★★★★☆ – Highly Recommended!
A collection of novellas about normal people who suddenly discover their own dark possibilities.
Genre: Psychological horror
Three novellas exploring the themes of love, fertility, and obsession. Ogawa’s work is beautifully restrained nary a wasted word or phrase. She aptly hints at the scene, describing just enough to allow the reader’s artistic tastes and imagination to fill in the blanks. It’s almost like reading a tightly drafted screenplay like Walter Hill’s ‘Alien’. No excess, just exceptionally concise and vibrant imagery.
A singular style and voice which results in truly unnerving characters and scenarios. Horror is merely suggested, teetering on the edge of the readers’ conscious where the mundane is drenched in malevolent undertones. Clearly a master of subtlety, Ogawa commands tremendous emotional perception of the human psyche.
The most frustrating aspect of all three surreal tales is the fact that they have enormous potential of being much larger works. The stories wind to close offering the reader just a taste of its brilliance. In this regards, I much prefer Ogawa extended narratives like her vivid novella ‘Hotel Iris’. Definitely not for everyone.