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The Devil of Nanking
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The Devil of Nanking

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  3,640 ratings  ·  431 reviews

With the redolent atmosphere of Ian Rankin and the spine-chilling characters of Thomas Harris, Mo Hayder's The Devil of Nanking, takes the reader on an electrifying literary ride from the palatial apartments of yakuza kingpins to deep inside the secret history of one of the twentieth century's most brutal events: the Nanking Massacre.

ebook, 360 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”You can be brave and confident as you like, you can convince yourself that you’re invulnerable, that you know what you’re dealing with. You think that it won’t ever really get too serious--that there’ll be some kind of a warning before it goes that far, danger music, maybe, playing offstage, the way you get in films. But it seems to me that disasters aren’t like that. Disasters are life’s great ambushers: they have a way of jumping on you when your eyes are fixed on something else.”

 photo RapeofNanking_zps89118be6.jpg
Rape of Nan...more
Nov 30, 2013 Arah-Lynda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jeffrey Keeten
Shelves: top, i-said
Mo Hayder delivers the most thought provoking thriller I have ever encountered. Set in 1990 Tokyo with roots that take you back to the 1937 Nanking massacre, this account is positively chilling.

Three voices have entered my head.

Grey: is a personally troubled, young student from London, with a highly unstable past and a vested interest in her research of war atrocities, most notably the 1937 Nanking Massacre. She has come to Tokyo in search of Shi Chonming, a Nanking survivor, who Grey believes...more
It is really hard to categorise this book. It is really scary but not a horror story (well not in the conventional sense). There is a mystery at the heart of it but it isn't crime or mystery. It is about another culture that is sometimes hard to understand and accept. It creeped me out but I had to keep reading (though I am not a fan of being scared) It was dark and sinister but not bloody and gory. It was also enlightening. My mother is Chinese and hates the Japanese, which always embarrassed m...more
This book somehow manages to be both a mystery/thriller AND a cross between literary and historical fiction at the same time. I was just riveted from page one.

It's hard to believe this is the same author as "Ritual" which was exciting but certainly not written at this level of detail. I completely trusted the world and characters this author has created.

I don't give 5 stars very often and though this had a few holes (mostly to do with wanting more details but not needing them) "Devil of Nanking...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Tóquio” é um livro que me manteve em permanente angústia durante toda a leitura.
É baseado num episódio da história da humanidade – o massacre e tortura de milhares de chineses, pelo exército imperial japonês, durante a invasão da cidade de Nanquim, em 1937.
A acção desenrola-se, capítulo a capítulo, entre a cidade chinesa e Tóquio 50 depois, onde encontramos Grey, uma jovem inglesa, que procura um filme que relata um episódio do massacre.
É um livro muito bem escrito e muito complexo, que expõe...more
Jaclyn Day
I read this over the past few nights and have decided that it’s one of the more haunting, unforgettable books I’ve read recently. A young woman named Grey is institutionalized after she becomes obsessed with the Nanking massacre. As a young child, she found a book in her home that had a reference to a obscure film recording of a particular atrocity that occurred during the massacre and refuses to let it go. She travels to Tokyo to meet a professor, a survivor of the massacre, who she believes kn...more
João Carlos
“Tóquio” foi a minha estreia literária com a escritora inglesa Mo Hayder e revelou-se um livro “doentiamente” excelente.
O ponto de partida do livro são os crimes da guerra genocida perpetrados pelo exército imperial japonês em Nanquim, durante a guerra com a China entre 1937 e 1938, e em que foram cometidas inúmeras atrocidades, como estupros, saques sistemáticos, torturas macabras, incêndios criminosos e execução de prisioneiros civis e militares, num compêndio de violência generalizada e atroz...more
John Lester
I am familiar with the events of Nanking, during the invasion by the Japanese, in the late 1930's. I came into to this expecting the upmost in horror and the lowest acts of man. That was here. The story is told by a professor who lived,worked,and experienced the rape of Nanking and a young English woman who has spent much of her studies researching those days of depravity.
One has knowledge from participation and the other far removed, and somewhat sanitized, by the printed page. But, when it com...more
Grey is a young woman in her twenties who travels to Tokyo to discover if something she found out when she was younger is indeed true: the terrible events that took place in Nanking in 1937. Raised by very protective parents, Grey has no notions of the world and how to behave in society. So when she starts talking about what Japanese soldiers did to the Chinese in Nanking, everyone thinks she is seriously demented. After some years at the hospital and then at university, and burdened with her ow...more
I went into this book not expecting a whole lot, and would have to count myself pleasantly surprised. Mysterious-English-I'm Not Mad!-runaway Grey, having wound up wandering about in a cramped and uninviting Tokyo, turned out to be a character I actually became interested in—though I was less drawn towards the parallel story involving the brutal recollection of Shi, an eyewitness to the savage extended sessions of bayonet practice that the invading Imperial Japanese Army inflicted upon the haple...more
Cara Richards
I'm a big fan of Mo Hayder and Tokyo was not a disappointment. I finished it in just over 24 hours - couldn't put it down.

