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The Gun

The Gun の表紙

The Gun

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A Tokyo college student's discovery and eventual obsession with a stolen handgun awakens something dark inside him.
On a nighttime walk along a Tokyo riverbank, a young man named Nishikawa stumbles on a dead body, beside which lies a gun. From the moment Nishikawa decides to take the gun, the world around him blurs. Knowing he possesses the weapon brings an intoxicating sense of purpose to his dull university life. But soon Nishikawa's personal entanglements become unexpectedly complicated: he finds himself romantically involved with two women while his biological father, whom he's never met, lies dying in a hospital. Through it all, he can't stop thinking about the gun—and the four bullets loaded in its chamber. As he spirals into obsession, his focus is consumed by one idea: that possessing the gun is no longer enough—he must fire it.
From the Hardcover edition.
A Tokyo college student's discovery and eventual obsession with a stolen handgun awakens something dark inside him.
On a nighttime walk along a Tokyo riverbank, a young man named Nishikawa stumbles on a dead body, beside which lies a gun. From the moment Nishikawa decides to take the gun, the world around him blurs. Knowing he possesses the weapon brings an intoxicating sense of purpose to his dull university life. But soon Nishikawa's personal entanglements become unexpectedly complicated: he finds himself romantically involved with two women while his biological father, whom he's never met, lies dying in a hospital. Through it all, he can't stop thinking about the gun—and the four bullets loaded in its chamber. As he spirals into obsession, his focus is consumed by one idea: that possessing the gun is no longer enough—he must fire it.
From the Hardcover edition.
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引用-
  • Chapter 1

    Last night, I found a gun. Or you could say I stole it, I'm not really sure. I've never seen something so beautiful, or that feels so right in my hand. I didn't have much interest in guns before, but the moment I saw it, all I could think about was making it mine.
    It was raining last night. The kind of rain that seems like it will never stop, that falls at an angle, so even if you use an umbrella you still get soaked. I had been out walking around in it--if I had to say what time, it was about eleven at night. The relentlessness of the rain seemed to symbolize my own melancholy, and although from the knee down I was sopping wet and cold and couldn't wait to get out of it, for whatever reason I made no effort to head back home to my apartment. I really can't say why I kept walking around outside. I guess for no reason other than I just felt like walking, and I had no desire to go back to my own place. My actions were often motivated by such vague justifications. With no real plan, I changed course, passing through a street lined with darkened shops and along a side street that bordered a small park. I remember clearly that there was a small cat under a parked white van. The cat was staring at me. Come to think of it, this wasn't the only time a cat was watching me before something major happened. I didn't really register it at that moment, but now it seems like it might have been a forewarning.
    I went over the railway tracks at a crossing, and passed through a warren of streets. Water had collected and was dripping down off of the edge of the roof of an old apartment building, falling persistently and loudly on broken pieces of prefab that were lying around. It was that sound, more than being pelted by the rain, that prompted me to think I ought to get back home soon. In my mind, I pictured myself hurrying home, taking a shower, and changing into dry clothes. Yet I continued my aimless wandering with no end in sight. No matter how often I think about it, I can't seem to attach any specific meaning to my actions at that time. But then, it really wasn't all that unusual for me. On rare occasions, I would let things happen that were--I don't know--the opposite of what I wanted to do. Soaking wet and still nursing my melancholy thoughts, I kept walking.
    Despite all this, I still take pleasure in the choice I made that night. I hardly ever used to evaluate my own past actions. I really didn't make a habit of thinking too hard about right and wrong, or about the consequences that arose from either. But I feel something akin to gratitude for what I did that night. Had I simply gone back to my apartment, I wouldn't have the gun in my hands now. In contrast, when I think about the possibility of never having had the gun, I am seized with a vague terror. Maybe it's wrong to think that, since it wasn't mine to begin with.
    The next thing I did was buy a can of coffee from a vending machine. I wasn't thirsty, but I often drink coffee while I'm walking, so I bought it out of habit, more or less. I flipped the tab and took a sip as I stepped carefully to avoid the puddles that had formed on the asphalt. The sky was overcast with heavy gray clouds--neither the moon nor the stars were visible. There was a chill in the air--the rain had banished any trace of warmth from earlier in the day.
    I continued to wander. Literally wandering; like I said before, I had no destination. I drank the canned coffee as I listened to the sound of the rain, and after I finished the coffee, I lit a cigarette. I passed through another warren of streets lined on either side with residences, and emerged onto a wide avenue. Cars sped along right beside me, sending up spray, not a...

