Ryu Murakami, Author, Ralph McCarthy, Translator
Ryu Murakami, Author, Ralph McCarthy, Translator , trans. from the Japanese by Ralph McCarthy. Penguin $13 (185p) ISBN 978-0-14-303863-4
Reviewed on: 02/19/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007

In this short, tense and brutally eloquent thriller from Japanese author Murakami (In the Miso Soup ), Kawashima Masayuki, a young urban professional, faces the terrible fear he will stab his baby daughter, Rie, just as he once stabbed the stripper he lived with when he was 19. He decides killing a young prostitute will alleviate the building pressure inside him and protect both Rie and his sweet wife, Yoko. He plans everything meticulously, but what he doesn't bargain for is that his intended victim, Sanada Chiaki, an s&m worker, is as disturbed as he is. During their appointment, Chiaki experiences a "Nightmare" episode that results in a twisted game of cat-and-mouse. Murakami doesn't waste a word or a movement in this near-haiku of a tale that's breathless with anxiety and fraught with pain. (Apr.)

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