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Coin Locker Babies

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  3,781 ratings  ·  230 reviews
A surreal coming-of-age tale that establishes Ryu Murakami as one of the most inventive young writers in the world today.
Abandoned at birth in adjacent train station lockers, two troubled boys spend their youth in an orphanage and with foster parents on a semi-deserted island before finally setting off for the city to find and destroy the women who first rejected them. Bo
Paperback, 393 pages
Published August 9th 2002 by Kodansha (first published 1980)
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Norwegian Wood by Haruki MurakamiThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore by Haruki MurakamiBattle Royale by Koushun TakamiHard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Best Japanese Books
40th out of 452 books — 2,032 voters
American Psycho by Bret Easton EllisLord of the Flies by William Golding1984 by George OrwellA Child Called "It" by Dave PelzerA Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Most Disturbing Book Ever Written
410th out of 1,640 books — 5,887 voters

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Community Reviews

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I already knew that Ryu Murakami likes to delve into areas that most readers would find uncomfortable, but Coin Locker Babies leaps head first into a socio-psychological pool of toxics that will probably send most readers running for the relative safety of Fifty Shades of Gray. Coin Locker Babies is one of those books like American Psycho and We Need to Talk About Kevin that alternately repulses and amaze. I found it to be a surreal mixture of horror, social commentary and dark comedy that never ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the glitter fairy
Recommended to Mariel by: komakino
It's the sound of a coin dropping. It's so loud you could hear a lot of dimes that you get for all the times shitty stuff happens. Those dimes can buy a chinese finger trap of societal problems, or a coloring book. The sound of a baby wailing. The moms aren't going about their business and pissing off everybody else because they have left them in the coin lockers in the train stations of Japan. That's WAY worse than the parents who leave their kids in libraries or toy stores and expect the emplo ...more
Stephen M

no rating because I only read 300 of the 400 pages. There was nothing particularly horrible about it, but it was taking me too much time to read and it's overdue, collecting fines. What can you do? C'est la vie.

It had its moments. Every now and then it would strike a certain theme or comment on something particularly profound. So this experience hasn't taken out any creditability on Murakami #2 which I'm glad about because I don't want my time with Ryu to be over.

That being said, this
Fiona McCandless
I can't quite date when I first picked up Murakami's 'Coin Locker Babies'. During the long period of reading this book I had to force myself to put it down and not touch it for a decent period of time. Coin Locker Babies is so dark and desperate that I thought it better if I didn't read it for a while. The images it conjures up - though impossible - are so vivid, and will stay with me for a long time.

Japanese rockstar 'Miyavi' wrote a song 'Coin-lockers baby'. The song and the book by Murakami a
I'm guessing a lot of people wouldn't make it past the first sentence of Ryu Murakami's novel "Coin Locker Babies." On the other hand, it serves as a sort of litmus test: if you can get past that sentence, you can get through the rest of it. The gauged eyeballs, exposed brains that look like tofu, and part where a character takes a scissors to his own tongue.

This novel is the anti-coming of age novel. It's the story of Kiku and Hashi. Both were discovered stuffed into boxes and left for dead in
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Their mothers left them to die in coin lockers when they were born, but they survived. Kiku and Hashi grew up together in a foster home as brothers, but must deal with their own demons.

Kiku becomes a pole vaulter and eventually kills his mother, landing him in jail. But he escapes and goes to the Garagi Island to search for a substance call “DATURA,” which he would use to destroy Tokyo.

Hashi becomes a bisexual singer and rises to stardom on the heel of Kiku’s killing his mother. But the trauma
Leo Robertson
No review necessary- this is great and you should read if you like this guy's writing.
Петър Панчев
Животът на обречените по японски (18+)

Цялото ревю тук:
Трудно ми е да си представя друг автор, освен японец, който може да напише подобна книга. След като съм затворил последната страница, с пресъхнало гърло и повторен опит да се науча да дишам, се чувствам като обладан от зъл дух, който ме е накарал да сънувам кошмари. Кику и Хаши са се настанили в съзнанието ми като две зверчета, които продължават да сеят разруха, въпреки опитите ми да ги преместя, за
Joshua Rupp
Ryu Murakami is one of the best writers to come out of the 20th century. While everyone else was poncing around griping about causes and who should be occupying what, Murakami, like Ginsberg with a sense of humor, was willing to quietly watch all the people he knew descend into hysteria and madness before either killing themselves or getting jobs with ties. His work focuses on disaffection, and the lengths people will go to - individually and culturally - to find out what the hell they're doing ...more
Stephen Wallant
OK WTF GOODREADS. I wrote a WHOLE REVIEW For this book and now it is gone? Nothing works around here. Fix this site, fix this site. Fix IT!

