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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine but disturbing writing
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".
Published on 8 May 2007 by Andrew Howell

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Dated Commentary on Japanese Society
Originally published in Japan in 1994, this latest translation of "the other" Murakami's works suffers somewhat from its relative age. This is the fifth of his ten or so novels to appear in English, and by now, his paired themes of alienation and ultraviolence are well past their sell-by date. The perspective he offers on Japanese society may have been shocking thirteen...
Published on 21 May 2007 by A. Ross


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine but disturbing writing, 8 May 2007
By 
Andrew Howell "andyhowell3" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Piercing (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
This review is from: Piercing (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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark and disturbing read that will leave you wanting more from this Murakami, 13 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Piercing (Kindle Edition)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Simply Piercing, 25 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Piercing (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 16 Jan 2007
This review is from: Piercing (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Murakami goes more Psycho, 1 Aug 2007
This review is from: Piercing (Hardcover)
After reading 'In the Miso soup' I thought of buying his latest, even though as usual his books are short and don't involve much charecters in them, he still manages to take you into a world where your psychology has to act.
In this book as always shows how the lonliness,emptiness and lack of communication inhibited by the japanese makes them listen to thei ineer voices which gives a great creative writing skill to write.

This is a great book again with twists and always have to imagine the impossible.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Dated Commentary on Japanese Society, 21 May 2007
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Piercing (Hardcover)
Originally published in Japan in 1994, this latest translation of "the other" Murakami's works suffers somewhat from its relative age. This is the fifth of his ten or so novels to appear in English, and by now, his paired themes of alienation and ultraviolence are well past their sell-by date. The perspective he offers on Japanese society may have been shocking thirteen years ago, but with the proliferation of J-horror films, media coverage of Japanese suicide rates, and other such indicators of a society in social distress, his latest serving ends up tasting like stale leftovers.

The story opens with Masayuki, a successful young graphic designer whom we meet as he hovers over his new baby with an ice pick, stifling the urge to pierce the newbor'ns smooth, perfect skin. It seems that Masayuki was abused as a child and has carried all kinds of psychological trauma with him into adulthood, even as he has managed to arrange a very normal domestic life. However, the new baby has brought forth his hidden turmoil, and an inner voice convinces him that the only way to purge his awful yearnings is to actually stab someone, preferably a prostitute no one will miss. Masayuki's meticulous plan brings him into contact with Chiaki, a young S&M prostitute with her own hidden history of abuse (incest) and mental instability (she likes to cut herself).

When the two meet in his hotel room, nothing goes as planned, and after a gruesome battle, the two wounded souls actually manage at least a moment of connection. Murakami appears to be trying to use this vivid tableau to comment on Japanese society, notably how the modern emphasis on the individual can result to complete breaks with reality. However, its a rather flimsy and dated indictment, and the direct line he paints from childhood abuse to psycho adult behavior is far too pat. The interior thoughts of the two damaged souls are well rendered, but on the whole, there's not a whole lot here to engage with.
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting, but short lived, 15 Jun 2014
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R. A. Harris (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Piercing (Hardcover)
A strange book, but with an interesting premise and understated prose. Our protagonist decides he needs to murder a girl to avoid stabbing his baby with a pick-axe. The ending was a bit flat and rushed. But overall, enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Murakami is amazing, 29 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Piercing (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant, 23 Aug 2014
By 
Seligor "Seligor's Castle" (Pontybodkin, North Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Piercing (Paperback)
There is not a book that has been written by either Ryu Murakami or Banana Yoshimoto that would let you down. Both are unbelievable authors with remarkable writing powers that draws you into the book of the time.
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