What Book is Being Read by the Security Guard in John Wick?

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John Wick, the highly popular action thriller film, contains not only violent scenes, but also intriguing elements that pique the curiosity of the audience. One of those elements is the mysterious book that the security guard is reading throughout the film series. Although it does not play a significant role in the storyline, it has sparked countless online discussions among movie buffs and book lovers.

open books

The Book’s Identity

The book comprising this mystery is none other than “Shibumi” by Trevanian. It is an engaging novel that captures a narrative filled with intrigue, action, and drama. Trevanian’s novel revolves around the protagonist, Nicholai Hel, possessing talents as an assassin.

Undoubtedly, these themes of the book strongly relate to the narrative direction in the John Wick movie series.

Why is the Book Important?

The book read by the security guard in John Wick does not merely serve as a prop. It has significant symbolic aspects:

  • It reflects the parallelism between the path of the protagonist in “Shibumi” and the journey of John Wick himself. Nicholai Hel’s transformation into a professional killer mirrors John Wick’s evolution from a grieving widower to a fearsome assassin.
  • The security guard’s act of reading this particular book shows the underlying theme of acceptance of inevitable violence and death. In a world filled with danger and turmoil, every individual in that domain indirectly accepts these grim outcomes.
pile of books


In the vivid universe of John Wick, every minute detail is intricately woven, adding depth to the main narrative. Thus, the seemingly innocuous act of a security guard immersed in reading “Shibumi” provides intriguing parallels and augments our understanding of the movie’s thematic direction. It’s a testament to the creators’ dedication to detail that such pedestrian activities can hold deeper meanings and contribute to the richness of John Wick’s world.

These nuances, seamlessly merging popular culture with literary references, amplify the viewer’s experience and further elevate John Wick beyond the realm of conventional action films.

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