People Who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan’s Shadows Paperback – 2 Feb 2012
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"An extraordinary, compulsive and brilliant book...very, very moving" (David Peace)
"Difficult to put down... impossible to forget" (Minette Walters)
"A skilful, definitive history of one of the most notorious crimes of the past decade" (Sunday Times)
"This is In Cold Blood for our times... Everyone who has ever loved someone and held that life dear should read this stunning book, and shiver" (Chris Cleave)
"Open-minded and sympathetic, despite being driven half mad by the case, Parry, former Asia correspondent for the Independent and The Times, is the best kind of narrator of a tale that isn't just a murder case but a book that sheds light on Japan, on families, on the media, and on the insidious effects of misogyny" (Blake Morrison Guardian)
A deeply compelling and chilling journey into the dark side of Japan, centred on the tragic case of Lucie Blackman.See all Product description
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As RLP himself puts it, 'by the time I was aware of Lucie's existence, she was already dead' (paraphrasing). I found that very moving. That Lucie only existed for any of us by dying.
It is also a story of Lucie's bete noir, "the man shaped hole" (as RLP calls him, Joji Obara. Who for 30 years, chloroformed and raped his way through Tokyo.A ghost of a man who barely existed, a man of whom only 3 photos were ever taken, none less than 30 years old.
And finally it is a story of Lucie's relentless father; Tim, who pursues justice for his little girl, and Lucie's flaky mother Jane who's life seems to be spent spewing hate on Tim.
The summing up, in the final chapter, is very moving, poignant and is something I still think about even a week after finishing the book.
RLP is an excellent writer, who served Lucie well. Her made her real.
One thing it is missing though. Is a map showing the locations of the 2 apartments Obara comitted his dastardly acts in. Aparently, Lucie was killed in one, cut up in another. Which was which ? Which was where ?
It's an immaculately researched and balanced account of the disappearance of a British woman working in Japan which manages to provide some insights into some aspects of Japanese society without falling into cliché or generalisations (although what it reveals about their police and courts is pretty damning). It also examines the different ways people deal with trauma and grief without judging those who behave differently than how we might expect or want them to.
It is so well written...you feel like you know these people. Hard to put on down....a great read!