Title: Cult X
Author: Fuminori Nakamura
Translated by: Kalau Almony
Publisher: Soho Press, NY, USA. 2018.
© Review Copyright. Peter Hanami. 2018. All Rights Reserved.
This novel by Fuminori Nakamura is fiction but draws on the events of the 1995 Sarin Gas attacks in Tokyo and delves into what inspires cults, their backgrounds, their leaders, their followers and values. Set in the present day in Tokyo. We meet a cast of characters who take us on a journey throughout the book. Nazaraki is one of them. He has recently quit his job and has become somewhat disillusioned by corporate life and is trying to find his place in society. A chance meeting with a girl named Tachibana sets off the novel.
You will gain insights into the background philosophies of the leaders, what triggered them to start cults and how they operate inside. Part history, part documentary, part novel, this story takes the reader to become fully immersed in cults. Nakamura also draws heavily on the social implications that allow cults to gain followers by explaining the various reasons by sharing character journeys.
This novel could easily become a movie and I hope it does in the future as it lends itself to visual storytelling. Painstakingly researched and blended with numerous themes, the reader takes a path through many situations which allow you to question your own feelings.
What stood out to me as innovative was the author's ability to share what was going on in the mind of each character in each situation. This allowed a deeper understanding of the characters, context, and culture!
Very different from his other books, but Nakamura who tends to like history, for example: Enma the Immortal, (a historically based samurai story), gives the reader a great context, so by the end, they become fully engaged with the topic from many angles. Great read with deep insights into Japanese culture in the modern era.
#japan #japanese #literature #cult #fuminorinakamura #crime #novel #book #review #peterhanami