In The Miso Soup has sold 10,000 copies in hardback in the UK to date, and 14,000 paperbacks
Renaissance man for the modern age, Ryu Murakami has played drums for a rock group, made movies and hosted a TV talk show. His first novel, Almost Transparent Blue, written while he was still a student, was awarded Japan's most coveted literary prize and went on to sell over a million copies. His most recent novel to appear in English was In the Miso Soup, published by Bloomsbury in 2005.
Murakami (Almost Transparent Blue) offers a twisted psycho-thriller that examines child abuse, obsession, and power in postmodern Japan. Kawashima Masayuki is a husband and father who hears voices in his head telling him to stab soft flesh with an ice pick. When his wife almost catches him touching his baby's face with an ice pick, Kawashima decides to go on sabbatical and fulfill his psychopathic desire to stab a woman in her stomach. For that purpose, he arranges to hire a prostitute, whose Achilles heel he also intends to cut. Sanada Chiaki, the prostitute who arrives, is a woman haunted by her sexually abusive father and obsessed with self-mutilation, suicidal thoughts, and a passion for piercing her own body. When these two damaged people come together, twisted plans and imaginary voices clash, and awful visions are brought to light. This dark, sexually charged, and thrilling short novel is a strong academic collection choice.-Ronald Samul, New London, CT Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
'Equally compelling and disturbing ... a dark psycho-thriller' Daily Mail 'Piercing is a Japanese extension of David Lynch's world: surreal, sexually anguished, highly neurotic, both knowing and naive' Guardian 'Each time a new book by Ryu Murakami is published, the people at the Japanese Tourist Board must hang their heads in despair ... darkly witty' Daily Telegraph 'There are echoes here of Edgar Allan Poe and Dostoyevsky - Murakami shares their fascination with the darkest layer of the soul, and the appalling isolation of the criminal. Creepy and gripping' Kate Saunders, The Times
In this short, tense and brutally eloquent thriller from Japanese author Murakami (In the Miso Soup), Kawashima Masayuki, a young urban professional, faces the terrible fear he will stab his baby daughter, Rie, just as he once stabbed the stripper he lived with when he was 19. He decides killing a young prostitute will alleviate the building pressure inside him and protect both Rie and his sweet wife, Yoko. He plans everything meticulously, but what he doesn't bargain for is that his intended victim, Sanada Chiaki, an s&m worker, is as disturbed as he is. During their appointment, Chiaki experiences a "Nightmare" episode that results in a twisted game of cat-and-mouse. Murakami doesn't waste a word or a movement in this near-haiku of a tale that's breathless with anxiety and fraught with pain. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.