“Those who’d mistaken what was happening for a spiritual phenomenon — those people who had experienced so much unhappiness and hoped to be saved — they only wished it could be the truth. They saw things the way they did because of their pure desire to be saved by something great.”
The Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995 which motivated by the cult movement Aum Shinrikyo has become the inspiration for the author to write this story which explores the psychology of extremism and obsession into fringe religion. I guess this book was in my to-read list is because the description of the book mentioned the subway sarin attack. I always fascinated by cults and what draws people to join them. One of the famous cult movement is Aum Shinrikyo. The first documentary about cults which I watched on the Discovery Channel was Aum Shinrikyo. That was also the first time I know the meaning of ‘cult’ and the existence of religious cults. Sometimes, it amazed me how people have such unique thinking and how they can be so obsessed into something which probably they never experienced before in their life. What causes the obsession? How obsession and extremism rule over the logic? It never stops me from wondering.
“Cult X” begins with Toru Narazaki hires a private detective to find his disappeared girlfriend, Ryoko Tachibana. Narazaki decides to track her down despite the warning of the private detective, Kobayashi. Ryoko’s background has a time gap where she disappears without any traces and re-appears when she meets Narazaki, but now she vanishes again. What worries Kobayashi is Ryoko’s past has a connection with a controversial religious organisation.
The one thing I wish from this book is to spare me the lectures. I thought it will be just a couple, but it was more than that. I just skimmed through the content. I’m really not up to the level to appreciate the lecture. Probably I’m not as philosophical as Matsuo’s followers. After reading almost half of the book, I felt I am more confused than the cult followers in the book. You know that you are reading something terrible when you start to ask yourself; What am I reading and why I am reading this?
I felt religious cults have more extensive areas to explore and not only just sex. This book is focusing too much on sex and erotic stories. If this is your first book from this author, I suggest not to waste your time on this book and choose to read ‘The Thief’ first. If you read this book before the other one, I think you might probably give up this author forever. ‘The Thief’ was a fantastic book, and the author made a 360 degrees change in this book.
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Cult X by Fuminori Nakamura.