Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids

  • by Kenzaburo Oe, Paul St. John Mackintosh (translator), Maki Sugiyama (translator)
  • Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
  • 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids recounts the exploits of 15 teenage reformatory boys evacuated to a remote mountain village in wartime. The boys are treated as delinquent outcasts - feared and detested by the local peasants. When plague breaks out, their hosts abandon them and flee, blockading them inside the empty village. The boys' brief and doomed attempt to build autonomous lives of self-respect, love, and tribal valour fails in the face of death and the adult nightmare of war.


What the Critics Say

"An angry, engrossing novel...It is an extraordinary first novel, an amazing achievement for a writer of any age. Myth-like and almost painfully suspenseful, Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids has much in common with both Lord of the Flies and The Plague.... His uncompromising honesty is what gives the story its universality and what makes its grim ending such a persuasive warning." (New York Times)
"Oe is considered by many to be Japan's greatest postwar novelist. It's easy to see why. Here, his writing is crisp and lovely and gruesomely perfect." (Publishers Weekly)
“Available for the first time in English, this first novel by the winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature is assured an audience both among those who are familiar with Oe's work and eagerly await the translations that will inevitably follow the awarding of the prize and those who are newly aware of Oe as a major literary figure and wish to sample the range of his work.” (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


but lacking the pathos of a dominant central character. It is told from the first person, but we never really connect with this narrator, and thus, a lot of what happens, tragic as it is, remains distant and the reader is not as moved as he might be, were the narrator a bit more real as a person
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- Douglas

utterly depressing, but well-written

There are many books that are this depressing and morbid, but they typically have some message about the strength of the human spirit. This is not one of them. It is merely a wonderfully written story about the degradation of a group of children abandoned to a plague- ridden, deserted village. If you are of fragile emotional health or low constitution, I would advise against this novel.
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- Katie Sullivan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-20-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios