The magnum opus by Japanese literary sensation Fuminori Nakamura, Cult X is a story that dives into the psychology of fringe religion, obsession, and social disaffection.
When Toru Narazaki’s girlfriend, Ryoko Tachibana, disappears, he tries to track her down, despite the warnings of the private detective he’s hired to find her. Ryoko’s past is shrouded in mystery, but the one concrete clue to her whereabouts is a previous address in the heart of Tokyo. She lived in a compound with a group that seems to be a cult led by a charismatic guru with a revisionist Buddhist scheme of life, death, and society. Narazaki plunges into the secretive world of the cult, ready to expose himself to any of the guru’s brainwashing tactics if it means he can learn the truth about Ryoko. But the cult isn’t what he expected, and he has no idea of the bubbling violence he is stepping into.
Inspired by the 1995 sarin gas terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway, Cult X is an exploration of what draws individuals into extremism. It is a tour de force that captures the connections between astrophysics, neuroscience, and religion; an invective against predatory corporate consumerism and exploitative geopolitics; and a love story about compassion in the face of nihilism.
|Publisher:||Soho Press, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)|
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 for Noir Fiction; 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 The Gun, The Kingdom, Evil and the Mask, The Boy in the Earth, and Last Winter, We Parted.
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Excerpted from "Cult X"
Copyright © 2018 Fuminori Nakamura.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ostensibly, this novel begins with a young man who is seeking a woman he has known who apparently had entered the strange world of a cult, which he then joins in an attempt to find her. As he progresses in his quest, the reader is exposed to a variety of topics, ranging from sex and violence to religion, astrophysics and neuroscience. This gives the author the opportunity to write about all kinds of subjects, with long discourses ranging from good and evil to Japanese politics, from war criminals to peace. Perhaps inspired by the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, the novel is an examination of what attraction extremism has to most people. The reader has to plow through more than 500 pages of this material, struggling to grasp all the meanings and context in what starts out as a simple love story. And the task is hardly easy. It takes a lot of effort and for that reason it is rated lower than one would expect a book written by this author, whose past works received [deservedly] higher ratngs. Nevertheless, Nakamura pushes us to the limits in his writings, which have made him one of the top Japanese authors. For this reason, for those willing to stick with it, Cult X is recommended