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A Perfect Crime
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A Perfect Crime
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On a normal day in provincial China, a teenager goes about his regular business, but he's also planning the brutal murder of his only friend. He lures her over, strangles her, stuffs her body into the...
On a normal day in provincial China, a teenager goes about his regular business, but he's also planning the brutal murder of his only friend. He lures her over, strangles her, stuffs her body into the...
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  • On a normal day in provincial China, a teenager goes about his regular business, but he's also planning the brutal murder of his only friend. He lures her over, strangles her, stuffs her body into the washing machine and flees town, whereupon a perilous game of cat-and-mouse begins.

    A shocking investigation into the despair that traps the rural poor as well as a technically brilliant excursion into the claustrophobic realm of classic horror and suspense, A Perfect Crime is a thrilling and stylish novel about a motiveless murder that echoes Kafka's absurdism, Camus' nihilism and Dostoyevsky's depravity. With exceptional tonal control, A Yi steadily reveals the psychological backstory that enables us to make sense of the story's dramatic violence and provides chillingly apt insights into a country on the cusp of enormous social, political and economic change.

About the Author-

  • Anna Holmwood translates literature from Chinese and Swedish to English. She was awarded one of the first British Centre for Literary Translation mentorship awards in 2010 and is currently working on a major series of Chinese martial arts novels by Jin Yong for MacLehose Press. In 2011 she co-founded the Emerging Translators' Network to support early career translators, and was elected to the UK Translators Association committee in 2012. She lives in China.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2015

    While most teenagers his age are assiduously studying for college entrance exams, the narrator instead plots the eponymous perfect crime. Sent away by his widowed mother, for whom he has little respect, he lives with his Auntie, a woman he "hates." She could have been his easiest victim, but instead he chooses a schoolmate, "a girl...who was pretty much perfect." The murder is "vicious in the extreme," involving 37 stabbings and a washing machine. He anxiously flees, is willingly caught, unflinchingly tried, detachedly condemned, and reluctantly agrees to an appeal. Throughout, remorse is never, ever evident. The crime happens early--be warned: in absolutely gory detail--and yet not until the final page does he reveal his simple, exact motive. VERDICT A Yi's isolated narrator is equal parts calculating monster and forsaken victim: deserted, neglected, and ignored, he finds that his only means of feeling alive is to engender death. This austere English PEN Award winner offers an exponentially more chilling alternative to the plethora of dystopic titles; fans of Mo Yan, Yu Hua, Fuminori Nakamura, and even Keigo Higashino will surely find resonating, realistic terror here.--Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2015
    In a monotone, the unnamed narratora 17-year-old high-school student in Chinadescribes his perfect crime and its aftermath. His victim is Kong Jie, a talented violinist in his class who had been the closest thing he had ever had to a friend. The crime is brutal: he stabs her 37 times, strangles her, and stuffs her head down into a washing machine, which becomes half filled with her blood, stunning even an experienced medical examiner. Everything about the crime is clear except its motive, with the only reason offered being an escape from boredom by a young man who feels no emotional bond to any other person. On the run after the murder, as he follows his plans and improvises as necessary, he is disappointed at how inept the police are in apprehending him. Yi, a former police officer, is slowly rising to prominence on the literary scene in China, where this novel was published in 2011. It seems a commentary on both the culture and on the amorality and emotional detachment of one individual in it.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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