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Literature / The Thief

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A novel by Fuminori Nakamura.

Made inconspicuous by his tailored suit and the sheer density of the Tokyo train stations, Nishimura pickpockets the richest passengers he can find to get by. His simple life is crime is ended when he gets roped into committing a house robbery with the local gangsters. What was supposed to be a nonviolent crime ends with the homeowner dead, and Nishimura is left fleeing from both the law and his new "partners."


  • The Artful Dodger: The nameless boy Nishimura bonds with is the son of a prostitute and has to shoplift to survive.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Nishimura can tell how well-off a mark is just by their clothing quality and brands.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Nishimura is an experienced crook who always makes sure to wear an ironed suit before going off on sprees.
  • Big Bad: Kizaki, who plans out the house robbery and later forces Nishimura to take part in his future schemes.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Nishimura is left with a stab wound to the gut in the streets. His only hope of survival is his being able to hit a passerby with a coin to get his attention.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Lampshaded. Kizaki is upfront in telling his heist crew that the homeowner has a mistress, but both warns them against letting it botch the job and promises them as many girls as they like if they pull it off.
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  • The Don: Kizaki's a mob boss with connections in sex clubs, dirty money, and behind-the-scenes politics.
  • I Lied: Kizaki assured everyone that the robbery was going to be a nonviolent job. He has one of his guys kill the homeowner with a katana even after he gave the code for the safe.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Kizaki apparently thinks so, at least for robberies. He equips Nishimura's team with a set of suitably intimidating-looking swords for taking hostages with.
  • The Lost Lenore: Nishimura is revealed to have one in the form of Saeko.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Kizaki makes it clear to Nishimura that he will perform three jobs for him, or he will die, along with the boy and his mother.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Nishimura's first pickpocketing mark is an older, expensively dressed man who can't so much as buy a train ticket without trouble.

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