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Confessions Paperback – Bargain Price, 14 Aug 2014
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Explosive... A dark thriller about love, despair and murder (Irish Tatler)
Think of CONFESSIONS as the Gone Girl of Japan....[A] gut-wrenching thrill ride...its thrust should hit home for any reader with a pulse. It's a nauseating tale of morality and justice, with violent turns that will drop your jaw right to the floor (Los Angeles Times)
Has the captivating quality of a gruesome car crash: As the murders grow bloodier and bloodier, the characters more and more twisted, we find ourselves fascinated and repulsed, unable to look away (New Republic)
A reader is almost certain to be caught off guard more than once by the revelations of this award-winning best seller....Implacable, relentless (Wall Street Journal)
Minato's intricate plotting and unnervingly understated sentences make the horrors follow each other as logically as pearls on a string (NPR)
A spellbinding read, a fascinating peek into modern Japanese society, and a glimpse into the dark corners of the human psyche (Booklist)
A creepy and mesmerizing psychological thriller that challenges the conventions of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, and law vs. justice. There are no happy endings here, but Minato has pieced together an intriguing puzzle that will keep readers glued to their seats (Library Journal)
A nasty little masterpiece...That rare creature in fiction: an ambitious investigation into the darkest corners of human nature that - unlike certain relatively sluggish models by Dostoevsky and Camus that Minato references here - is also a crackling good yarn (Chicago Tribune)
A dark, dystopic portrait of Japanese adolescence gone wrong. If Albert Camus had written Heathers, it would have looked a lot like this. (Alex Marwood, author of THE WICKED GIRLS)
The Japanese phenomenon - the story of a grief-stricken schoolteacher who comes face to face with absolute evil.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Yuko Moriguchi is a school teacher, announcing her retirement to her class on the last day of term. She sermonises on the differences between good teachers in films who are able to drop their lesson plans to focus on the problems of the one recalcitrant student, whereas she feels that teachers should concentrate on the able and willing students. She theorises about HIV and AIDS, the topic of the book the class was supposed to read. She is wry, sarcastic and bitter. Oh, and she mentions that part of her reason for wanting to leave the teaching profession is that her daughter was murdered and the culprits are sitting in the classroom. But because the juvenile justice system is toothless, she has her own plans for revenge.
The narrative baton is then passed on to four other characters, each taking a different form (letter, diary, website, etc.), each telling us what we already know but seen through a different lens, and each taking the story that little bit further. And what a sordid little tale it is.
Confessions does not set out to be realistic, although some of the themes of teenage alienation, ambitious parents, popularity and so on are faithfully depicted. But the plot and narrative voices are very melodramatic and absolutely engrossing. Retelling the story so many times without it becoming stale or repetitive is no mean feat. The pacing is perfect and the characterisation, for all the luridness, feels right. The whole piece is a rollercoaster of emotions as we first feel sympathy for characters, then that sympathy turns into revulsion, and then back to sympathy again. Or vice versa.
The novel is short and the reader is left wanting more – always a good sign. It's a quick and easy read, but the ideas at its heart are really disturbing. This is Japanese Noir at its peak.
This is a literary mystery. We know what happened and we know who did it, but what unfolds is the story of the teacher’s revenge and the consequences of her actions. Different chapters are told from the viewpoint of different characters – one of the students in the class, the two boys accused of the murder, one of the boys sisters and his mother’s diary entries. We learn of what led the two boys to their actions and there is also a few delicious plot twists along the way.
If you are willing to try something a little different, then this will reward you with an excellent read. Japan is, obviously, culturally very different from the UK– I worked for a Japanese company for some years; but regardless of whether you know anything about the country, and the people, or not, is irrelevant. Yes, the attitudes are often a little different (the teacher, Moriguchi, is looked down upon by parents in the class for being a single parent to Manami, children of divorced parents generally live with the father and not the mother, the children strive for perfection in their marks at school and are often sent to ‘cram’ schools after class and teachers are much more highly respected), but these are minor things that are easily understood and sympathised with.
The author creates great tension, excellent characters and a really interesting plot. I look forward to reading more by Kanae Minato and hope more of her novels are translated into English. In Japan she is described as, “the queen of iyamisu,” (literally, a ‘eww’ mystery – where readers blurt out, “Eww” while reading her books. However, this is certainly not physically revolting or grisly in any way, although it does deal with the very dark side of human nature and what motivates people - whether it is to look for notoriety or to revenge the loss of the child you hold most dear. This is less a ‘whodunnit’ as a ‘why’ and also a look at the repercussions of the crime.
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The idea of telling something from different perspectives is not new, and since "The Sins of My...Read more
THIS BOOK! This is a book I would recommend to everyone! The twists and the turns were incredible.Read more