December 7, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Review: ‘Silence Once Begun,’ by Jesse Ball

1 min read

silenceoncebegunIn Jesse Ball’s absorbing, finely wrought fourth novel, “Silence Once Begun,” a journalist also named Jesse Ball tells the story of a thread salesman who makes a wager with two people in a bar. Upon losing that wager, he signs an extremely detailed confession to a crime he didn’t commit — the kidnapping of eight people from a Japanese town called Narito over the course of four months. The kidnappings, known to the populace as the “Narito Disappearances,” have spurred a moral panic that demands a scapegoat. A man who would offer himself up as that scapegoat is taking the most desperate of chances, asking all his fellow men for some proof that he should continue to live.

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