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Beast in the Shadows
Comeback of Edogawa Rampo
Date:16, Mar, 2021
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Have you ever heard Edogawa Rampo (1894-1965)? He was the Japanese popular mystery author born in Mie, had been active (almost) from 1923 to 1960. It is said that he was one of those who built the basis of Japanese mystery novels. I suppose you can easily find his fans (or readers) among those who love to read Japanese detective novels.

There are countless mystery writers all over the world. Conan Doyle, Jeffery Deaver, Ellery Queen, Dan Brown, Raymond Chandler... this list would go forever. It means we have already got numberless choices when we are trying to read a detective story. No one needs to read Edogawa Rampo especially. No problem even if you don't read any of his stories until your death. And you must guess you should first pick up the best story written by Rampo when you try him.

I am recommending Beast in the Shadows (Inju) if I have to pick up the best one from all his works. It is the short novel published in 1928. Rampo made his debut in 1923, his stories got a lot of popularity at once. But it looked he didn't agree with what he wrote. He got worried, finally declared to stop writing for a while in 1927. Beast in the Shadows was released as he made a comeback in 1928. They say he put his everything as a detective novel author at the time on writing the short novel.

It first appeared upon the mystery magazine "Shin-seinen (New Youth)." And people madly read it as they had to reprint the magazine including the novel. Yokomizo Seishi (he was also the popular mystery writer) was in charge of the chief editor. He liked the short novel very much. After Rampo passed away, Yokomizo remembered the old times, said that he strongly believed Beast in the Shadows was one of the two peaks among all Rampo works. Then I am recommending this, too.

In France, it became a film in 2008, directed by Barbet Schroeder. I have never watched. If you can, please see instead of me.

about Beast in the Shadows

・Written by Edogawa Rampo (1928)





 

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