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Gold Rush [Hardcover]

Miri Yu
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Feb. 8 2002
A startling work composed of eerily vivd scenes that possess an animation-like hyper-reality, Gold Rush, a phenomenal best-seller in Japan, is a graphic, violent, controversial novel of the corruption of modern Japan and its youth.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A violent Japanese teen murders his father and tries to take control of his gaming business in Yu's lurid, graphic American debut. At 14, Kazu Yuminaga spends his days and nights roaming the slums of Yokohama, doing cocaine and getting into trouble with his friends; his violent tendencies suddenly escalate when he attacks the family housekeeper, then a valuable show dog and finally his father, who runs a lucrative string of casinos. Kazu manages to dispose of his father's body beneath the family home, but his attempt to seize the company goes sour when he has to make a series of problematic deals, first with his father's girlfriend and then with two company executives planning to block his takeover bid. The teenager tries to bribe his estranged mother to circumvent their opposition, but his plan unravels when he dives into a passionate affair with the family's new housekeeper, who demands that Kazu turn himself in when she realizes what he has done. Yu has some rough moments early on as she tries to establish sympathy for her emotionally and morally frozen protagonist, but once she hits her stride, the novel becomes a captivating analysis of a psychological meltdown. The ending, which features one of the most unlikely trips to the zoo in any recent novel, ventures into the surreal. Yu's approach and style may be an acquired taste, but her U.S. debut represents a new choice for American readers who enjoy Japanese fiction.

From Library Journal

Inspired by a real-life story, this novel is best summarized by 14-year-old protagonist Kazuki's comments after confessing to the murder of a classmate: "Reality was becoming fictionalized, and fiction was becoming more real." One of Japan's best-selling authors, Yu won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1997 for her short story "Family Movie." Her first work to be translated into English follows the privileged life of Kazuki, the youngest child of successful pachinko parlor owner Hidetomo Yuminaga. A dark and deeply disturbing novel, it enters the mind of this seemingly loving "protector" to brother Koki, afflicted by Williams Syndrome, and sister Miho, a repeated victim of their father's physical abuse, and shows how Kazuki is transformed into a cold-blooded and callous murderer. Not for those looking for a "gentle read," but public libraries with demand for psychological novels and Asian literature may find this unsettling story of interest. Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Killing Daddy July 2 2003
Format:Hardcover
This has to be one one of the most disturbing book that I have ever read. The story stars Kazuki a 14 year old middle school student. Kazuki, however, is not your normal boy. It seems that Kazuki has very little concious and instead of going to the figh prestige middle school which his wealthy father bought his way into, Kazuki spends most of his time with delinquets indulging in hobbies such as cocaine and gang rape. Kazuki does a few more evil things such as killing dogs with a golf club, and eventually killing his father with a sword. A very distubing book, but it gives a glimpse to the western reader on other modern day japanese women writers besides Banana Yoshimoto.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Teenage violence Jan. 23 2013
By Angela Doo - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Great novel, compelling and continuously interesting. The characters all have problems that seem foreign yet somehow relatable. Highly recommend this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Siiiiick (In A Good Way) Oct. 7 2012
By lily zen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an intense book about really difficult subject matter, murder and a descent into madness. I really enjoy it. The translation from Japanese into English isn't the best; there are a few errors in spelling/grammar, but not too many, not enough to detract from the overall story. The book is in good condition for the price I paid, which was a steal considering that other copies were selling for ten times what I paid. Shipping was prompt.
5.0 out of 5 stars Up there with Natsuo Kirino's 'Out' March 4 2010
By John M. Haberstroh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
'Out' was the definitive 'noir' portrait of Japanese middle-aged female and 'housewife' culture, and I think 'Gold Rush' is the definitive portrait of sociopathic Japanese youth (it rings much more true than Kirino's efforts in this direction, by the way). Both books are also much larger than what I've just written, they're new, dark, and deeply truthful perspectives on Japanese society in general.

'Gold Rush' (like 'Out') is also an incredibly good read. You really don't know what will happen in the end: there are 'outside' 'adult' forces pushing to cover up the crime, others pushing for a confession, and this incredibly angry, unpredictable, and volatile 14-year-old boy in the middle.
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