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Piercing Hardcover – 2 Jan 2007

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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 489,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Howell on 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 By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 17 Aug. 2012
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Widden on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A simple plot made elaborate by the way the twisted characters move through it. The f-ed up nature of the themes makes it one to miss for the easily shocked, but I found the characters peculiar thought processes, their lack of rational judgement and their submission to their own distorted world views fascinating to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ryu Murakami's Japan is a dark and malevolent place with characters that are so distorted it becomes hard to define them as human.
After watching Miike Takashi's screenplay of "Audition", I consequently stumbled onto Ryu Murakami's other novels. "Piercing" just so happened to have been my first experience of his writing. The writing style is fairly simplistic (but I'm sure this must have somewhat to do with translation from the Japanese to English) however, this in turn enhances the distorted nature of the two protagonists.
The narrative seamlessly moves from one character's perspective to that of the other's. This creates a fuller sense of the plot but also it acts as an opportunity for the reader to get a larger view of Murakami's broken characters.
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By Miss C. Valcin on 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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anderssen on 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually bought 3 of Ryu Murakami's books by mistake, I mixed up him and Haruki Murakami. I was actually pleasantly surprised, not to say that there is much pleasant about this book. It delves into some very dark territory but does it really well. As twisted as one of the characters is, I was still kind of sympathetic towards them. I don't know how I would describe this book in a few words, maybe, twisted, grimy and unpleasant but enjoyable. I have probably done a bad job at writing a review but sure why don't you buy it if you have read this far and see for yourself.
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