The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura


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. And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape.

Despite being such a short novel, The Thief is fast-paced and entirely engrossing. It chronicles the life of an experienced pick-pocket, who got caught in a web of events which are much bigger than what he expected. 

Nishimura is a loner, he has no family, no friends and no connections. Being a thief, it's the best for him that way. However, when he accepted a task of robbing a political figure, his life started to change. He also grew a friendly relationship with a little boy who steals food supplies for his prostitute mother. When his past comes back to haunt him, he has no choice but to accept new tasks, or risks the little boy and his mother being killed, and also his own life.

I read this novel with a kind of intensity I do not experience often. It was so captivating that I couldn't put it down. The chapters were short and sweet, but there's always something up. The only thing I had against was the ending. It leaves the story unresolved. It's like a cliffhanger, but it isn't cos this is a stand-alone novel. I really want to know what's gonna happen next! I'm so flabbergasted when I realize that's where it ends. 


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