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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars15
3.3 out of 5 stars
Format: HardcoverChange
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on 2 October 2012
A compelling story of an extremely unhappy man and his personal quest for redemption and wow what an ending. wow
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on 8 April 2013
this book is a short story about a pick pocket in tokyo. I would recommend this to fiction crime book readers.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 May 2012
Despite being regularly underwhelmed by Japanese crime fiction, I continue to pick it up in the hopes of finding a writer or story that clicks. Unfortunately, this book proved to be another dud. The story follows a highly talented pickpocket who meets up with an old friend/criminal and gets sucked into a scheme masterminded by a mysterious man. He is made the proverbial offer he can't refuse -- a series of increasingly difficult thefts that he must complete or he will be killed. This could theoretically work as the plot of a neo-noir thriller, except that the pickpocket is such a cipher that there's nothing for the reader to connect with. Like a lot of protagonists I seem to come across in Japanese crime fiction, he's a loner mired in his own sense of ennui. A subplot introduces a young boy whom he half-heartedly mentors and protects, but that comes across mainly as sentimental window-dressing. There's a lot of wallowing in existentialism, and conundrums about the nature and role of fate, and none of it says anything interesting. I could see how it might work much better as a stylish film, where the craft of the pickpocket can come more alive and the emptiness at its core can be given some visual heft, but I surely can't recommend this book. A better use of one's time would be to read Crime and Punishment and watch Robert Bresson's 1959 film, Pickpocket.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2015
One of the worst books that I have ever read.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2012
Unfortunately I had none for the thieving little oik. This novella isn't a patch on Genet or Papillion. It could be set in any country amongst people that don't care about themselves let alone others. Yet year after year this type of little novel gets good reviews. No idea why. The fact that I spent time reading it depressed me no end. So glad when it ended. The story is basically only fools and horses without the comedy or the love or the strong characterisation.
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