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掏摸(スリ)[Suri]
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掏摸(スリ)[Suri] (Kizaki #1)

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  1,777 ratings  ·  281 reviews
東京を仕事場にする天才スリ師。
ある日、彼は「最悪」の男と再会する。男の名は木崎��かつて一度だけ、仕事をともにした闇社会に生きる男。
「これから三つの仕事をこなせ。失敗すれば、お前が死ぬ。逃げれば、あの子供が死ぬ……」
運命とはなにか。他人の人生を支配するとはどういうことなのか。そして、社会から外れた人々の想い、その切なる祈りとは。
芥川賞作家がジャンルの壁を越えて描き切った、著者最高傑作にして称賛の声続出の話題作!
Hardcover, 単行本, 175 pages
Published October 10th 2009 by 河出書房新社
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cynthia
Film Noir meets Georges Simenon

“The Thief” was amazingly good. It’s about a Tokyo pick pocket who gets caught up with some big time criminals. It’s a very short book so I was shocked at how psychological it was. I’m not sure how the author was able to include such an in depth take on Nishimura, the main character in so few words. Nishimura spends his days on packed trains and packed streets finding his mark and swiftly moving in. He has standards though. He only takes the cash and puts the rest
...more
Virginia
One star? Three stars? Five stars? I have no clue, and that about sums up my experience with this book. I landed on three because the book was intruiging and thought-provoking, but I just couldn't connect with it.

Maybe my expectations were too high because of the book's awards, too high because they were inaccurately based on an Americanized version of what "thriller" usually means, or because I read it too fast and should have savored it instead. The book didn't demand that the reader stop and
...more
Tony
Despite being regularly underwhelmed by Japanese crime fiction, I continue to pick it up in the hopes of finding a writer or story that clicks. Unfortunately, this book proved to be another dud. The story follows a highly talented pickpocket who meets up with an old friend/criminal and gets sucked into a scheme masterminded by a mysterious man. He is made the proverbial offer he can't refuse -- a series of increasingly difficult thefts that he must complete or he will be killed. This could theor ...more
Raven
I must admit to having read very little Japanese crime fiction, but drawn by a cover quote from Natsuo Kirino, the author of the remarkable ‘Out’, I was immediately hooked by this bijou slice of Japanese noir. Centred on the criminal activities of pickpocket, Nishimura, this is a at times shocking, but poignant tale of the seedy underbelly of Tokyo. Nishimura spends his days targeting prosperous looking individuals with his deft pickpocketing skills but then finds himself coerced by a fellow fri ...more
The Commuting Bookworm
The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura

The thief is a seasoned pickpocket, who is questioning his lifestyle, his choices and the consequences of his actions. It is written in the first person narrative all the way through and therefore is easy to follow and read.

At 210 pages this is a small book with a mighty emotional punch. Nakamura slowly builds the readers attachment to the narrator, who although perhaps is behaving against acceptable normalities and living in a way that many of us would find disgra
...more
Nancy Oakes
for a longer and much more in-depth review, redirect here.

The Thief is a very good read, intensely satisfying with a great deal of psychological depth to go along with the crime elements of the novel. The central character is a pickpocket named Nishimura (whose name is only stated once) who has sharpened his skills to an elite level over the years to the point where he can easily remove a wallet, sift through its contents and sometimes return it to its owner, all without the victim's knowledge
...more
Lyndz
I really wanted to love this book. And there were parts of it that I enjoyed. But, unfortunately, I cannot go so far as to say I loved this book.

The plot for me was greatly lacking in depth. Plot spoiler: (view spoiler) The character development was nonexistent. -Which is particularly difficult for me because that is what I look for
...more
Vegantrav
The title character, the thief, is a highly skilled pickpocket who is commissioned, against his will, to carry out three jobs--all of which involve some very delicate picking of pockets, much more complicated than merely lifting wallets--for a crime boss, Kizaki.

If the thief fails, Kizaki will kill him, and the thief has no doubt that Kizaki will follow through.

Kizaki likes to rhapsodize about fate. Is the thief's fate controlled by Kizaki, or is it that the thief is fated to be controlled by Ki
...more
Liviu
FBC Rv (links there)

INTRODUCTION: The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates, is a modern crime/thriller novel with philosophical overtones which attracted my attention on two counts. It is written by a Japanese author (see HERE and HERE for two of my recent reviews of Japanese novels and of course 2011's top book of mine was 1Q84) and it is published by Soho Press which just put out the wonderful Andromeda Lax-Romano novel The Detour.

