Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pickpockets & Nakamura's The Thief

From yesterday's BBC story "Paris Louvre shuts as staff strike over pickpockets:"
One of the world's most visited museums, the Louvre in Paris, did not open on Wednesday because of a protest by staff over pickpockets. Staff at the museum said thieves, some of them children, were targeting both employees and tourists.
Two hundred workers took part in a strike organised by the SUD union, according to AFP news agency...
"There have always been pickpockets at the Louvre and in tourist locations in Paris, but for the last year-and-a-half the gangs have become increasingly violent," said museum supervisor Sophie Aguirre.
"Their modus operandi has become more complex. Nothing can stop them."
For a novel about a pickpocket, try The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura:
The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn’t even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections.... But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job he can’t refuse. It’s an easy job: tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of the safe. No one gets hurt. Only the day after the job does he learn that the old man was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery. And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape.

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