The magnum opus by Akutagawa Prize-winner Fuminori Nakamura, Cult X is a story that dives into the psychology of fringe religion, obsession, and social disaffection.When Toru Narazakis girlfriend, Ryoko, disappears, he tries to track her down, despite the warnings of a private detective hes hired to find her. Ryokos past is shrouded in mystery, but the one concrete clue to her whereabouts is a previous address where she lived: in a compound in the heart of Tokyo, with a group that seems to be a cult led by a charismatic guru with a revisionist Buddhist scheme of life, death, and society. Narazaki plunges into the secretive world of the cult, ready to expose himself to any of the gurus brainwashing tactics if it means he can learn the truth about Ryoko. But the cult isnt what he expected, and he has no idea of the bubbling violence beneath its surface.Inspired by the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, Cult X is an exploration of what draws individuals into extremism. This multi-faceted novel is nothing less than a tour de force, capturing the connections between astrophysics, neuroscience, and religion. It is an invective against predatory corporate consumerism and exploitative geopolitics, and it is a love story about compassion in the face of nihilism....
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Cult X Reviews
41/2 stars. Published in the US by Soho Crime, written a known crime writer, this turned out to be so much more than I expected. The story is set around two "cults", one a revisionist Buddhism preached by a benign leader, the other nihilistic and hedonistic preached by twisted, manipulative leader who plots a terrorist attack. It has parallels with Dostoyevsky--not Crime and Punishment but the foundational noir The Brothers Karamazov. In a central place is not the tale of Grand Inquisitor, but t ...more
Gave up after 100 pages. Boring.
Note: I received this book as a free ARC from Copperfish Books, where I work.
1. I think this book destroyed me.
2. I'm normally a 200 page a day kinda girl on my days off. This had me at 50 pages a day because it's so deep.
3. I could see this being a book I re-read every year. I could see it having a cult following (no pun intended).
4. I impulse bought all of Fuminori's other novels after 150 pages of this book.
5. There's a lot of sexual content? Not really going to touch on t ...more
An intriguing book about politics, religion and sex. One leader Matsuo, who is good, and the other Sawatari a hideous evil man. Throw in a missing girlfriend, Ryoko who goes by many names, a few government agents, many sex scenes and you have a very confusing novel at times. The ending does clear everything up and rounds out the story well. The book jacket says “Inspired by the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, Cult X is an explorations of what draw’s individuals into extremism. This mu ...more
My Goodreads rating reflects my personal reaction to this book, but many people might enjoy it. For a more balanced and thorough review, do see my Amazon Vine writeup: