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The Thief Audiobook, by Fuminori Nakamura Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Fuminori Nakamura Narrator: Charlie Thurston Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2012 ISBN: 9781609988685
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The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn’t even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections … but he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job he can’t refuse. It’s an easy job: tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of the safe. No one gets hurt. Only the day after the job does he learn that the old man was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery. And now the thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “More than a crime novel, The Thief is a narrative that delves deep into the meaning of theft and the nature of justice…Japanese crime fiction has a new star.”

    Out of the Gutter

  • “Disguised as fast-paced, shock-fueled crime fiction, The Thief resonates even more as a treatise on contemporary disconnect and paralyzing isolation.”

    Library Journal

  • “Fast-paced, elegantly written, and rife with the symbols of inevitability.”


  • “The drily philosophical tone and the noir atmosphere combine perfectly, providing a rapid and enjoyable ‘read’ that is nonetheless cool and distant, provoking the reader to think about (as much as experience) the tale.”

    International Noir Fiction

  • “His grasp of the seamy underbelly of the city is why Nakamura is one of the most award-winning young guns of Japanese hard-boiled detective writing.”

    Daily Beast

  • “I defy you not to finish the book in a single sitting.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “I was deeply impressed with The Thief. It is fresh.”

    Kenzaburō Ōe, Nobel Prize–winning author

  • “Strangely, compulsively readable for its portrait of a dark, crumbling, graffiti-scarred Tokyo—and the desire to understand the mysterious thief.”


  • “A minimalist sliver of Tokyo noir…An intelligent, compelling, and surprisingly moving tale, and highly recommended.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “More Conrad than Connelly…A breath of fresh air for readers looking for something beyond the procedural.”

    Time Out Chicago

  • “Compelling…Nakamura’s memorable antihero, at once as believably efficient as Donald Westlake’s Parker and as disaffected as a Camus protagonist, will impress genre and literary readers alike.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “We get all the way to page 53 of…Nakamura’s chilling existential thriller The Thief before we learn the name of its protagonist narrator, a Tokyo pickpocket whose sense of purpose and pleasure in life comes mostly from the careful practice of his illicit craft. By then a reader may feel no special need to know what this nervy fellow is called, so well has Mr. Nakamura caused us to view the world through the thief’s hypersensitive mind.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2012
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2012
  • Finalist for the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller
  • One of the Wall Street Journal's Top 10 Mysteries of the Year in 2012

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About the Author

Fuminori Nakamura graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. In 2002 he won the prestigious Noma Literary Prize for new writers for his first novel, A Gun, and in 2005 he won the Akutagawa Prize for The Boy in the Earth. The Thief, winner of the 2010 Kenzaburo Oe Prize, Japan’s most important literary award, was his first novel to be published in English.

About the Narrator

Charlie Thurston is an actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He holds an MFA in acting from Brown University / Trinity Rep and has appeared on stages across the country with Trinity Repertory Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Creede Rep, and at Riverside Theatre and Redmoon Theater, among others. His favorite roles include Edgar in The Completely Fictional—Utterly True—Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen in The Long Christmas Ride Home, Tuzenbach in The Three Sisters, and Tony in You Can’t Take It with You.