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Occupied City (Tokyo Trilogy, #2)
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Occupied City (Tokyo Trilogy #2)

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  358 ratings  ·  52 reviews
On January 26, 1948, a man posing as a public health official arrives at a bank in Tokyo. He explains that he’s there to treat everyone who might have been exposed to a recent outbreak of dysentery. Soon after drinking the medicine he administers, twelve employees are dead, four are unconscious, and the “official” has fled. Twelve voices tell the story of the murder from d ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Faber & Faber (first published September 1st 2009)
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Tokyo Year Zero by David PeaceThe Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo HigashinoOccupied City by David PeaceSalvation of a Saint by Keigo HigashinoOut by Natsuo Kirino
Best Japanese Crime Novels
3rd out of 12 books — 7 voters
Nineteen Seventy Four by David PeaceNineteen Eighty by David PeaceNineteen Seventy Seven by David PeaceOccupied City by David PeaceNineteen Eighty-Three by David Peace
The Best of David Peace
4th out of 7 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 907)
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Anthony Vacca
If there is a more ambitious crime writer currently producing high quality works of bleak historical noir that crackle with experimental prose, then I want to know his or her name. But for now let it stand that David Peace is the real fucking deal. Occupied City is Peace's ballsiest (ovariesiest) fictional approach yet to putting the psyche of a place and time on the page.

The city is America-occupied Japan, the godforsaken year is 1948 - and on a lazy January afternoon, a man in a medical unifor
Nathanael Booth
David Peace follows his spectacular "Tokyo Year Zero" with a book that is, if possible, even more staggering: a twelve-voiced account of a notorious mass murder that took place in Tokyo in 1948. Much has been made of his debt to "Rashomon," and comparisons have also been drawn between this novel and "The Waste Land," but what is most fascinating to me is the way Peace once more draws parallels between the murders that form the basis of the book and the destructive impact of war on those who part ...more
when I read Tokyo Year Zero, I was stunned. The book was very special in my eyes, it was different, confusing and impressive. I didnt know David Peace before, though you always stumble upon his red-riding-qurartett-series, when you are looking for something to read in the book stores. I really looked forward to the second part of his Tokyo-trilogy and when I finally finished it last week, I was overwhelmed.

