Thursday, December 5, 2013
65. The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
The Thief follows the story of a pickpocket in Japan, an unusual pickpocket, a pickpocket with a conscience, morality, a pickpocket who cares. If the choice of a pickpocket as the protagonist wasn't unique enough, the execution in showcasing the skills and the day-to-day life of a pickpocket was above average as well. There are flashbacks, missing friends and demons from past life. There is an imaginary tower, visible/not visible to the protagonist, which seems to be the equivalent of some kind of a moral compass, this part of the book though remained too underdeveloped and undercooked. There are a few minor characters, a young mother and her kid, intermingled in the life of the pickpocket, characters which were irritating at best, probably forced onto the story to attain one of the objectives.
And finally, there is a super villain - a know it all, controller of fates, puller of strings, a most dangerous yakuza with a plan.
To me the entire package read like a plan gone awry, a good concept ruined due to lack of application. There is lack of rationality evident throughout the book and the pace of the book seemed always wrong, either too fast skipping stations, or slow and bumpy.
My third Japanese author was not a hit. What could have been a really good book, remains a not-above-average read.