Book Reviews #51

Book Reviews

Book reviews from the past month.

People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman by Richard Lloyd Parry

year: 2010 | pages: 404 | rating:

Working as a nightclub hostess in Minato, Tokyo, Lucie Blackman was an English woman from Kent who had moved to Japan to experience the culture and earn money to pay off her debts. On July 1st, 2000, Blackman went on a paid date with a customer from the nightclub, Casablanca, where she disappeared. Her mysterious disappearance received high press coverage worldwide after a media campaign by the Blackman family; an anonymous businessman offered a reward of £100,000 to find Lucie, and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair mentioned Lucie's missing persons case during an official visit to Japan, which caused newspapers to start heavily publicising her disappearance. On February 9th, 2001, Blackman's dismembered body was found.

People Who Eat Darkness is a non-fiction thriller and biography of both the victim and killer, and an attempt to reveal the truth of what happened to Lucie and why. Richard Lloyd Parry followed Lucie's case since her disappearance and over the course of a decade he interviewed everyone from her friends and family to the Roppongi nightclub where Lucie worked. Through his investigations, Richard Lloyd Parry attempts to understand Joji Obara, a man described as 'unprecedented and extremely evil' by the judge. Lucie Blackman was one of the first missing person cases I remember unfolding in the media; from the initial missing persons case to the trial and verdict of Joji Obara, Lucie's murder in 2000 was shocking and alarming to everyone who watched it unfold. While the details of this case are grisly, Richard Lloyd Parry does not create a sensationalist or melodramatic book from Lucie's story; sad, compelling, and difficult to read, People Who Eat Darkness is engrossing yet never disrespectful.

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

year: 2016 | pages: 240 | rating: 4/5

Alain de Botton explores love, the creation and maintenance of romantic relationships, and what happens after infatuation phases out and the feelings of love have develop over a long term scale. The Course of Love is concerned with how love can survive a lifetime; the trajectory it takes and the complicated beauty of romantic partnerships we rarely discuss. The book focuses on Rabih and Kirsten, from their first meeting to the development of their love, and their life together. Interwoven with their story is an overlaying commentary on love, which applies to us all.

The Course of Love follows the complex and intricate course of long-term relationships and discusses aspects society likes to keep behind closed doors. Profoundly moving and heartfelt, I found this book to be a beautiful (if sometimes difficult) read on modern love and the aspects of long term relationships we should be more open about.