Last Winter We Parted

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Product Details

Soho Crime
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.4 X 0.6 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including the Ōe Prize, Japan's largest literary award; the David L. Goodis Award; and the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The Thief, his first novel to be translated into English, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other novels include Evil and the Mask and The Gun.


Praise for Last Winter, We Parted

BookRiot 100 Must-Read Novels of Noir

"Crime fiction that pushes past the bounds of genre, occupying its own nightmare realm . . . For Nakamura, like [Seichō] Matsumoto, guilt or innocence is not the issue; we are corrupted, complicit, just by living in society. The ties that bind, in other words, are rules beyond our making, rules that distance us not only from each other but also from ourselves."
--David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

"This slim, icy, outstanding thriller, reminiscent of Muriel Spark and Patricia Highsmith, should establish Fuminori Nakamura as one of the most interesting Japanese crime novelists at work today."
--USA Today

"Some of the darkest noir fiction to come out of Japan--or any country--in recent years . . . Nakamura's stories, however labeled, are memorable forays into uncomfortable terrain."
--Tom Nolan, Mystery Scene

"A tense, layered story . . . [Nakamura's] stripped-down prose and direct style drop the reader straight into his nightmare."
--The Japan Times

"His most ambitious novel . . . Nakamura is still pursuing the notion of the dark, existential thriller, but here we find him delving into even more twisted territory."

"Truly unsettling."
--The Strand Magazine

"A coldly sophisticated, darkly disturbing logic puzzle written in the style of the great ice queen of the genre, Patricia Highsmith."
--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Deeply erotic and haunting... climaxes with a shocking twist."
--Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

"Extremely dark and certainly twisted."
--Suspense Magazine

"Stands out as a chilling, philosophical look at murder and the nature of guilt."

"One unexpected punch after another."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Elegantly crafted . . . As the shadow of a second writer begins to cloud the picture, and the story accelerates down the slippery slope separating love and obsession, the twisty--and twisted--turns it takes ambush narrator and reader alike."
--Publishers Weekly

"[Feels like] exploring the minds of characters in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood or Werner Herzog's documentary Into the Abyss. It's a creepy feeling."

"With an economy of prose and pages, Nakamura has created a work that one can read during the course of a long afternoon and will remember for a lifetime."

"Nakamura's writing is as psychologically astute as it can be while also representing a vision of the world twisted and screwed, without joy or happiness. In other words, Last Winter, We Parted is the epitome of literary noir."
--Mystery People (Austin, TX), Pick of the Month

"An engrossing, original mystery that does not neglect the element of surprise."

"Nakamura reveals not just the complexities of artistic representation, but our wish that it were not so--our desire to remake events as if they had occurred right before our eyes."
--Words Without Borders

"An old-fashioned house of mirrors . . . Nakamura's book requires (but also rewards) close attention: it is in a way a Postmodern revival of some of the tropes of classic noir and hard-boiled fiction, with a specifically Japanese sensibility."
--International Noir Fiction

"A maddening merry-go-round, a twisted story of just how far some will go for their art, or for love."
--Crime Fiction Lover (UK)

"Enjoyably twisty."
--The Complete Review

"A murder mystery that will keep you guessing at every turn, as it is never really clear who the victims and the criminals are, until the ending that you will not see coming . . . A dark and wonderful psychological mind-screw that forces the reader to question their own capacity for evil . . . The subjects of love/hate, abandonment, obsession, revenge and sexual deviation are all touched upon in a manner that reminds me of Camus, or Kafka with a pinch of Dashiell Hammitt. Recommended for fans of crime pulps, Freud, Jim Thompson, Albert Camus and Japanese Noir."
--The Thugbrarian Review

Praise for
The Thief

Winner of Japan's Prestigious Ōe Prize
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize 2013 Finalist
A Wall Street Journal Best Fiction of 2012 Selection
A World Literature Today Notable Translation

An Amazon Best Mystery/Thriller of the Month

"I was deeply impressed with The Thief. It is fresh. It is sure to enjoy a great deal of attention."
--Kenzaburō Ōe, Nobel Prize-winning author of A Personal Matter

"Fascinating. I want to write something like The Thief someday myself."
--Natsuo Kirino, bestselling author of Edgar-nominated Out and Grotesque

"The Thief brings to mind Highsmith, Mishima and Doestoevsky . . . A chilling existential thriller leaving readers in doubt without making them feel in any way cheated."
--Wall Street Journal, Best Book of the Year Selection

"An intelligent, compelling and surprisingly moving tale, and highly recommended."
--The Guardian

"Nakamura's prose is cut-to-the-bone lean, but it moves across the page with a seductive, even voluptuous agility. I defy you not to finish the book in a single sitting."
--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Fuminori Nakamura's Tokyo is not a city of bright lights, bleeding-edge technology, and harajuku girls with bubblegum pink hair. In Nakamura's Japan, the lights are broken, the knives are bloodier than the tech, and the harajuku girls are aging single mothers turning tricks in cheap tracksuits. His grasp of the seamy underbelly of the city is why Nakamura is one of the most award-winning young guns of Japanese hardboiled detective writing."
Daily Beast

"It's simple and utterly compelling - great beach reading for the deeply cynical. If you crossed Michael Connelly and Camus and translated it from Japanese."

