nip the buds, shoot the kids


This synopsis will contain spoilers!

Nip is told from the perspective of a young boy in a reformatory "school" who, along with his classmates and brother, is forced to go to a small mountain village due to the war. While there, a plague is thought to break out and the villagers flee in panic, leaving the boys alone in the village. Ultimately, the villagers realize there is no plague, and they return to find children relatively unharmed. One boy died of an unrelated illness, and one village girl left behind dies of what they thought was the plague. The narrators brother is also lost (probably drowned in the river) due to his sadness over having kept the dog that got the girl killed, and them killing the dog. At the end, our main character is forced to flee because he refuses to ignore the injustices that the villagers exacted upon the children. We are left not knowing if he is safe, but only that he has run away.


nip the buds, shoot the kids - Paperback

Nip is a dark, desolate, straightforward book. There is no mystery about what is happening. Though many comparisons might initially be drawn between it and Lord of the Flies, they …

- Dec. 20, 2008


"Two of our boys had escaped during the night, so at dawn we still hadn't left."

Kenzaburo Oe the First Line of nip the buds, shoot the kids

"I got up, clenching my teeth, and dashed into the deeper darkness between the trees and the darker undergrowth."

Kenzaburo Oe the Last Line of in nip the buds, shoot the kids

Originally Published Jan. 1, 1958

Paperback edition:

189 pages - Jan. 1, 1996

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