UndergroundBook - 2001
It was a clear spring day, Monday, March 20, 1995, when five members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo conducted chemical warfare on the Tokyo subway system using sarin, a poison gas twenty-six times as deadly as cyanide. The unthinkable had happened, a major urban transit system had become the target of a terrorist attack.
In an attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakami, internationally acclaimed author ofThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and arguably Japan’s most important contemporary novelist, talked to the people who lived through the catastrophe—from a Subway Authority employee with survivor guilt, to a fashion salesman with more venom for the media than for the perpetrators, to a young cult member who vehemently condemns the attack though he has not quit Aum. Through these and many other voices, Murakami exposes intriguing aspects of the Japanese psyche. And as he discerns the fundamental issues leading to the attack, we achieve a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere. Hauntingly compelling and inescapably important,Underground is a powerful work of journalistic literature from one of the world’s most perceptive writers.
Baker & Taylor
Covers the 1995 Tokyo Gas Attack, during which agents of a Japanese cult released a gas deadlier than cyanide into the subway system, as documented in interviews with its survivors, perpetrators, and victim family members. Original. 15,000 first printing.
Covers the 1995 Tokyo Gas Attack, during which agents of a Japanese cult released sarin gas into the subway system, as documented in interviews with its survivors, perpetrators, and victims's family members.
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Haruki Murakami's Underground is an abridged version of two Japanese books that addressed the 20 March 1995 sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway system by the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult. The first section, Underground, consists of 34 of the 60 interviews Murakami conducted with victims of the attacks, family members of those who died, or doctors who treated the victims. Each interview is preceded by a short sketch written by Murakami about the person's background. The interviews themselves, with rare exceptions, consist of narratives in which the victims recount how they came to be on one of the five subway trains that were attacked, their experiences during the attack, and how they coped with the physical and psychological effects of those attacks. The second section, The Place That Was Promised, consists of eight interviews with members or former members of Aum Shinrikyo who had not participated in the attacks. These interviews consist of responses to Murakami's questions about why each person became a member of the cult, how they learned of the attacks, and how the attacks affected their views of Aum Shinrikyo.
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