--Sacramento Bee
, "Page-Turner" Pick

"Nakamura's writing is spare, taut, with riveting descriptions . . . Nakamura conjures dread, and considers philosophical questions of fate and control . . . For all the thief's anonymity, we come to know his skill, his powerlessness and his reach for life."
--Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Nakamura's memorable antihero, at once as believably efficient as Donald Westlake's Parker and as disaffected as a Camus protagonist, will impress genre and literary readers alike."
--Publishers Weekly

"Compulsively readable for its portrait of a dark, crumbling, graffiti-scarred Tokyo--and the desire to understand the mysterious thief."

"Disguised as fast-paced, shock-fueled crime fiction, Thief resonates even more as a treatise on contemporary disconnect and paralyzing isolation."
--Library Journal

"Nakamura's dark imagination gives rise to his literary world . . . the influences of Kafka and Dostoyevsky are not hard to spot.
--The Japan Times

"Fast-paced, elegantly written, and rife with the symbols of inevitability."

"The Thief manages to wrap you up in its pages, tightly, before you are quite aware of it."
--Mystery Scene

"[An] extremely well-written tale . . . Readers will be enthralled by this story that offers an extremely surprising ending."
--Suspense Magazine

"Nakamura succeeds in creating a complicated crime novel in which the focus is not on the crimes themselves but rather on the psychology and physicality of the criminal. The book's power inheres in the voice of the thief, which is itself as meticulously rendered as the thief's every action."
--Three Percent

"Both a crime thriller and a character study, it is a unique and engrossing read, keeping a distant yet thoughtful eye on the people it follows . . . It's a haunting undercurrent, making The Thief a book that's hard to shake once you've read it."
--Mystery People

"The drily philosophical tone and the noir atmosphere combine perfectly, providing a rapid and enjoyable 'read' that is nonetheless cool and distant, provoking the reader to think about (as much as experience) the tale."
--International Noir Fiction

Praise for Evil and the Mask

"Karma runs thicker than blood in Evil and the Mask, the thought-provoking and unpredictable new novel by the Japanese zen-noir master Fuminori Nakamura."
--Wall Street Journal

"This literary thriller steeps the reader in humanity's dark nature and the struggle of those who try to resist their own moral corruption."
--Library Journal

"Deals with basic questions of good and evil, guilt and remorse. Cryptic detectives, smoky nightclubs, and murky streets in Japanese suburbs add to the noir sensibility. At times bizarre, at times hallucinatory, the story is always provocative."
--Publishers Weekly

"Evil and the Mask is a hard-to-put-down novel of ideas and a savage comment on nihilism, both Japanese and global . . . Shouldn't be missed."
--Booklist, Starred Review

"Deliciously twisted . . . Nakamura bend[s] the line between what is good and what is evil until it nearly breaks. It's impressive how a book so dark can be so much fun."

"This literary thriller steeps the reader in humanity's dark nature and the struggle of those who try to resist their own moral corruption."
--Library Journal

"Evil and the Mask is concerned with a twisty sense of morality: is Fumihiro born evil, and can he escape the cruelty associated with his surname?"

"Evil and the Mask is a brilliant novel from one of Japan's most current authors . . . If you love Patricia Highsmith, you'll love Nakamura."
--Globe and Mail

"Evil and the Mask is an engrossing account . . . The story is violent, revengeful, and often disagreeable but it still contains that hypnotic voice that makes you want to read more."
--Midwest Book Review

"Evil and the Mask delves even further into the dark . . . [It] grapples with murder, war and a deep distrust of society that manifests itself in disturbing ways."
--The Japan Times

"Evil and the Mask, the second book of his to be available in English, is undoubtedly the narrative that will help cement him as the new master of Japanese noir . . . an absolute must-read."
--Out of the Gutter Magazine

"[Evil and the Mask is] full of themes that everyone can appreciate . . . Nakamura blurs the line between light and dark, good and evil. He illustrates that nothing in life is completely black and white."
--Tulsa Books Examiner