miso Soup, published by Bloomsbury in 2005.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine but disturbing writing 8 May 2007
Format:Hardcover
The 'other' Murakami" does it again. This is darker, pyscho thriller once again set against the seedier side of Tokyo life. The voices in a young man's head tells him that he has to kill. He fixes on a victim who is equally unusual. A short book, fast paced, exciting and bold - this can be read at one sitting. every bit as good as his last hit 'In the Miso Soup".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Narrow Roads at Night 17 Aug 2012
By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Ryu Murakami was born in Nagasaki in 1952. His first book, "Almost Transparent Blue" was first published in 1976 and won that year's Akutagawa Prize. "Piercing" - his ninth book - was first published in 1994, with the English translation following in 2007.

To his neighbours, Kawashima Masayuki seems to be living a perfectly happy, quite normal life : a successful graphic artist, he's married to Yoko and the pair have a 4-month old daughter called Rie. However, life isn't entirely perfect - both have had difficult pasts. Yoko had once attempted suicide, after a previosu relationship collapsed. Kawashima's parents broke up when he was young, and he was regularly beaten by his mother - something he still hasn't really forgiven her for. He has long suffered from insomnia and, occasionally, still suffers from the night terrors. On the whole, however, married life had been going well for Kawashima. However, some of the old fears have recently returned and, for the last ten nights, Kawashima has been standing over Rie with an ice-pick in his hand. Having vowed never to harm his daughter, Kawashima is terrified that he might. He finally decides that there's only one way to ease the building pressure : he'll have to use his ice-pick on someone else. So, Kawashima comes up with a cover story, takes a little time off work and books himself into a hotel in town. He then carefully plans his crime, and settles on an S&M prostitute as his victim...unfortunately, Sanada Chiaki isn't quite something he could have really planned for.

Only the second book by this Murakami I've read - after "In the Miso Soup" - and I found it a good deal better. It's a little more believable somehow and I found it easier to empathise with the characters...not that I'd want to be locked in a room with either one of them, admittedly. Despite being a little gruesome, it's a book I was able to get through quickly and - if thrillers are your thing - it's well worth a read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 16 Jan 2007
Format:Hardcover
Kawashima Masayuki seemingly has everything a man could ask for - a beautiful wife, newborn baby and a successful career. However, Kawashima has a dark side that his wife doesn't know about. Abused as a child, and guilty of attempted murder, every night he sits next to his baby stroking her face with an ice pick.

I only noticed this book as it was on sale at a local bookshop. I hadn't heard of the author before. However, after reading this I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another of his works.

A gripping tale with nothing but twists all the way through. This is extremely dark, descriptive and gruesome. My only criticism would be that it's rather short, and does conclude rather suddenly. The author could easily have extended the story safely.

Overall however, highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Murakami is amazing 29 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dark and disturbing, also hilarious in places, Ryu Murakami is an amazing author, This is actually my Fav book by him, but i recomend In the Miso soup and Audition also! its such a gripping book that i read it in one sitting, being only 186 pages i think it is easy to do!
Its VERY Japanese as you would expect but nothing is lost in translation and it will make you desperate to read more of his work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Simply Piercing 25 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback
This is the first book that I have read by the author Ryu Murakami. This thriller is very different and the language used to tell the tale is extremely captivating. The tale is one of a psychopath, who on the outside has a seemingly good life. He is married and has a child, and a good job, but underneath this exterior lies something extremely dark. Our main protagonist has dreams of committing murder and as the book progresses he goes in search of a person to kill and plans out every detail in order to make his kill a success. Much more than simply a crime novel, Murakami takes the reader on a very strange and psychedelic journey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jim Thompson's heir 23 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback
The best first-person story from the point-of-view of a psychopath that I've read since The Killer Inside Me. I can think of no higher praise. Piercing will freak you out.
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