Even so, I hesitated befor
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Paul Cheney
Nishimura is a pickpocket, highly skilled and proficient in his chosen crime. In the streets of Tokyo there are few better than him. He is alone with no family and no friends, just his wits and experience to keep him alive.

One day a character from his past finds him. He needs him for a job, and he is not taking no for an answer. This job exposes him to the even darker criminal underbelly of Japan and he finds himself trapped in a intricate web of murder and theft involving the rich and powerful.
...more
Jessica
This was very good...engrossing, well-written yet slight somehow. It felt more like a novella than a novel. Pity that nothing else of Nakamura's--as far as I can tell--has been translated into English. He's a young writer, and it's likely he'll get even better with age. The Thief, which won the Oe prize, has a spare feel to it. A crime novel but the crime--he's an expert pickpocket--is clean, without violence. The thief gets enmeshed in a gang, against his will, but he's sharp-witted as well as ...more
Drew
I've been a huge fan of Japanese crime/mystery fiction ever since I read Out by Natsuo Kirino. I started devouring Japanese noir books, loving Kirino, Kenzo Kitakata and some of Miyuki Miyabe's novels. I read a so-so review of the Thief in the Washington Post. It said that it wasn't a thriller or action-packed, but it seemed more of a reflection on the main character, a pickpocket. I thought that that's exactly what I loved about Japanese fiction I've read. The books I've read are a social criti ...more
Tony
THE THIEF. (2012; Eng. Trans. 2013). Fuminori Nakamura. ****.
It’s been my impression that Japanese crime novels are very different from American crime novels, although they are certainly influenced by our techniques. Their authors seem to be more interested in the basic mechanics of the crime and in the personality of the criminal using those techniques. In this novel, the first from this author translated into English, we learn about the art of pickpocketing. This is probably rife in Japan, sin
...more
J.

Tight, understated mystery that does what a lot of mysteries seem incapable of-- staying internally coherent, keeping up intensity while narrowing in on its goals. So much else is really optional if the author can keep the story travelling along as he has launched it, at the right tempo and pitch... Landing at unforseen but inevitable places, moments of brief certainty in an uncertain world.

This is one of those first person stories where the author doesn't quite concede the character (or maybe
...more
Mysterytribune
In the case you have not read any Japanese crime fiction or thriller so far, we suggest you take a look at "The Thief" by Fuminori Nakamura. Born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. He won the prestigious Noma Literary Prize for New Writers for his first novel, A Gun in 2002 and in 2005 he won the Akutagawa prize for The Boy in the Earth. The Thief, winner of the 2010 Oe Prize, Japan’s most important literary award, is his first novel to published in English.

A Brief Summary:
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sany
The Thief stole several hours from me that I'm never getting back. It miserably failed to make any point for me. All the fuss and some doofus on 'WSJ review' suggesting this as one of the best novel definitely fooled me.
There is some detail of the workings of the protagonist on subway stations which might interest you a bit, but apart from that there is no sensible story in the novel. Nothing convinced me for his foolish decision of not running away when he had already expected the foreboding. T
...more
Arnav Gupta
Another really good book this year about mystery and this one specifically about pickpocketing and thievery. A really easy book with not a lot of complex themes but definitely an interesting story line. I personally do not like the ending because it is blurred and sudden but overall the book is really good. It does have some inappropriate content about prostitution so be aware of that before you read.
Sophie Dale
May 11, 2013 Sophie Dale rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime novel fans
Recommended to Sophie by: No one
Completely different from anything I've ever read before, but I was hooked from the first page. A real insight into the pickpocketing culture of Tokyo and the dark characters behind it. Told in first person by an experienced pickpocket, you begin the book feeling angered by the immoral and questionable values that the main character has. However, as the story unfolds, you start to see a more human side to the pickpocket through the people he meets and experiences he has, and gather an understand ...more
Aik Chien 인첸
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 sup
...more
Gregor Xane
An almost surreal, almost dreamlike crime fiction tale. A very smooth narrative that goes down easy. This would have been four stars if some of the main character's background would have been fleshed out a bit more. A particular relationship that he develops could have been handled in a more interesting way, as well.
Huda
and as I reached the last sentence of the book I shouted to it, "Goddammit don't end it here, Nakamura!"

******

The Thief was a very likeable book for three things:

1. The way it addresses how pickpockets (or any criminal no matter how small-time they are) cannot be part of society, not for moral lessons but just to look at them without judgement, simply letting you know such and such is how life is going to be like when you take on a path you can never turn your back on.

