[Book Review] The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura

Title: The Gun
Author: Fuminori Nakamura
Format: Hardcover, 198 pages
Genre: Crime Fiction
ISBN-13: 978-1616955908
Publisher: Soho Crime
Release Date: 2016


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Last year I decided to diversify my reading, so this year I created a Diversity Reading Challenge

I found The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura at my local library’s book shop, Red Chair Bookshop. I had gone in not expecting much as it had just opened, but was pleasantly surprised by the selection. I spotted this and thought, ‘Oh what a simple yet powerful title.’ After reading the summary I put it with the rest of my book booty. When putting together my reading list for the Diversity Reading Challenge this was one of the first books I included.

The Gun is Nakamura’s first novel and it’s a super fast read. For a first novel Nakamura is quite controlled. The sentences are tightly woven and flow one right after another allowing the plot to move swiftly. His descriptions are quite vivid and they put the reader right in the midst of the action.

I had to skip most of the following scene involving a cat because it was a little more detailed than what I could handle.

The first thing I saw was a black clump. The clump was writhing and twitching violently, while still attempting to stand on its feet. . . The black cat coughed up something, and there was blood mixed in with whatever filth came out. In the pool of blood around the cat, I caught sight of what looked like fragments of crawfish shells. . .

Nishikawa, the main character and narrator, finds a gun by the riverside, picks it up, takes it home, and becomes obsessed with it. And when I say obsessed I mean obsessed. He says:

I felt like I had discovered what I was passionate about. And for me, that thing was nothing more than the gun.

The gun begins to dominate Nishikawa’s world. He makes up excuses to not go out with friends and doesn’t allow himself to get into a relationship with a girl because he feels the gun is his priority. He talks to it and polishes it incessantly and begins to believe that the gun wants him to fire it.

A few things I didn’t like:

The narrator’s father is dying. He goes to visit him in the hospital; but then we, the reader, don’t get any more information about him. I know the reason but I still wanted more.

There were several bits that seemed incomplete to me, but at the same time I’m not sure they needed to be elaborated upon. For instance a detective shows up at Nishikawa’s door and asks him about the gun. The detective tells him that he knows he has the gun. He gives Nishikawa a bit of advice and that’s the last we see of him

I didn’t care for the ending. For me it was wrapped up in a nice neat bow and I was really hoping for a bit more of a dramatic unsuspecting end.

add to goodreads[5]Click here to see my 2017 Diversity Reading Challenge List

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