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Occupied City (Paperback)

Author:  David Peace
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Occupied City Peace, David                             1 of 1
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Learn more about Occupied City:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0307276511
ISBN-13: 9780307276513
Sku: 216013599
Publish Date: 2/8/2011
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8H x 5.5L x 0.5T
Pages:  275
Age Range:  NA
 

On January 26, 1948, a man posing as a public health official arrives at a bank in Tokyo. He explains that he''s there to treat everyone who might have been exposed to a recent outbreak of dysentery. Soon after drinking the medicine he administers, twelve employees are dead, four are unconscious, and the "official" has fled. Twelve voices tell the story of the murder from different perspectives including a journalist, a gangster-turned-businessman, an "occult detective," and a well-known painter. Each voice enlarges and deepens the portrait of a city and a people making their way out of a war-induced hell. Told with David Peace''s brilliantly idiosyncratic and mesmerizing voice, "Occupied City" is a stunningly audacious work from a singular writer.

From the Publisher:
A fierce, exquisitely dark novel that plunges us into post–World War II Occupied Japan in a Rashomon-like retelling of a mass poisoning (based on an actual event), its aftermath, and the hidden wartime atrocities that led to the crime.

On January 26, 1948, a man identifying himself as a public health official arrives at a bank in Tokyo. There has been an outbreak of dysentery in the neighborhood, he explains, and he has been assigned by Occupation authorities to treat everyone who might have been exposed to the disease. Soon after drinking the medicine he administers, twelve employees are dead, four are unconscious, and the “official” has fled . . .

Twelve voices tell the story of the murder from different perspectives. One of the victims speaks, for all the victims, from the grave. We read the increasingly mad notes of one of the case detectives, the desperate letters of an American occupier, the testimony of a traumatized survivor. We meet a journalist, a gangster-turned-businessman, an “occult detective,” a Soviet soldier, a well-known painter. Each voice enlarges and deepens the portrait of a city and a people making their way out of a war-induced hell.

Occupied City immerses us in an extreme time and place with a brilliantly idiosyncratic, expressionistic, mesmerizing narrative. It is a stunningly audacious work of fiction from a singular writer.


From the Hardcover edition.
Annotation:
Following up on his stellar TOKYO YEAR ZERO, David Peace presents another riveting historical mystery which uses a literary symphony of voices to evoke a gruesome multiple homicide which took place in Tokyo in 1948. A well-dressed man carrying a doctor's bag entered a bank just before closing, claiming that he had been dispatched by the Occupation authorities to treat everyone in the area against an outbreak of dysentery. All 16 of the bank's employees swallowed his story, and then the "medicine" he gave them, which turned out to be a lethal poison. The man disappeared without a trace, along with all of the bank's holdings. Four of the victims survived, but their remembrance of the chilling events is merely one of more than a dozen different versions of the killing Peace provides, ranging from the irrational notes of the legion of detectives assigned to the case to the frantic letters of an American doctor who believes the case is tied to the Japanese production of biochemical weapons.

Praise

"By parceling his story out between so many narrators...Peace manages to preserve the ambiguity and horror of the case. Some of the voices work better than others, but Peace moves nimbly between them, allowing each a distinctive vocabulary and syntax....This is [his] most unusual novel yet, but one in which the narrative risks and liberties he takes are amply rewarded." - Edmund Gordon 08/01/2009

"Powerful and ambitious, this British import is deepened by a multiperspective, Rashomon-like approach. But reader be warned: The immensely talented Peace is not in the business of making his work easy." (starred review) 01/01/2010

"In RASHOMON fashion, a number of disparate characters...offer dramatically different perspectives on a horrific crime that claims 12 lives. By presenting these points of view through newspaper articles, police reports, and letters to a faraway spouse, Peace humanizes his characters and provides subtle insights into how they interpret the facts of the mass murder. This literary thriller will more than satisfy readers with a taste for ambiguity." (starred review) 12/21/2009

"OCCUPIED CITY...situates itself in an environment all but razed by war and investigates, gnaws at, mushrooms out of, the circumstances of a horrible true crime. Expect to be enthralled and maybe amazed, although not cheered up or even necessarily entertained....[Peace is] an original and ambitious writer. OCCUPIED CITY, although morose and sometimes pretentious, takes no prisoners in its determination to scare and haunt." - Richard Rayner 02/07/2010

"OCCUPIED CITY is a stunning--and stunningly challenging--novel, a product of extensive historical research, remarkable imagination, and deep insight. It is certainly among the best books of [2010]." (starred review) - Thomas Gaughan 02/15/2010

"OCCUPIED CITY is an extraordinary and highly original crime novel....[T]his is a truly remarkable work. It is hugely daring, utterly irresistible, deeply serious and unlike anything I have ever read." - Justin Cartwright 03/21/2010

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0275
Product attributePublisher:   Vintage Books USA
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