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3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  3,992 Ratings  ·  359 Reviews
A pulsating psycho-thriller from Ryu Murakami, author of In the Miso Soup

A renaissance man for the postmodern age, Ryu Murakami-a musician, filmmaker (Tokyo Decadence), TV personality, and award-winning author-has gained a cult following in the West. His first novel, Almost Transparent Blue, won Japans most coveted literary prize and sold over a million copies, and his mos
ebook, 192 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Anthony Vacca
Sep 23, 2014 Anthony Vacca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anthony by: Lauren Floyd
Seriously perturbed about a rash of late-night impulses to murder his newborn child with an ice pick, Tokyo businessman Kawashima Masayuki decides that the only sensible thing to do is to murder a random prostitute instead. But even with all his careful preparations, which Kawashima painstakingly scribbles into a notebook, the last thing that our everyman hero expects is that his intended victim is just as deranged and volatile a freak as himself.

Sanada Chiaki is a S&M call girl in her early
Nov 28, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Piercing by Ryū Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb: In Piercing, Murakami, in his own unique style, explores themes of child abuse and what happens to the voiceless among us, weaving a disturbing, spare tale of two people who find each other and then are forced into hurting each other deeply because of the haunting specter of their own abuse as children. Piercing is set in Tokyo and follows Kawashima Masayuki trying to come to terms with his overwhelming desire to stab his infant child with
It has probably been two years since I read “In the Miso Soup,” what I consider more than just Ryu Murakami's flagship novel, but one of the few pieces of literature that I still draw on regularly when I want to ush and gush about fiction. I can still conjure what it feels like to read that book: Dreamy, terrifying and lonely, with a touch of nausea. And whenever I get into a conversation about books with someone I know can handle the dankest of dank, and the sourest of sour, the bloodiest of bl ...more
Ernest Junius
May 12, 2011 Ernest Junius rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: porn filmmakers, psychologist
I don't know if it was because of my overwhelming work flow in the office these 2 weeks, I only managed to finish this book after 10 days or more. It shouldn't be that way though, since Piercing is relatively thin and easy to read.

The only reason I can come up with, for reading it for far too long, is that it doesn't has its usual Murakami grip, as what I felt in In The Miso Soup and Audition.

It began pretty interesting, a quest of a somebody whose objective is to get rid of his fear, which he a
juan carlos
Mar 27, 2016 juan carlos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


¿Para qué leer Piercing?

1. Para conectarte con una narrativa ácida, cruel y retorcida que sólo este escritor puede hacer.
2. La naturaleza del crimen, y los asesinatos esta muy bien explicada y ejecutada.
3. Abuso sexual y maltrato infantil, llevado al extremo, (brutales descripciones)
4. La manera en que explica y argumenta este autor acerca de trau
Mar 07, 2014 Clint rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I actually like Ryu Murakami most of the time, but this book was just, like, a parody of himself. Starts out with a guy messing around with his baby's cheek with an ice pick while his wife is sleeping behind him, thinking how nice a guy he is for not killing the baby, then he decides he needs to stab the ice pick into some woman's stomach, then decides on top of that he needs to know first hand if a sliced Achilles tendon really makes a loud pop, then gets a love hotel and writes all this down i ...more
Mar 16, 2015 Absinthe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
One of the most delightfully fucked up books I have ever read is Piercing. Yet, despite its gruesome content (Psychopathic killer vs Schizophrenic Prostitute) there is a strange and beautiful philosophy delicately balanced between the two protagonists. I must say that the strangeness of the tale does have the unique flavoring of the Japanese, so those who are fond of Japanese writing will probably like this. However, for those of you who enjoy the neat, though often exciting bundles of Western w ...more
Fiqa (readinoutloud)
Mar 07, 2016 Fiqa (readinoutloud) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Disturbing. Brutal. Fucked-up.

This is my second time reading a Japanese fiction written by someone who isn't Haru-Kami and I loved it. I love how bizarre and gruesome the plot is, I love how sick the characters are. This book is about a mental-illed man obsessed with stabbing his own infant child and in order to not kill his own child he starts meticulously planning to kill a hired prostitute using an ice pick. Its a really short book with only two main characters. This book may not be suitable
Lukáš Palán
Dec 05, 2016 Lukáš Palán rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese
No to byla zase asijská šleha!

Rjúa jsem četl už dvakrát, přičemž ani jednou to nebylo fajn, jen divný. I když jsem od té doby vypil 59 litrů Becherovky, knížka V polévce miso mi nějakým záhadným způsobem zůstala v hlavě. Piercing se mi líbil námětem, ale pořád jsem ho odkládal. Třeba takový klíče si asi nepřečtu nikdy, ty odkládám každej den. LOL.