The only reason I gave this 4 stars rather than 5, was because I felt there were a few 'holes' in the plot, that maybe needed filling in a little more than they were. Jason was an odd-ball character, but I felt he could have been 'fleshed' out a little more so that we understood why he was the way he was. Similarly, Grey's ignorance and background with her parents was never...more
I have mixed opinions about this book.

While it was gripping, I took my time reading this book because it was not one of those read-it-and-get-it-done-with-so-that-I-can-say-that-I've-read-this kind of books. It contains a lot of disturbing subject matter, so definitely not for the weak of heart.

I was really fascinated by the characters, though I sometimes found it frustrating that the writer builds suspense, and then reveals so little by little that I'd be thinking, "Oh come on just spill it al...more
it's said to be a writer, you're far better off working three years as a bar hostess than getting an MFA. possibly Mo Hayder understood this; as the author's blurb mentions, she left school at fifteen and has since seen success conquering the world of publishing. her books are shilled at petrol stations; she has Times and Daily News and Independent reviews practically breathless in their praise.

Hayder writes a book with feeling and a good attempt at "the thriller," but ultimately falling short o...more
When English girl Grey was very young she found a book about the Japanese invasion of Nanking. Reading about the atrocities committed there, she found a description of something so terrible she had to ask somebody if it were really true. But nobody would believe her when she told them that she read it and she was labeled 'sick', 'twisted' and 'evil'. And the book vanished, leaving her with no evidence to back up her protests.

Ever since then Grey has been obsessed with proving that that atrocity...more
Jerome Parisse
Tokyo (or The Devil of Nanking, depending on which edition you're reading) by Mo Hayder is a book that is hard to put in a box, and that's not a bad thing. Some classify it as thriller, others as horror or even historical fiction. It's a little bit of everything. Thankfully, the horror side of it is not prevalent, it's just that some parts, especially towards the end of the story, are not for the faint-hearted. Tokyo is the story of Grey, a disturbed young British woman on the search for a film,...more
Julie Caroline
Intrigue bien ficelée, l'alternance de narrateur tient en haleine. On sent bien dans une histoire (1937) comme dans l'autre (aujourd'hui) la tension monter.

L'héroine principale n'est ni mièvre ni attachante, et heureusement. L'écriture se concentre sur l'action, sur le moment et le vécu, sans s'encombrer de tout un contexte par personnage. L'histoire de l'héroine nous est connue petit à petit aux moments où le lecteur en a besoin. Et contrairement à d'autres commentaires que j'ai lus, ce n'est p...more
Japão. Palavras esquecidas, que me lembre reconheci duas ou três, os canji, os serviços de acompanhantes, a cidade fervilhante, a mafia (a Yakuza), os biombos a separar ambientes. Moshi moshi
A guerra com a china, a violência do exército japonês, a tomada de Nanquim, o desepero, a superstição, a chacina, a busca pessoal disfarçada de interesse académico.
A medicina chinesa (japonesa?), os troféus, a sabedoria dos antigos, a busca da imortalidade, as mezinhas humanas de humanos, oshaka.
A esquisita...more
Jitka Jitulisko
Tokio, Japonsko, mladá dívka z Londýna. Autorka „brutálních“ knih Mo Hayder.
Tak tohle spojení mi velice lákalo. Čekala jsem něco velkého. Příběh se odehrává ve dvou časových liniích. První je o „Jepici“ - Grey. Mladé dívce co přijela do Tokia pro odpovědi. Vyrostla v Londýně a byla přísně vychovávaná v ústraní rodiči. Veškeré informace, které se k ní dostaly, byly přísně filtrované. Avšak jednou se přes síto dostala kniha o masakru V Nankingu. Malá oranžová knížečka, která spustila koloběh událo...more
Jadi ... pada mulanya buku ini nggak terlalu menarik.

Lalu menjadi menarik saat Shi Chongmin dan Grey mulai sering bertemu dan berinteraksi. Juga saat Grey bekerja sambilan sebagai pramuria di bar Tokyo.

Suster Ogawanya keren <3 . Sayang nggak diperjelas apakah dia ini orang berkelamin ganda atau bagaimana dan ... sayangnya lagi, kondisi terakhirnya Jason yang super-duper-nyebelin itu nggak ditunjukkan.

