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Nagasaki [Kindle Edition]

Éric Faye , Emily Boyce
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

In a house on a suburban street in Nagasaki, meteorologist Shimura Kobo lives quietly on his own. Or so he believes. Food begins to go missing. Perturbed by this threat to His orderly life, Shimura sets up a webcam to monitor his home. But though eager to identify his intruder, is Shimura really prepared for what the camera will reveal? This prize-winning novel is a heart-rending tale of alienation in the modern world.

Product Description


In 109 pages what seemed at first a slight story unfolds, like those Japanese paper pellets that, dropped into water, expand into fragile, delicate beauty that touches the heart. --The Spectator

Speaks directly to the heart --Le Monde

Elegantly, without ever raising his voice, Éric Faye considers guilt, memory, our fragile sense of how to behave, and the selfishness of societies. --L'Express

About the Author

Born in Limoges, Éric Faye is a journalist and the prize-winning author of more than twenty books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 356 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Gallic Books (14 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H6V0F9M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,880 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in Limoges, Éric Faye is a journalist and the prize-winning author of more than twenty books, including novels and travel memoirs. He was awarded the Académie Française Grand Prix du Roman in 2010 for Nagasaki.

'Unfolds, like those Japanese paper pellets that, dropped into water, expand into fragile, delicate beauty that touches the heart.' The Spectator

Author photo © Julien Falsimagne, 2012

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief but thought-provoking 10 April 2014
By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Fifty-six year old Shimura Kobo lives alone in the suburbs of Nagasaki. His life is relatively uneventful; he goes to work each day and avoids socialising with his colleagues. Then food starts to go missing. The once he could dismiss, but it keeps on happening. Who is in his home, helping themselves to his food?

Nagasaki is a short, but perfectly formed tale, a novella at 109 pages. It doesn’t need to be longer though, it’s a small, intimate story that would likely be damaged with padding. I’ve noticed the French seem much happier with shorter books and yes, it’s French, but somehow seems very Japanese in its telling.

It’s based on a story that ran in several Japanese newspapers and it does make you think. Our homes are our personal spaces, it’s understandable to want them free of intruders. But there’s also a sense of selfishness in the situation…it wasn’t really harming Shimura and there’s a sense of remorse as the story continues. We would like to think we would help those less fortunate in our communities, but when push comes to shove, how many of us do anything?

There’s a lot to think about and discuss which makes this the perfect book for book groups on busy months. Sometimes novellas feel a bit too brief, if ultimately enjoyable, but I don’t think you’d have that problem with Nagasaki.

Review copy provided by publisher.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 14 April 2014
I received a surprise copy of this book from the publishers and have provided here an honest review.

This short novella is tells the tale of Shimura Kobo who begins to notice that food is going missing from his house. Because he lives on his own he finds this obviously disturbing and sets up a webcam to catch the thief in action. What he discovers is more than he could have imagined.

Before I started this book the synopsis rang a vague bell. This is because it is based on a true story of an incident in Japan in 2008.

Shimura san is a strange character. He lives alone, a situation which at first appears to be by design but which becomes apparent is something he is not entirely happy with. He likes his routine, to sit in the same tram seat, eat the same food, have items in their proper place. The solitary life of Shimura helps add to the atmosphere of the novel, giving a slightly creepy element to the first half.

The discovery of who is behind the thefts makes Shimura question himself. He feels angry, angry at the intruder, at himself and at the women in his past who have rejected him, leading him to examine his life.

This is a story that can easily be read in a sitting or two. Whilst I did like the book I would have perhaps liked to have a bit more of a conclusion, a little bit more information on the characters involved but it did want me to go back and read the news reports of the real event it is based on.
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Shimura Kobo is a 56 year old meteorologist, living on his own in Nagasaki. He’s a man that sticks to a rigid routine of an evening, avoiding trips to the bar with colleagues in favour of getting home for dinner at the usual time.

He notices that food and drink is going missing after a while and sets out to find out what’s been happening. He initially doubts himself but some markings and receipts prove his suspicions.

He sets up a webcam in order to keep track of what’s been happening. When he watches the events unfold on the computer screen at works he imagines a different life for himself, one where he has a wife at home that occasionally acknowledges him watching.

This is a book about the people that live on the fringes of society, people that exist relatively alone and would be regarded as nobodies by much of the wider world. It’s a short and ultimately moving book that will resonate with many.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Novella 15 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting novella. I finished in one sitting.
It makes me wanting to read the news. And how I wish it ends differently.
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By K. J. Noyes TOP 100 REVIEWER
Very short but intriguing.

A regular guy, a meteorologist, living in the Nagasaki of the title comes to feel someone is coming into his house and taking food and drink. He sets up CCTV cameras and discovers that he is right. He then learns that the woman he has seen on screen has actually been living in an unused room of his home for a year.

As I said, it's intriguing. It's mostly the meteorologist's story, his feelings about his (bachelor and lonely) life. How he reacts to the situation and subsequent court case. But in the final few pages, the woman herself gets a voice. And her story is quite poignant too.

It does feel unfinished, a sudden ending that left me turning the page expecting another chapter, but I enjoyed the writing and the concept of this. It's just over 100 pages and a lovely snippet of Japanese life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A little gem 24 Oct. 2014
A tiny gem of a book. Odd, very short - and I think some readers will find disappointing because it is so short and spends so little time in character development. It is written in a very simple almost flat style of writing, and it is only at the very end that the profoundness of the book arrives. This is not a perfect book, and if you are looking for a great story line, brilliant dialogue, happy endings, rounded characters - then don't bother with this. If you like odd little books that give you an insight into something different then try it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars it tells all about Nuclear fallout and the terrible wounds people...
Very well written, it tells all about Nuclear fallout and the terrible wounds people suffered!
Published 1 month ago by Hawkfan
4.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend it to fans of arthouse literature
It is hard to believe this is based on a true story of someone who lived in someone else's home and stole from their fridge without the homeowner's knowledge. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ian
4.0 out of 5 stars Never read anything like this before
A very strange storyline. This kept me turning the pages, simply to fathom the plot. Never read anything like this before. Read more
Published 9 months ago by jax
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant novel of alienation
Based on a real-life story, this brilliant novel is a heaet-rending tale of alienation in the modern world. Highly recommended.
Published 10 months ago by John P O'Byrne
2.0 out of 5 stars French existentialist twaddle
I haven't read such a disappointing book for a long time. On the plus side it's a short disappointing book. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs Elizabeth Threadgold
5.0 out of 5 stars a gem
only a small book but a joy to read. it is well written and is translated with great care. this book stayed with me a long time after I had finished reading it.
Published 10 months ago by kiki53
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete Disappointment
This very short story failed to impress. I didn't connect with either of the narrators, neither of whom were explored in any detail. Read more
Published 11 months ago by CaSundara
4.0 out of 5 stars Nagasaki
A very good read which I recommend to all who like a good book.
Interesting from the start to finnish.
Published 11 months ago by Kate
3.0 out of 5 stars What happened next?
An interesting concept but far too short. I didn't expect it to end when it did. I can envisage a further storyline ,developing the characters even deeper. A disappointment.
Published 11 months ago by maria carr
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief Encounter
I found this brief novella very touching in the way it raises questions about how we live our lives, our sense of community, our responsibility for others. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bristol Book Blogger
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