Ale zpět ke knize. Maník má pořád choutky bodnout do něčeho sekáčkem na led, a aby ho náhodou nenapadlo bodnout do svýho mimina, rozhodne se, že si zaj
Romina Nicolaides
Feb 14, 2015 Romina Nicolaides rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese
Piercing is a short and poignant book about a seemingly balanced family man who after some sleepless nights realizes he has raging fantasies about stabbing his baby girl with an ice pick. In order to avoid this fate he decides he needs to focus his attention somewhere else and concludes that the best avenue for his drive is to stab a woman. He gives his wife and company an excuse, takes the week off work and settles into a hotel in the business district where prostitutes abound.

He plans the mur
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
This is a stunningly good book that mixes visceral and disturbing psychological landscapes with an extremely intelligent, almost farcical story structure. I have never read anything quite like it.

The two main characters (and there really are only two characters in this rather short book) are both acutely damaged from childhood trauma and abuse. Each sees the world in an entirely different way, and each perceives the other's actions through a lens of their own psychological damage. This leads to
Jun 29, 2016 Mindi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this one because it is on the Flavorwire list of The 50 Scariest Books of All Time.

Two broken characters spend a night together, unaware that they are both suffering from mental illness due to their abusive childhoods. Kawashima appears to be a happily married man with a new baby, but inside he fears that his abusive past will cause him to lose control and hurt his little girl. He convinces himself that if he kills someone else he will be able to control those urges, and so lies to his w
Aug 16, 2012 zaydzayn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i dont know.i cant say i like it. the plot is okay. i just cant see the objective of the story. the story is dark, disturbed in a way. its about some disturbed japanese guy, disturbed psychologically as a side effect from being tortured by his mother when he was little. now he kinda wants others the feel his pain. he then hires a prostitute, wanting to stab her with an ice pick and watch her in pain. turns out the prostitute was also disturbed as he is. she has issues to. being a sex slave by he ...more
Ben Loory
Dec 24, 2008 Ben Loory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ben by: arrived in a box from pluto
my first encounter with the other murakami. for some reason i expected this guy to be a much slower, more cerebral, more "artistic" writer than haruki murakami (i guess because the japanese lit-folks seem to prefer him), but in actuality it turned out to be the opposite. this book makes the wind-up bird chronicle look like something a spinsterly schoolmarm might cook up over the course of eight or ten years of sunday afternoon tea. not to say i like this murakami better; based on this i'm still ...more
Shawn (ThatOneEnglishGradStudent)
This is my second book from this author, and I have to say I liked it better than the first (which was Audition). The two main characters, as well as the whole premise in general, are deliciously twisted people who almost sort of belong together in a way. I can't speak to whether this translation is particularly good or bad, but I can say I was able to follow it easily; I'm sure there are a few things here and there that are lost in translation, but there wasn't anything that left me scratching ...more
My second Ryu Murakami book and the second book I have been too horrified to put down. I sat here and read ferociously in hopes that everything would be okay. But are they ever okay? This story really has two main characters who meet under insane circumstances and for a while you kind of hope they fall for each other. Then you realize that you think that and feel that you must be cracking up.

Crazy book. Lot's of sick fun.
sumbru, dur. roman despre violență, despre probleme psihice, copilării abuzate sexual, instincte criminale, sado-masochism. Murakami și-a lasăt îmbrăcate cele două personaje de toate spaimele și fricile posibile pentru a le deschide apetitul pentru crimă, violență sau sinucidere.

un roman despre întâlnirea dintre două victime-criminal. de văzut cine e învingătorul :)
Jul 30, 2015 Tomás rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Primera novela que leo de Ryu Murakami (no confundir con Haruki Murakami). Una novela corta, bastante turbia y por momentos incómoda. Es increíble el desarrollo psicológico que hace el autor de los dos personajes principales, aspecto que se lleva todos mis aplausos, como así también el hecho de lo arriesgado de la novela en general.

A ver que otra novela engancho próximamente del autor.
Scott Brook
Jul 17, 2015 Scott Brook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice quick read, although with a rather dark and sadistic tone. The plot is rather simple. A damaged man with an urge to kill picks his first victim not knowing that she is just as or even more damaged. Cat and mouse ensues. Worth a read. However, if the reader has weak stomach, I would not recommend doing this while eating, as I did. Some pretty graphic depictions are included.
Oct 13, 2016 Miguel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decidí darle otra oportunidad a Ryu Murakami después de Azul. Qué afortunada decisión, los personajes están bien delineados. La historia a veces languidece por el hecho de girar sobre un sólo eje, la premisa prometida al iniciar el libro.
Sarah Anne
Mar 22, 2016 Sarah Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, crime, author-man
Damn! I lost my comments trying to delete another edition!
Nhược Phong
Oct 11, 2016 Nhược Phong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Xuyên thấu
Tác giả: Ryu Murakami
Rate: 4/5
Khi tặng tôi cuốn sách này, con bạn tôi đã nói là cuốn này có một cái kết thúc lưng chừng đến nỗi nó tưởng sách mất trang. Nhưng khi đọc rồi thì tôi lại không thấy thế. Với một cuốn sách kỳ dị thế này thì đây là cái kết thúc êm đẹp lắm rồi.
Lần đầu tiên khi tôi nghe kể đến cuốn sách này, là khi một ai đó đã nói chơi rằng có lẽ tôi sẽ thích một câu chuyện kỳ dị kể về cuộc gặp gỡ của một người đàn ông mang mưu đồ giết người với một người phụ nữ mong muốn
Ruby-Mae Roberts
I read this when I was 13. I had very mixed feelings about it.