Occupied City tells the story of a real crime in Tokyo in the year 1948, and from this st
Peace, David. OCCUPIED CITY. (2010). **. This is the kind of book that polarizes readers. They either like it, and praise it to the skies, or they hate it, and condemn it to the shelf of forgotten books. It is said to be a novel. It says so right there on the cover. Maybe it is, but the story – such as it is – is told by a series of narrators with a variety of speech defects and mental aberrations that lead to discontinuities in their thought processes. I’m old fashioned. When I read a novel, I ...more
Patrick McCoy
There’s a fascinating story buried in Dave Peace’s latest novel, Occupied City. It is the story of a mass murder carried out in the guise of treatment for a dysentery outbreak in order to rob a bank in post war Tokyo. It is a true story and suggests that the killer may have been from the infamous unit 731 that was developing weapons for biological warfare. The story is somewhat hard to piece together due to the experimental style Peace used in this novel. This might have something to do with rea ...more
Derek Baldwin
There are times THERE ARE TIMES ---there are times--- when the experimental style of The Occupied City IN THE OCCUPIED CITY WHEN I DEBATED CONTINUING WITH THIS BOOK ---I recognised and admired what a work of art this is--- of Peace's writing AND WISHED THE STORY COULD BE MORE SIMPLY TOLD ---but the narrative can be very dense, and it was slow going---. BUT IT'S VERY DEFINITELY WORTH PERSEVERING WITH. ---so I think I might need to re-read this some time.--- Especially the mind-fucking section nea ...more
I had a hard time with this book. I felt like I was reading a long poem rather than a prose book and I think that may have been what was challenging for me. It didn't really give me anything to hold on to that I usually need-character or plot. The writing is very rhythmic (lots of repetition), descriptive, visual (use of punctuation, capitals), layered and I think the idea is probably to evoke emotion but it just made it confusing for me. I read this for book group, so I'm hoping the power of th ...more
The second in a promised trilogy about life and crime in Tokyo during the US occupation. This one is heavily influenced by Kurosawa's "Rashomon" which itself was based on short fiction by Akutagawa. Peace has a unique style which one has to experience to appreciate. I enjoyed this one but not quite as much as his earlier "Year Zero".
Once you get into the rhythm of the prose, this is a fine novel, certainly better than its predecessor in the triology. That it is based on fact, makes it rather better.
Adam Smith
On January 26 1948 at around 3:30pm, a man walked into the Shiinamachi Teikoku bank in Tokyo. Claiming to be a doctor inoculating against dysentery, he proceed to administer a drug to everyone present. Within a handful of minutes more than a dozen people were dead or in serious condition. The man then disappeared with a large sum of the bank's money. A callous robbery that would lead the Japanese police on a chase through the shadowy underside of postwar Japan. A horrifying account of actual eve ...more
On the cover of this book it says "A writer of such immense talent and power" The Times. Well, I guess that I got the wrong book. This book achieved something I am pretty sure no book has ever done before. I stopped reading after the first chapter. What a load of pretentious hogswash.
Continually repeating words, paragraphs, changing fonts etc. Do not interest me. Sorry. I hated this. For those that enjoyed it good for you. I have shelves of books I feel will be more interesting and so I'm done.
David Peace is a novelist who occupies an odd space in British literature -- he’s popular enough to receive mentions in the press, and some of his books (the Red Riding trilogy) have been adapted for TV – yet for all that he occupies a radical and challenging space on the borderlines of genre fiction. Much like China Miéville does with science fiction, Peace’s novels can be appreciated both as edgy crime thrillers and as politically-charged texts which challenge existing novelistic conventions. ...more
Bridget Weller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 29, 2010 Tony rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
David Peace is one of those authors whom I feel I ought to like, but whenever I've picked up one of his books, I just haven't been able to connect with it. I like British crime fiction, but just couldn't get into his Red Riding quartet. I picked this latest book of his (the second in his Tokyo trilogy) up because I find the period of American-occupied Japan pretty interesting, but once again, after 25 pages, I just couldn't take it any more, and I can't see myself picking it back up.

The story is
In reading the NYTimes Book Review I was pretty damn sold on this book. Maybe if I had better realized it was classified as a "mystery" I would have gave it a miss.

But who wouldn't want to read a book about a post WWII Japan man hunt involving poison, a bank heist, secret chemical warfare programs, all told with an intentional nod to Rashomon and noirs? Sounded right up my alley.

Let's just say technique surely overshadows content in Peace's book. It's almost not a novel, the disjointed chapters
Ian Young
This is an unusual and challenging book, which has met with very mixed reviews. Peace is without doubt a unique talent, and his writing unlike that of any other novelist working today. The core of this book is a true life crime in post-war Tokyo, where a fake doctor administered cyanide to a group of bank employees and then robbed the bank. However, it is the style with which the story is told which is remarkable. Peace makes extensive use of the repetition which has become one of his trademarks ...more
As with all Peace's works this is terrifying in its telling.The ghosts wail for life and the man himself tried to continue on his murderous path.Peace creates and atmosphere of fear and living hell for all.This is made worse by the images of the war that seems to cover the surface like a miasma of oily darkness that the people of Japan are still struggling to climb above
Graham Tapper
I had read a lot about this book so expectations were high. But it soon became clear that this was a book lost in its own cleverness ; more style than substance.

Peace admits he has borrowed a Japanese writing style for much of the dialogue. Perhaps that's why it jars so much.