My review was SO GOOD. I opened with this understated, subtle movement. Sort of an overture. And then BAM, I am in your head, and in this book and you have never read anything like this! (my review!) It's like was this a review? Or am I living in some kind of dream. And I'm never going to go back to my shitty regular life again. It was like the Entertainment
There was a lot happening here. A lot. Hookers, teenage hustlers, run-of-the-mill drugs, weird sex, a pet alligator, more weird sex, self-mutilation, addiction, experimental top secret drugs, clunky POV shifts, insanity, anarchy, a rock star whose voice causes nausea, and some more sex. Then some stuff happens to Tokyo and somebody has an epiphany. The end.

It read a lot, in fact, like an earlier, more convoluted iteration of Popular Hits of the Showa Era, though the nihilism was less cheerful an
Razvan Zamfirescu
Hashi ṣi Kiku sunt doi copii care, nou-născuṭi fiind, au fost părăsiṭi de mamele lor în boxele de bagaje ale unei gări. Ei doi sunt singurii copii care au supravieṭuit acestui abandon ṣi acest lucru îi va lega pe viaṭă. Hashi dă semne de autism iar Kiku dezvoltă o obsesie pentru mijloace de transport. Suferinṭa prin care au trecut împreună îi uneṣte, îi leagă, le împleteṣte destinele. Problemele lor psihologice au găsit un tratament. Zilnic sunt închiṣi într-o cameră capitonată unde sunt adormiṭ ...more
This is it:
"His tongue clicking sharply into the mike, Hashi reeled off the names of the band members as shreds of glittering foil rained from the ceiling marking the end of the concert. 'Thank you. Thank you,' he murmured. 'We couldn't do it without your love. Tonight I want you to pray with me for the souls of three girls attacked in a park in Yokohama almost seventy years ago. A sailor on leave butchered them, gouged out their stomachs, and jerked off inside those hollow things. Tonight, let
Болка! Това е единственият начин да опиша тази книга. Освен болката, която е излята, че чак прелива по страниците й, на мен ми причини почти физическа болка, за да я довърша. Мислех, че тъй като засяга една много важна тема, тази книга по време на четенето ще ме опровергае и ще ме накара да се преклоня пред таланта на японците, хвален и прехвалван по цял свят, заради техните литературни постижения. Е да, ама не!
Не я разбирам тази култура, тази книга не ме накара да я харесвам(не, че я харесвам и
Ismael Galvan
For a long time I was anxious to read anything by Ryu Murakami. The Coin Locker Babies started off decent enough but later dragged. I kept wanting Coin Locker to reach the heights of Kenzaburō Ōe, Yukio Mishima, and Haruki Murakami. It's a lot to ask considering these writers are legends of modern literature. But I'm selfish, I want the best.

Coin Locker's strong substance is diluted by too high a page count. There were stand-out scenes. It's unfortunate there was so much waiting in between. I'm
This book popped up in my 'recommended' section, I'm assuming because I'm a fan of both Haruki Murakami and Chuck Palahnuik. It's the first book I've read by this author, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

This book is not one for the faint hearted; it's gory, violent and sexually explicit. There's murder, prostitution and chemical weapons.

Both the main characters, Hashi and Kiku, who are brothers by adoption, are psychologically affected by being abandoned in coin lockers and left to die as newb
Sean Wilson
The streets, crowded during the summer holidays, smelled of melting rubber in the heat, making Hashi feel as if heavy, glutinous strings were stretching out behind his feet- as if everyone he passed in this canyon of glass and steel and concrete was trailing these strings, weaving a great white chrysalis. The whole town was a shiny chrysalis, wrapped around the heat radiating from the earth, and slowly swelling; but when would the giant butterfly emerge? He knew at least that when it did, it wou ...more
Si tuviese que medir el nivel de recomendación del libro, sin duda mi recomendación es altísima. Pero, yendo más allá de esta primera "sub-división", entraría mi percepción en cuanto a su obra:
Ryu Murakami nos narra siempre de la brutalidad del ser humano, del rechazo, del odio, de la parte grotesca que evitamos ver. A veces su narración se vuelve irrelevante, ya que sus propósitos sobrepasan el morbo -para mis "finos" ojos-, evitando introducirme en nimiedades de su obra, pero logrando su objet
This book is full of ‘what the…?’ moments that catch you totally off guard. But these moments do not come across as gimmicky. Murakami, the Ryu one, not the Haruki one, weaves a pretty dark, yet humorous Japanese landscape. Two babies are found locked in station coin lockers and grow up together; first in an orphanage, then on an island, then splitting ways, both terribly messed up.

