The Thief

“The Thief” is the first novel by 30-something Fuminori Nakamura to be translated into English. Nakamura’s knees surely must be buckling already under the weight of the awards conferred upon him, including Japan’s shiniest literary trophy, the Oe Prize. But be forewarned though elegant, this is less a crime novel than a meditation on crime. ---Washington Post

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.


224 pages