Killer Nashville Book of the Day

Nagasaki by Éric Faye, Translated by Emily Boyce / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Purchase Nagasaki or read other reviews through Killer Nashville’s affiliate,*

Portrait de Eric Faye, dans son appartement de Saint-MandŽ, pour les Žditions Stock
Éric Faye
Credit: Julien Falsimagne

“Only eight centimeters of juice remained, compared to fifteen when I had left for work. Someone had been helping themselves to it. And yet I live alone.”

Once I read that blurb, it pulled me in.

Nagasaki is a novella based loosely on a true story. I read it in one sitting. It is the story of a man who lives alone, but has the strange feeling that someone else might be in the house when he is away. He buys a security camera and sets it up. What he sees surprises him.

The story is told initially from the point-of-view of Shimura Kobo, a fifty-year-old Japanese bachelor who feels ostracized from the rest of the world, as he tries to discover whether someone is invading his home or not. Towards the end of the book, a different perspective is revealed with a story all its own.

I’m not going to say what happens for fear of spoiling. It is a short book. Why not let it unfold on its own? But I will say that I felt for the characters I met. In different ways, they were alone. And maybe sometimes the greatest mystery is what is hidden inside our own hearts. It is this that is explored.

In 2010, the book – originally written in French, but set in Japan – won the Grand Prix from the Academie Francaise. For us, that’s kind of like the French national book award. Our English version has been translated beautifully by Emily Boyce, an in-house translator at Gallic Books. She did a tremendous job. The text flowed. I felt the nuances. It felt, for lack of a better word, very haiku-ish Japanese. I couldn’t have asked for more.

This is a story that you will think about time and again as it addresses the loneliness that each of us feels at times. This is this character’s journey, but in reading it, you might even see your own. Sometimes a soul mate is out there waiting for us. Sometimes it is too late before we realize it. Sometimes we might even realize it just in time.

Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker (, founder of Killer Nashville ( and publisher of Killer Nashville Magazine ( In addition to selling over 1.5 million copies of his own books, Stafford’s latest projects are the documentary “One of the Miracles” ( and writing the music CD “XO” with Kathryn Dance / Lincoln Rhymes author Jeffery Deaver ( He is currently writing a film script based on Peter Straub’s “Pork Pie Hat” for American Blackguard Entertainment (

(If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the irreplaceable assistance of Clay Janeway, Maria Giordano, Will Chessor, and credited guest reviewers. For more writer resources, visit us at and

*Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale. Killer Nashville receives zero compensation (other than sometimes the book to review) from publishers who have been selected for the Book of the Day.

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