Devils in Daylight by Junichiro Tanizaki

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The novella is hauntingly Hitchcock-ian—although written before Hitchcock made films—but readers not fluent in Japanese may want to read the translator's afterword beforehand to appreciate Tanizaki’s use of Chinese characters and Japanese phrases to create puns and layers of meaning English-speaking readers might miss.
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Synopsis

A suspenseful early novella about obsession, voyeurism, and Tokyo’s seedy criminal underworld

One morning, Takahashi, a writer who has just stayed up all night working, is interrupted by a phone call from his old friend Sonomura: barely able to contain his excitement, Sonomura claims that he has cracked a secret cryptographic code based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold-Bug and now knows exactly when and where a murder will take place―and they must hurry if they want to witness the murder, because it’s later that very night! Sonomura has a history of lunacy and playing the amateur detective, so Takahashi is of course reluctant to believe him. Nevertheless, they stake out the secret location, and through tiny peepholes in the knotted wood, become voyeurs at the scene of a shocking crime…

Atmospheric, erotic, and tense, Devils in Daylight is an early work by the master storyteller who “created a lifelong series of ingenious variations on a dominant theme: the power of love to energize and destroy” (Chicago Tribune). 

 

About Junichiro Tanizaki

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Author of The Makioka Sisters, In Praise of Shadows, and A Cat, a Man, and Two Women, Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) is arguably the greatest Japanese writer of the twentieth century.J. Keith Vincent is professor of Japanese and comparative literature at Boston University, and his translation of Okamoto Kanoko's A Riot of Goldfish won the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.
 
Published April 25, 2017 by New Directions. 96 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Good
on Dec 27 2016

The novella is hauntingly Hitchcock-ian—although written before Hitchcock made films—but readers not fluent in Japanese may want to read the translator's afterword beforehand to appreciate Tanizaki’s use of Chinese characters and Japanese phrases to create puns and layers of meaning English-speaking readers might miss.

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