The Thief

  • by Fuminori Nakamura, Satoko Izumo (translator)
  • Narrated by Charlie Thurston
  • 4 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 that 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 and steal the contents of a 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.


What the Critics Say

“I was deeply impressed with The Thief. It is fresh.” (Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Prize–winning author of A Personal Matter)
“Compulsively readable for its portrait of a dark, crumbling, graffiti-scarred Tokyo—and the desire to understand the mysterious thief.” (Booklist)
“Disguised as fast-paced, shock-fueled crime fiction, Thief resonates even more as a treatise on contemporary disconnect and paralyzing isolation.... Mystery/crime aficionados with exacting literary standards, as well as readers familiar with already-established-in-translation Japanese writers Miyuki Miyabe (Shadow Family), Natsuo Kirino (Out, Grotesque), and Keigo Higashino (Naoko, The Devotion of Suspect X), will especially enjoy discovering Nakamura.” (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well, it is short.

The good news is that this book is short, so if it doesn't float your boat, you haven't lost much time. I'm not sure that there is anything wrong with the book per se other than the fact I just don't care for the characters or the themes. I'm sure there are people out there who will respond positively to this book...I'm just not one of them!

It does pick up quite a bit in the second half and I was on the verge of liking the book, but I found the ending unsatisfying.
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- Kyle

Memories of Keruoac-- not cops and robbers!

As I read (listened) to this book, my mind was drawn back to many years ago to the themes found in the writings of Jack Kerouac, which swept college campuses across the country. Nakamura approaches the timeless questions of value choices we must confront when searching to find meaning and direction in lives created day by day.

He poses the timeless questions of good and evil, of love, hate or total indifference. Is it moral to live solely for myself and by myself? Was the Master Thief an evil man? He did take what was not his, but belonged to another. What if the owner was evil and harmed innocents? Is it immoral to steal from an immoral man? And, if the thief uses his stolen fortunes to save and shelter an endangered innocent, is his own life evil?

I am not familiar with the author. This is the first of his books I have read. It is encouraging to find that we have fresh writers to carry on the quests of earlier generations. If you are looking for just another cops and robbers read, this is not for you.
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- Betty

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-20-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.