著者に関して-
  • Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including the Ōe Prize, Japan's largest literary award; the David L. Goodis Award; and the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The Thief, his first novel to be translated into English, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other novels include The Kingdom, Evil and the Mask, The Boy in the EarthLast Winter, We Parted.
レビュー-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 9, 2015
    Nakamura’s first novel, a deeply unsettling meditation on violence and obsession, starts slowly. Nishikawa, an emotionally troubled college student, stumbles across a dead body one night while out walking in Tokyo. Next to the corpse is a .357 magnum handgun, which is covered with blood, a fact he doesn’t notice until he’s picked it up and left the scene of the crime. At first, just the thought of possessing such a weapon satisfies him, but naturally a desire to fire the gun comes over him. Meanwhile, Nishikawa attends lectures and seduces several women, one of whom, the alluring Yuko Yoshikawa, he might even allow himself to feel something for, but it’s the gun that dominates his world. With obvious nods to Meursault and Raskolnikov, Nishikawa slips into a sort of feverish psychosis that demands release. Nakamura (The Thief) propels his story to a truly disturbing, yet inevitable ending.

  • Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal "A thriller in the same elevated sense as is Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment or Camus's The Stranger... ​Nature versus nurture, free will versus fate: Such are the themes that flicker almost subliminally through this shocking narrative, which also emits echoes of Poe and Mishima."
  • The New York Times Book Review "More a suspenseful study of obsession than a crime novel, Nakamura's noir story, translated by Allison Markin Powell, is about liberation... Love, even illicit love, has a way of bringing out the best -- or the worst -- in ­a person."
  • Chicago Tribune "[Nakamura] tightens the screws on his character with eerie effectiveness, making the inevitable outcome shudder on the page."
  • The Richmond Times-Dispatch "[The Gun] offers an addictive -- one might even say compulsive -- night's worth of chillingly unnerving entertainment."
  • Maclean's "[Nakamura] straddles the crime-literary fiction boundary like few others. It gives a new twist to Chekhov's rule: a gun mentioned in the first act--or here, a gun found by a dead body in the opening pages--must eventually be fired."
  • The Sunday Times (UK) "[A] powerful existential thriller."
  • The Straits Times (Singapore) "[Nakamura] spins dark, brooding tales of crime, deftly using acts such as murder and theft as unsettling ruminations on the human psyche and its predilection for darkness."
  • Bruce Tierney, BookPage "The psychological downward spiral into obsession is what drives this book, and during my reading, I couldn't help but think that Alfred Hitchcock could have created a brilliant film adaptation."
  • International Noir Fiction "An intense, claustrophobic, and effective noir/philosophical thriller."
  • The Complete Review "Nakamura does obsessive and delusional very well... A fine first effort by a talented writer."
  • Reading Matters "Chilling."
  • Gabino Iglesias, Dead End Follies (website) "No crime author out there is currently doing what Fuminori Nakamura is doing. I've read every novel of his Soho Press has translated and they've all been unique in their subject matter and tone and exactly the same in terms of effectiveness and the wonderfully bizarre, oblique way in which Nakamura approaches the genre."
  • Kingdom Books "[An] intense work of suspense and increasing madness."
  • Old Firehouse Books, Ft. Collins, Colorado "An incredibly tense story about how obsession can mold your actions and how an inanimate object can become animate in the "right" pair of hands."
  • Bookgasm "The author does more in less than 200 pages than most authors could pull off in 600... stripped down, focused, intense, and worth every second you spend reading."
  • Library Journal "Suspenseful to the last page, Nakamura's existential noir translates well to America, [and is] a timely allegory for our gun-crazed culture."
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The Gun
The Gun
Fuminori Nakamura
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