In the end it was very much a ho-hum experience and not one that is likely to bring me to reading more from this author.
Marc Nash
Using the device of the ovie Rashomon, a real life horrific crime in the aftermath of Japan's surrender in 1945 is told from 13 different viewpoints of people caught up or directly involved. From this Peace weaves a masterful tapestry of lies, deceit, cover-up and conspiracy as each of twelve participants offer their groping towards the truth. The thirteenth is a contemporary author, perhaps Peace himself, struggling to separate truth from story-making and confabulation. Each is given the durati ...more
Aaron Poorman
I did not like this book. Bored / In the occupied city gimmicks in typeface count for voice / Like this one here / IN THE OCCUPIED CITY REDUNDANCY EQUALS EMOTIONAL DEPTH. So we, as readers are left reading the sentence IN THE OCCUPIED CITY 1,000 TIMES. Each chapter introduces a new perspective which does make the reading go by fast, but that's about the only saving grace here ; as each character also brings a new gimmicky writing style. And with it a new thing to be annoyed at. The worst part is ...more
This was a book I found to be hard work but look back on much more fondly than when I was reading it. The styles the chapters are written in are sometimes impenetrable and sometimes tiresome, and possibly most frustratingly once that perspective is gone you don't get to revisit with more information. However, the book offers something more than a historical mystery we hope to get an answer to and the atmosphere it sought to create has grown on me over the months since I read it. There are all ki ...more
Occupied City is the follow-up to Tokyo Year Zero (one of my fav reads of '08, and a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Awards). It's 1947, and a man walks into a bank, claiming to be an Occupation Authority, saying that dysentery has broken out in the neighborhood and that everyone in the bank needs to drink his medicine to be protected/inoculated. The result is a mass poisoning (linked to previous war crimes) that it is the center of the novel. We experience the murders (pre, during, and afterma ...more
Just as the first one in the trilogy, David Peace blows your mind out with the cut-up-kindof writing. David Peace makes you see patterns, putting pieces together by showing glimpses of truth, only to mess everything up and scatter the pieces all over the place in the next sentence.
A polarizing read. Sometimes banal and repetitive, other times unhinged. It may seem gimmicky, but not if you understand that the narratives are meant to be stylistic representations of madness, ambiguity, frustration, and obsession.

No, the narrative does not operate smoothly. If you are willing to believe that a fractured structure can express something ineffable about the secrecy of power and the hopelessness of those strong-armed by it, then this book will surprise you.

Absolutely worth it: I
This is a love it or loathe it book, but if you're familiar with David Peace's style, you'll already know what to expect.

Another dark and disturbing tale, this time based on a true crime committed back in the post WWII occupation of Japan.

The story is tackled from all sorts of different angles, some more comprehensively than others, but the different facets offer compelling versions of the same story.

The time frame jumps back and forth, but the main narrative drives forwards relentlessly: and Pe
Set in post-war Tokyo in 1948, this second novel in a trilogy deals with the murder by means of poison of 12 people in a bank after closing time. An intriguing story written in an interesting and quite unique style, which was however quite hard to get into.
Nick Duretta
A man in postwar Japan kills an entire bank's staff by poison (and steals all the money). Then, "Rashomon"-style, we hear the story from 12 different perspectives--including the killer's. Peace plays around wildly with style and form in each mini-tale, and some of the writing was a bit too avant-garde and experimental for me, but most of it was fascinating. Subplots and intriguing back stories slowly reveal themselves. This isn't an easy to digest, straightforward crime novel by any means, but i ...more
Brenda Anderson
Enjoyed this unusual fiction based on history. Reads like a series of compiled primary sources, as if someone got a hold of the interview notes taken by a journalist.
Dit is een goed boek. Enige bereidwilligheid bij de lezer is echter wel noodzakelijk. Peace maakt een hypnotiserend maar ook verwarrend verhaal in twaalf stukken, de twaalf stadia in een geestoproepende seance, over een misdaad die in het bezette Tokyo na WOII gepleegd wordt. Die context was voor mij al interessant, want nieuw. Ook de medeplichtigheid van zowat alle betrokkenen in het vertroebelen van de waarheid is een fascinerende visie, een zwarte en enge realiteit die ons in de keel gegoten ...more
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David Peace - Tokyo Trilogy 1 3 Jun 06, 2014 07:30AM  
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David Peace was born in 1967 and grew up in Ossett, near Wakefield. He left Manchester Polytechnic in 1991, and went to Istanbul to teach English. In 1994 he took up a teaching post in Tokyo and now lives there with his family.

His formative years were shadowed by the activities of the Yorkshire Ripper, and this had a profound influence on him which led to a strong interest in crime. His quartet of
More about David Peace...

Other Books in the Series

Tokyo Trilogy (2 books)
  • Tokyo Year Zero (Tokyo Trilogy, #1)
The Damned Utd Nineteen Seventy Four (Red Riding, #1) Nineteen Seventy Seven (Red Riding, #2) Nineteen Eighty (Red Riding, #3) Tokyo Year Zero (Tokyo Trilogy, #1)

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