Dan Mama Strawberry? Ih ... diam-diam ternyata sayang juga sama anak-anak buahnya meski tampi...more
Tanja Berg
This is another of the books lost in the visual bookshelf to good reads transfer. It's several years since I read it, but the feel of it still lingers. The main character is a girl pursuing an obsession with 2nd world war Japan. At first it's hard to tell if she's just plain crazy or if she's really on to something. This is a riveting, first-rate thriller!
Στη σφαγή της Νανκίν, η οποία είναι γνωστή και σαν “Ο βιασμός της Νανκίν”, εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες Κινέζοι πολίτες βιάστηκαν, βασανίστηκαν και σφαγιάστηκαν με κτηνώδη τρόπο στην ομώνυμη πόλη, που ήταν η πρωτεύουσα της Κίνας. Η σφαγή έλαβε χώρα σε διάστημα 6 εβδομάδων, ξεκινώντας από το Δεκέμβρη του 1937, όταν Ιάπωνες στρατιώτες εισέβαλαν στην πόλη και άρχισαν να κατακρεουργούν τους πολίτες. Θεωρείται η μεγαλύτερη σφαγή στην ιστορία, αφού προκάλεσε το θάνατο 300.000 ανθρώπων.

Η συγγραφέας μας κάνει γ...more
I wanted to read this book because it is about Tokyo, about Japan, about Japanese history. I knew that it is about a rather cruel part of japanese history, but I wanted to read it anyway. And I have to admit, that I rather liked it. And I even like Japan nevertheless.

The story is about a girl in her twenties, who comes to Japan to find out a very special fact about the japanese tortures in Nanking, 1937. Soon it becomes clear, that she has severe psychological problems, that she is an extreme o...more
I was torn between giving this book 4 or 5 stars. It really is a good book, well-written and evocative and spellbinding. But... Jason. I hate him, and not in that good way that means the author's written a really good slimy character. The way he talks to Grey made me feel sick. It could be considered very triggery. Of all the portrayals of evil and sick-mindedness, his was the worst, to me. My gut reaction is to ask why he was written that way, why it was plot-relevant to include that- he could...more
Haunting... gave this book 4stars because I couldn't put it had a good transition between wartime Nanking & present day Tokyo...I will say that the "magic elixir", once I found out what it was, gave me nightmares days after I finished the book. I will not be able to read it again, and really can't find myself recommending the book because the nature of the massacure in Nanking bothered me so much. It bothered me the most when I kept thinking that really could have happened. Even th...more
This is one hell of a book. I judged it (literally) by its cover--or at least that is the reason I picked it up in the bookstore. Familiar with "The Rape of Nanking" by the all but sainted Iris Chang and having read a bit into this all but swept under the rug episode of genocidal mass murder in China by the Japanese Army I wanted to see how it would be treated fictionally. Mo Hayder tells the mass slaughter part of the story through the fears and emotions of an unbalanced teenager in England and...more
martha Boyle
I don't think I would have understood this story as well if I hadn't recently read the story of Lucie Blackman and learned about the world of western bar hostesses in Japan-girls who go to Japan out of adventure and to make money. I also knew a bit about Nanking and the unexplainable horrors and atrocities that happened there after the city was invaded by the Japanese in 1937. These worlds are bound together in this beautifully written but dark, dark mystery. Read at your own risk-it will haunt...more
This book was MORE than I ever expected it to be.

It completely pulled the carpet out from under me. It may have had added weight with me as I have an interest in Asian cultures, and this book deals specifically with Chinese and Japanese cultures and their history together. I especially enjoyed it from the perspective of a foreigner to Japan who studied Chinese history during World War II. While the book is fiction, a good portion of the atrocity that Nanking endured at the hands of the Japanese...more
This book is incredible. It sat, untouched, on my shelf for about 5 years before I decided to give it a chance. I had won it in a raffle and, not being familiar with the author or interested in what I thought was the subject matter, placed it on my shelf to forget about. I recently read a short review of another of Hayder's books and added it to my list, wondering why the name sounded so familiar. I took it down from the shelf this past weekend because I was in need of something to read on a fli...more
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Riveting account of the massacre 1 17 Jul 22, 2012 01:29AM  
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Mo Hayder left school at fifteen. She worked as a barmaid, security guard, film-maker, hostess in a Tokyo club, educational administrator and teacher of English as a foreign language in Asia. She has an MA in film from The American University in Washington DC and an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University UK.

Mo lives in Bath with her daughter Lotte-Genevieve.

* Jack Caffery
More about Mo Hayder...
Birdman (Jack Caffery, #1) The Treatment (Jack Caffery, #2) Gone (Jack Caffery, #5) Ritual (Jack Caffery, #3) Skin (Jack Caffery, #4)

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“I noticed that in Tokyo people didn’t smell. It was funny. I couldn’t smell them, and they didn’t say very much: the trains were packed but it was quite silent, like being jammed into a carriage with a thousand shop-window mannequins.” 2 likes
“Maybe that was the price of ignorance, I thought, looking at the naked vagrant. Maybe Japan had to pay for the ignorant things it did in Nanking. Because ignorance as I'd got tired of hearing, is no excuse for evil.” 1 likes
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