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The Thief (1963)

de Fuminori Nakamura

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3912649,859 (3.54)30
The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn't even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections. But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job he can't refuse. It's an easy job: tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of the safe. No one gets hurt. Only the day after the job does he learn that the old man was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery. And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 26 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
"The Thief", by Fuminori Nakamura, was a very different type of book for me. It's about a pickpocket in Japan, a loner who steals as much because he's expert at it as much for any other reason. He's a likeable character in his own way, at one point befriending a young boy sent out to steal by his prostitute mother. It's never quite clear if he's destined for a life of good or a life of crime, and that pondering of his ultimate destiny is part of the charm of this very short and readable novel. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
One more book for January in Japan, and I opted for something different than my usual literary fiction.

This is a noir-style novel about a thief. The writing is quite terse, but the novel is fairly atmospheric, as the thief is always alone among crowds, carefully dressed to blend in. He rarely talks to anyone--until he finds a boy stealing food at a grocery store, with his mother nearby. And somehow he begins giving this boy advice on lifting items.

Because the thief is a professional pickpocket. He's been picking pockets for years, and views himself as a "good" thief. He targets the wealthy. He takes only cash, and often throws the rest of the wallets he picks into mailboxes. He doesn't mess with credit cards or identity theft. Just straight cash. He's so good at what he does--and it's so rite--that he often finds he has picked wallets he does not remember taking.

This lifestyle comes at a cost, though. He has no family, no significant other, no friends. He has now met this boy and his mother, but his last friend was his mentor. And one day, his mentor comes calling, offering (it it's even a choice) a spot in a larger robbery. ( )
  Dreesie | Jan 22, 2021 |
I've been a huge fan of Japanese crime/mystery fiction ever since I read Out by Natsuo Kirino. I started devouring Japanese noir books, loving Kirino, Kenzo Kitakata and some of Miyuki Miyabe's novels. I read a so-so review of the Thief in the Washington Post. It said that it wasn't a thriller or action-packed, but it seemed more of a reflection on the main character, a pickpocket. I thought that that's exactly what I loved about Japanese fiction I've read. The books I've read are a social critique of class, culture and regionalism.

Having just finished the book, I was a little disappointed. The book never really took off for me. I was interested in the story. Actually, there were two stories, one involving a criminal activity and one a father-son type relationship the main character develops with a young boy who seems to be a thief in the making. I think the author should have spent more time developing the relationship aspect. He could have moved the criminal part to the background.

Some have said this book is minimalist, but I think it's more underdeveloped. There was potential and I did want to finish the book and see what happened. For the first third or half of the book, I was thinking that I'd give it four stars. It finished off at three and I think that's about right for me. ( )
  drew_asson | Dec 3, 2020 |
I really had high hopes for this book I thought it would be a really good one. It kinda fell short of my expectation which isn't to say I didnt like it cause I did. But I feel as though the little boy had more depth than the main character. Also there really wasnt an ending it kind of felt like the author just stopped writing cause he got bored.


Sorry Rudy. ( )
  Teri_O | Nov 11, 2020 |
Nishimura is a pickpocket, highly skilled and proficient in his chosen crime. In the streets of Tokyo there are few better than him. He is alone with no family and no friends, just his wits and experience to keep him alive.

One day a character from his past finds him. He needs him for a job, and he is not taking no for an answer. This job exposes him to the even darker criminal underbelly of Japan and he finds himself trapped in a intricate web of murder and theft involving the rich and powerful. He is tasked with three almost impossible tasks if he is to escape with his life.

It was a short swift read. The tension in the book was good, and there is no wasted descriptions; you are fully immersed into this underworld. Solid Japanese thriller. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 26 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
In simpler times, in simpler tales, authors pitted heroes against villains, and there was no confusion about who wore the black hat and who the white. We no longer live in those simple times, and most of us have grown bored with those simple tales. We want, in the books we read, something that at least approaches the complexity of the lives we lead outside of those books.
adicionado por dcozy | editarThe Japan Times, David Cozy (Jun 3, 2012)
 

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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Fuminori Nakamuraautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Thurston, CharlieNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn't even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections. But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job he can't refuse. It's an easy job: tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of the safe. No one gets hurt. Only the day after the job does he learn that the old man was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery. And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape.

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