2. The 'villain-tells-all
...more
Joshua Thompson
The story itself was interesting enough to read through but the vagueness of the plot made it look so pretentious. The best parts of the book were the relationship between the prostitute mother and the pickpocket son, the writer would have been better off writing about them and developing it further rather than throwing in a kingpin of a bad guy who's reasoning for his actions are so covert you really don't get the existence of this overall plot; not to mention the third to last chapter which go ...more
Monica
Stark, spare,noir. Could not put it down. From Amazon reviews:

In Fuminori Nakamura's new novel, the main character weaves along the streets of Tokyo pickpocketing his way through the flow of humanity, as if in a dream. He lifts wallets filled with cash and credit cards with a masterful ease, his mind occupied with a trance-like debate about whether to care anymore. Whether to care about the young kid he sees clumsily stealing food at a supermarket. Whether to care about his partner, who disappe
...more
Jade
This book deserves 5 stars on the the ending alone. I'm not a violent person but, I felt I had to physically beat this book to get my frustration out because of that ending. It was brilliant!!!

This is a book way outside my usual comfort reading zone. Though that is precisely why I chose it. I wanted to start reading more foreign books, which include characters, setting and/or stories I am not familiar with. I wanted to be intrigued in not only the plot and it's development, but also how the cult
...more
Gloria Feit
This novel is an interesting idea in need of fulfillment. Somehow, it leaves the reader somewhat confused. It recounts the development of a pickpocket who generally only removes wallets from rich people. Along the way, the author philosophizes about the “profession” of picking pockets, including a little history of some of the more famous practioners of the art.

The thief himself tells the story in the first person. However, for all he has to say about his work and life, we learn very little abou
...more
Sarah
I won this book from Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

It is a pretty short novel, and I thought there could have been more to it, like more of the thief's back story besides the one incident of him shoplifting as a kid, and his girlfriend who he flashed back to a couple times. The tower is a pretty powerful image that could perhaps have gotten more attention.

I really wanted to know more about the boy that the theif reluctantly adopts as a sidekick/apprentice. The first time we see him, with his m
...more
Kurt Edwards
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. I would love to say that this book had a fantastic adventurous ending. In fact I would love to say that this book had an ending at all. After reading the book I am not sure that the author submitted the whole document to his editor. I think he may have hit the send button a little to early on his email. About halfway through the book I looked at other ratings of this book and saw that someone gave it a one star. I thought wow that is a little harsh. I oft ...more
the golden witch.
I was really severely disappointed in this one. Usually, I like thrillers and crime novels if they can hook me, but this one failed to, and failed spectacularly. While it’s a really short read, “The Thief” lacks in every department – arc, character creation/advancement, worldbuilding (because you do have to do some worldbuilding even within a contemporary novel), and sensory language. The translation was adequate, but I feel like a lot had been lost when switching languages – which, to a certain ...more
Eileen
This book is unique because it is told by someone I would naturally dislike. It mentions briefly how he got started stealing; that he almost relished the humiliation. At first, his conscience made him dissatisfied with his stolen object. As he became more addicted with this asocial habit, it satisfied him less and less. He definitely didn't do it for the money. He realized that his lifestyle was totally alienating from any community bonds. Unlike his girlfriend, he was still clinging to the idea ...more
Sandie
The Thief lives his life on the outskirts of society. Living in a small room in Tokyo, he has no family. He steals what he needs, robbing the rich men and women around him, sometimes for profit but more often just to prove that he can. The Thief loves no one and no one loves him.

But that state of affairs changes when he sees a young boy and his mother in a supermarket shoplifting food. They are clumsy and about to get caught so he takes them under his wing. He becomes attached to the boy who lo
...more
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5109680
His debut novel (The Gun) won the Shinchō New Author Prize in 2002. Also received the Noma Prize for New Writers ini 2004 for Shakō [The Shade]. Winner of the Akutagawa Prize in 2005 for Tsuchi no naka no kodomo (Child in the Ground). Suri (Pickpocket) wont the Ōe Kenzaburō Prize in 2010. His other works include Sekai no Hate (The Far End of the World), Ōkoku (Kingdom), and Meikyū (Labyrinth)
More about Fuminori Nakamura...
Evil and the Mask Last Winter We Parted 何もかも憂鬱な夜に [Nani mo kamo yūutsu na yoru ni] 土の中の子供 [Tsuchi no naka no kodomo]

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“You're a pickpocket right? That's cool. But you don't do it for the money, do you?"
"Maybe the end." I said abruptly.
"The end?"
"What will happen to me in the end. What happens to people who live the way I do? That's what I'd like to know.”
5 likes
“Life is a mystery. But listen. Why did I turn up in your life in the first place? Do you believe in fate? Was your fate controlled by me, or was being controlled by me your fate? But in the end, aren't they just two sides of the same coin?” 2 likes
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