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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief but thought-provoking
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...
Published 4 months ago by Curiosity Killed The Bookworm

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
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...
Published 4 months ago by Janet Emson


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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 (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nagasaki (Paperback)
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
This review is from: Nagasaki (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Shimura Kobo is a 56 year old meteorologist, living ..., 15 Aug 2014
This review is from: Nagasaki (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: Nagasaki (Kindle Edition)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Short story that feels unfinished but has a fascinating concept, 22 Aug 2014
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nagasaki (Paperback)
4.5 stars

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 I would recommend it to fans of arthouse literature, 17 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Nagasaki (Kindle Edition)
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. This is a heartwarming, poignant tale. I would recommend it to fans of arthouse literature. It's written by a Frenchman but he seems to understand Japanese culture rather well. An impressive story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Never read anything like this before, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Nagasaki (Kindle Edition)
A very strange storyline. This kept me turning the pages, simply to fathom the plot. Never read anything like this before. Title suggested nuclear connection; kept looking for it (it's NOT there).
Worth reading if you haven't got a book you MUST read...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant novel of alienation, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Nagasaki (Kindle Edition)
Based on a real-life story, this brilliant novel is a heaet-rending tale of alienation in the modern world. Highly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars French existentialist twaddle, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Nagasaki (Kindle Edition)
I haven't read such a disappointing book for a long time. On the plus side it's a short disappointing book. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but a story about a woman who has secretly lived in a cupboard and the world's most boring pernickerty man wasn't it. This is French existentialist twaddle at its worst- and I am a languages teacher who ENJOYS teaching French existentialism. Book clubs will probably love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a gem, 4 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Nagasaki (Paperback)
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.
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