Friday, May 31, 2013

Evil and the Mask

Evil and the Mask
Fuminori Nakamura
Soho Crime
New York, New York
ISBN: 978-1-61695-9
Hard Cover
$ 25.95
356 pages
“A Cancer”, that is your purpose in the world.
When Fumihiro Kuki was eleven years old and living in present day Japan, his wealthy father told him that he was to carry on the family tradition and to become “a cancer”. "I created you to be a cancer on the world." A cancer would be someone who attaches themselves to others as a parasite draining the life for their own personal gain. How would you react to this declaration?
For Fumihiro Kuki, being born into a wealthy family allowed him to receive extra tutoring to that he would excel in school. With no knowledge or evidence of his mother, his father chooses to be distant and unlovable. Doesn't money solve the problem of not being loved?
Living in this house with Fumihiro and his father are many servants and a young girl who is also in his class. Kaori attends school with Fumihiro and becomes his best friend and love of his life. Why is she living with them? It also seems that she is motherless. What is her connection to the family?
Evil and the Mask is about Fumihiro while he lives at home with his father and how he adjusts to life. After being cursed, Fumihiro enjoys his growing friendship with Kaori but begins to feel revengeful towards his father and this curse placed upon him. When opportunity for revenge occurs, he makes a well-planned decision that changes his life and his character.
As he begins his adult life, his family resemblance to his father makes him uncomfortable so he chooses to have his face changed through plastic surgery and taking on a new identity. This new identity causes Fumihiro problems since the original owner of this face quite probably murdered his girlfriend. By changing your appearance, can you change who you really are inside?
The author, Fuminori Nakamura has won the Oe Prize which is Japan's most prestigious literary award as well as numerous awards for his previous works, A Gun, The Boy in the Earth, and The Thief.
Evil and the Mask is an engrossing account of Fuminori and the choices of life. In some ways, the story reminds me of Hannibal in that the evil becomes norm. The story is violent, revengeful, and often disagreeable but it still contains that hypnotic voice that makes you want to read more.
However, I don't plan to read more by this author being that this particular novel is too dark for my tastes.

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