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Villain: A Novelby Shuichi Yoshida
Synopses & Reviews
A young insurance saleswoman is found strangled at Mitsuse Pass. Her family and friends are shocked and terrified. The pass--which tunnels through a mountainous region of southernJapan--has an eerie history: a hideout for robbers, murderers, and ghostly creatures lurking at night.
Soon afterward, a young construction worker becomes the primary suspect. As theinvestigation unfolds, the events leading up to the murder come darkly into focus, revealing a troubled cast of characters: the victim, Yoshino, a woman much too eager for acceptance; the suspect, Yuichi, a car enthusiastmisunderstood by everyone around him; the victim's middle-aged father, a barber disappointed with his life; and the suspect's aging grandmother, who survived the starvation of postwar Japan only to betormented by local gangsters. And, finally, there is desperate Mitsuyo, the lonely woman who finds Yuichi online and makes the big mistake of falling for him.
A stunningly dark thriller and atapestry of noir, Villain is the English-language debut for Shuichi Yoshida, one of Japan's most acclaimed and accomplished writers. From desolate seaside towns and lighthouses to love hotelsand online chat rooms, Villain reveals the inner lives of men and women who all have something to hide. Part police procedural, part gritty realism, Villain is a coolly seductive storyof loneliness and alienation in the southernmost reaches of Japan.
From the Hardcover edition.
The first novel to be translated into English from one of Japan’s rising literary stars; a tale of murder and desperation set in a desolate seaside town, in online chat rooms and love hotels—with a cast of characters all pushed to the razor’s edge.
January 6, 2002. The body of a female insurance saleswoman is found in the southernmost region of Japan, at a spot rumored to be a home to ghosts. Shortly thereafter Yuichi, a young construction worker, is arrested by the Nagasaki police on suspicion of murder. What then unfolds—from multiple points of view—are the events that led up to and follow the murder, as Yuichi and his lover try to elude the police. Moving back and forth in time, the riveting narrative tells the stories of the victim, the murderer, and their families—people of all classes, occupations, economic levels, and emotional situations—stories that come together to give us a unique, visceral, and indelible sense of contemporary Japanese society.
Here is the first appearance in English of a writer who is poised to electrify the American reading public.
About the Author
Shuichi Yoshida was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1968. The author of nine books, he has won numerous literary awards in Japan and has also had several of his short stories adapted for Japanese television. Villain won the Osaragi Jiro Prize and the Mainichi Publishing Culture Award, two prestigious Japanese prizes. Yoshida lives in Tokyo.
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