The Kingdom ~ Fuminori Nakamura

The Kingdom by Fuminori Nakamura, Translated from the Japanese by ...

Date Completed: 8/4/2016
Rating: 4/10

This book was really weird. Probably one of the weirdest books I’ve read. No, definitely one of the weirdest books I’ve read. Yurika takes us on a journey through her life where she works as a freelancer posing as a prostitute to blackmail important men. That isn’t even the strangest bit, because what’s truly strange is the descriptions of the enjoyment she gets out of having power over these powerful men. I feel no sympathy for Yurika because she has no sense of empathy whatsoever, except for perhaps one past relationship that’s a little unclear. She lives alone and has no friends, and eventually she ends up getting blackmailed by two powerful men on two sides of a war, and eventually finds herself trapped in a life or death situation. These two men also have no emotions or empathy. Finally, one of them cuts her a break for no known reason and her life spirals away. There is no real ending, just more psychological thriller and speculation.

Psychological thrillers, as I’ve mentioned before, walk a fine line between making you feel emotions, and making you concerned that another person or thing cares so little about emotions that everyone is in danger. This book didn’t create any emotional investment for me as the reader, nor did I feel like the characters displayed enough emotion to be twisted. They didn’t quite feel real. I think that’s where this book fell short in the end.

Fuminori Nakamura has won several awards and prizes for his books. They have been translated into several languages.

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