It was the first real "adult" book I'd read that wasn't a classic and I was a bit smug at being allowed to buy and read this.

On the one hand I loved it because reading it made me feel like I was getting away with something naughty, but on the other hand I just hated it. It felt like the author was shouting this shocking nonsense stuff at me to bait a reaction. It felt desperate. I just wanted there to be more substance and less "...
Nov 17, 2010 Marvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I can't figure out if Piercing is horror or dark comedy, probably both. The novel concerns a man who fights a compulsion to stab his infant child with an icepick. (Did I lose you already?). He fights that compulsion with a logic that is perfectly sane for a man who is insane, Go stab someone else. But his intended victim is just as insane as he is. This novella focuses on their single encounter which is as weird and disturbing as you would think it would be. Often I found it a bit over-the-top w ...more
James Purkis Purkis
"A small living creature asleep in its crib. Like a laboratory animal in a cage..." hence begins this confronting and very readable short novel by Ryu Murakami. I wouldn't say I enjoyed this short novel but I was fascinated and intrigued throughout. The premise, a man seemingly unable to control his desire to hurt his own baby with an ice pick so he decides to kill a prostitute instead, is undoubtably confronting but as the reader uncovers the past of the protagonist, his proposed victim and wif ...more
Feb 02, 2011 Jessie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This book is... wow, so different to anything I have ever read. Not sure if I liked it or not really, but it kept me gripped throughout. The style of writing drags you in so easily and so fluidly. The characters are odd, and Japanese, so I guess from a blinkered westerner's perspective, the two go hand in hand, but I didn't expect nearly as much stuff to happen in the story as it did. I feel quite numb after finishing it, and like I say, still uncertain as to my actual own opinion of the book, b ...more
Nuno Almeida
Oct 27, 2014 Nuno Almeida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tem todos os ingredientes que esperava de um livro de Murakami. Curto mas com um ritmo feroz, um autêntico page turner que se lê quase de uma assentada. Grandes doses de violência e sexualidade, por vezes misturados. A novidade, pelo menos em comparação com o Na Sopa de Miso, é que em vez de acompanharmos uma aventura tresloucada pelo ponto de vista de uma personagem mais ou menos normal, desta vez a ação distribui-se entre dois protagonistas com sérios problemas mentais. Torna-se um livro surpr ...more
Nov 29, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good if your into dark stuff. It was quick, to the point, no messing around. What I liked most about this book is that it revealed hidden and new things about human emotions and the depth of abuse. It took on and conquered so many things in such a short amount of pages.

I read In the miso soup a few years ago and that was my first book by "this" Murakami. While Miso was definitely more exciting and had you on the edge of your seat a little more, psychologically this book do
Nov 11, 2008 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008, asian
Reading this book made me glad that I possess at least a little sanity. Kawashima has this obsession with ice picking his baby girl and figures the only way to overcome this desire is to ice pick a lady in the stomach (he did it before). Problem is he finds a lady that is as messed up as he is. This is a twisted psychosexual thriller and the second ‘modern’ Japanese writer that I’ve read this year (the first being Hitomi Kanehara). Both made my scrotum hurt. I did learn about pavor nocturnus (ni ...more
Austin Storm
Oct 09, 2012 Austin Storm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
If I had read a description of this I likely would not have read it. I picked this up because it was short, and because I confused him for the other Murakami, the 1Q84 one. Yes, that sort of thing happens to me. This is the one who wrote the book that became the movie Audition. So in the end I feel like I got off easy, relatively.

Two deranged, sexually completely f-ed people meet and try to kill each other. Frequent mentions of songs and brand names - a little Easton Ellis.

The prose isn't stil
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Goodreads Librari...: Book Date 2 84 Sep 26, 2015 12:18PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Piercing by Ryu Murakami 3 20 Apr 10, 2015 07:42PM  
2017 Reading Chal...: Piercing 1 18 Mar 20, 2015 01:59AM  
Creepy! 4 48 Feb 08, 2015 04:08PM  
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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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“In heated rooms, he often felt the outlines of his body, the border between him and the external world, grow disturbingly fuzzy.” 14 likes
“Who knew there were still people like that in this world, though? Everybody wants to talk about themselves, and everybody wants to hear everybody else's story, so we take turns playing reporter and celebrity. 'It must have made you very sad when your own father raped you - can you describe some of your feelings at the time? Yes, I wept and wept, wonder why something like this had to happen to me'. It's like that. Everyone's running around comparing wounds, like bodybuilders showing off their muscles. And what's really unbelievable is that they really believe they can heal the wounds like that, just by putting them on display.” 10 likes
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