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Coin Locker Babies

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,362 Ratings  ·  275 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
41st out of 490 books — 2,262 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
406th out of 1,820 books — 6,535 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul Bryant
Jun 04, 2016 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, novels
I had been wondering where my cat was when the phone rang. It was my brother who was now living as a woman in some part of Tokyo which recently had like a nuclear attack, as far as I remember, but don't quote me. I told him there was no point in ringing me any more as we were now living in the same room together. I don’t think he’d noticed. We were both coin locker babies you know. That’s where your mother is so out of it that when you’re just a new born itty bitty baby coo coo coo your mother s ...more
Nov 27, 2012 Marvin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
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 really liked it
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
Jun 10, 2009 Fiona McCandless rated it really liked it
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
Mar 29, 2009 christa rated it liked it
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
Dec 21, 2015 Leonard rated it really liked it

*** Spoiler Alert ***

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 mo
Mar 07, 2016 Hanaa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: postmodern, asian
There are currently no words to sum up how I feel about this.
May 22, 2012 Kristen rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deniz Balcı
Mar 10, 2016 Deniz Balcı rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japon-edebiyatı

Neden bu kadar uzun süre beklemişim Ryu Murakami'yi okumak için bilmiyorum. Modern edebiyatının bence en dişli kitaplarından birini yazmış Ryu. Kitabı almadan önce Oliver Stone'un kitabın ön kısmına konulmuş olan "Olağanüstü yetenekli bir yazar. Fellini ve Günter Grass, David Bowie ve Dostoyevski, MArquez ve Mike Leigh'in Naked'i... Hepsini içinde barındırıyor." yazısı bana çok iddialı gelmişti. Bu tarz tanıtım yazıları biraz alla beni, pulla beni isteğinin sonuçları gibi gelir genelde
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
Stephen Wallant
Jun 23, 2012 Stephen Wallant rated it it was amazing
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
Leo Robertson
May 14, 2015 Leo Robertson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
No review necessary- this is great and you should read if you like this guy's writing.
Joshua Rupp
Dec 01, 2011 Joshua Rupp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-reviews
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
Jul 04, 2013 Hesper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, fiction
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
Jun 05, 2016 Dejan rated it really liked it
This one blew my mind. (view spoiler) ... An intriguing plot with some insane twists and a striking exposition results in a shocking yet fascinating novel which is Coin Locker Babies. If you have the guts, have a taste of the bizarre and read this book.
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
Sean Wilson
Coin Locker Babies is one of most surreal books I've ever read. An angry, postmodern existentialist tale told with such detailed descriptive power, Ryū Murakami has crafted an utterly compelling novel about two adopted brothers, both abandoned in coin lockers, and their mentally and physically destructive upbringing into young adults. Hashi becomes a famous bisexual singer with an ever growing need to stab his pregnant wife and Kiku becomes a physically intimidating pole vaulter who, with his mo ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Ben rated it it was amazing
Big, bold, and violent: now this is a novel. The opening makes abundantly clear the twisted imagination at work: “The woman pushed on the baby’s stomach and sucked its penis into her mouth; it was thinner than the American menthols she smoked and a bit slimy, like raw fish.” A newborn is being abandoned in a coin-operated locker; this was a serious issue in Japan in the 1970s. The novel focuses on two such boys, each abandoned by his mother, and the strange, twin-like relationship that develops ...more
Nov 11, 2008 Brian rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2008, asian
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.
Feb 06, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: big-red-circle
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
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
Dec 23, 2014 Мая rated it did not like it
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
Mar 14, 2016 Lola rated it really liked it
This was my first Murakami and it was better than I expected.
May 06, 2014 Steph rated it really liked it
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
Sophie VERStand
In Ryu Murakamis Werk, das nun nach 35 Jahren auch in der deutschen Übersetzung erschien, geht es primär um zwei Jungen, die als Säuglinge von ihren Müttern in Münzschließfächern am Bahnhof ausgesetzt wurden. Die beiden überleben wie durch ein Wunder und begegnen sich durch Zufall im selben Waisenhaus.
Hashi und Kiku sind anfangs unzertrennlich, werden auch zusammen adoptiert und verlassen mit 16 das Elternhaus. Beide verarbeiten ihr Säuglingstrauma mit unterschiedlichen Ausprägungen des Wahnsinn
Oct 19, 2014 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japoneses, kindle
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
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
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Gunkanjima 2 34 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...

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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.” 186 likes
“They don't realise that they've changed; they think it's the world that changed.” 43 likes
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