The opening line was the most disturbing I’ve ever read in a book and the story took off full of gristle and bone.
Robert Beveridge
Ryu Murakami, Coin Locker Babies (Kodansha, 1995)

For thirty years, Japan has waited for someone to step up and fill the rather sizable shoes left by Yukio Mishima when he committed suicide after a failed attempt at a coup d'etat. It seems that Ryu Murakami has finally stepped up for the job.

Mishima's work was singular in that it combined the beauty and spareness of haiku with random, seemingly meaningless (until one looked below the surface) acts of despair and violence. Murakami treaded these w
Yulya Slomianowska
Ce n'est pas facile de se sentir vivant, quand on a commencé sa vie dans un cercueil. En témoigne le destin terrible de Hashi et Kiku, ces deux orphelins abandonnés à la naissance dans une consigne automatique, et qui devront chercher jusqu'en Enfer le droit d'exister. L'Enfer c'est Tokyo, personnage à part entière du roman, et immense papier tue-mouche piégeant ces insectes innombrables qui s'y égarent, s'y cognent, et s'y accrochent inlassablement. Ils sont si nombreux et bruyants, c'est à en ...more
«мені зрозуміло чого ти хочеш: створити настрій, що вжене слухачів в розслаблення, після чого розбурхати їх раптовими сплесками і лютими ритмами, пробудити з півзабуття. І тоді вони зрозуміють, що виходу немає і опиняться перед похмурою, заповненою хробаками безоднею, схожої до якої вони ніколи не бачили і з якої, можливо, не існує виходу. Вони будуть уважно розглядати цих хробаків тамуючи огиду, і ті в одну хвилю перетворяться на світлі плями. І тоді слухачі слідом за плямами спустяться у підво ...more
Христо Блажев
“Децата от гаровия сейф”: прям, откровен и безмилостен роман – като живота:

Откровено, разголено, безпощадно. Определенията за “Децата от гаровия сейф” на Рю Мураками могат да се сипят като сняг, но няма да предадат и частица от стихията на тази книга. Японският начин на мислене едновременно ме привлича, но и отблъсква – и все пак логиката на сюжета е толкова общочовешка. Това е драма, трагедия, зла съдба и смазваща реалност на свят, който е загубил себе с
This was an accidental purchase, made hastily in a used bookstore because the price seemed right and because the spine only said "Murakami." After about two paragraphs, it began to seem very unlikely that Harukai Murakami was responsible for the flavorless, graceless and awkward prose. I checked the publishing date and thought, well, okay, it was an early effort . . . I'll give it a chance. After ten pages or so, I gave the book the sort of thorough exploration that would have prevented me from ...more
Coin Locker Babies is a disturbing and difficult novel, in that it defies the reader to derive pleasure from its reading even as they contend with the disgust evoked by it. I can't get the damned book out of my mind.

I didn't like it the first time I read it, and I think that was because I expected to enjoy it. It pricked and needled at me until I decided to read it again, and on second reading, I realized that it wasn't a book to be enjoyed. The reader is meant to let it burn, smolder, and sear
A disturbing, overly graphical book of intertwined destinies and details you do not want to know. An engaging read that draws you in even as you want to pull away.
I originally got this book thinking it was written by a different Murakami, and I'm really glad I made that mistake. The outlook on people and society in this book is bleak at best. All the violent and grotesque imagery complemented the raw portrayal of human thinking and emotion wonderfully; which was actually refreshing, even cathartic. After all, hope and happiness can't exist with out despair, terror, and sadness.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone that gets easily offended. . . or eve
Randy Pradhana
Reading this novel is like having a bad dream, but you didn't realize that you're smiling amazed by the scene.
Ilia Temelkov
Гола бруталност, описваща едно адски различно и непознато общество. Този Мураками е краен по един начин, който сякаш дава крила и дори най-бруталните епизоди в книгата носят странна надежда и позитивизъм. Със сигурност една от най-добрите книги, които съм чел от много време насам.
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Gunkanjima 2 30 Feb 10, 2013 02:02AM  
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Ryū Murakami (村上 龍) is a Japanese novelist and filmmaker. He is not related to Haruki Murakami or Takashi Murakami.

Murakami's first work, the short novel Almost Transparent Blue, written while he was still a student, deals with promiscuity and drug use among disaffected Japanese youth. Critically acclaimed as a new style of literature, it won the newcomer's literature prize in 1976 despite some ob
More about Ryū Murakami...
In the Miso Soup Almost Transparent Blue Piercing Audition 69

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“Every one of a hundred thousand cities around the world had its own special sunset and it was worth going there, just once, if only to see the sun go down.” 149 likes
“They don't realise that they've changed; they think it's the world that changed.” 38 likes
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