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Monday, March 11, 2013

Revenge: Elven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa


about book:

SINISTER FORCES COLLIDE - AND UNITE A HOST OF DESPERATE CHARACTERS - IN THIS EERIE CYCLE OF INTERWOVEN TALES FROM YOKO OGAWA, THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF THE HOUSEKEEPER AND THE PROFESSOR.

An aspiring writer moves into a new apartment and discovers that her landlady has murdered her husband.  Elsewhere, an accomplished surgeon is approached by a cabaret singer, whose beautiful appearance belies the grotesque condition of her heart.  And while the surgeon's jealous lover vows to kill him, a violent envy also stirs in the sole of a lonely craftsman.  Desire meets with impulse and erupts, attracting the attention of the surgeon's neighbor - who is drawn to a decaying residence that is now home to instruments of human torture.  Murderers and mourners, mothers and children, lovers and innocent bystanders - their fates converge in an ominous and darkly beautiful web.

Yoko Ogawa's Revenge is a master class in the macabre that will haunt you to the last page.

my thoughts:

READ THIS BOOK, ASAP!!  Seriously, you must - it is just so damn good.  The writing is excellent and the stories are unputdownable.  I actually made myself read one story at a time, because I did not want the book to finish - so, yeah, it took me eleven days to read this book (and I loved every day of it.)

In my opinion, Revenge is one of the BEST short story books ever written.  Eleven dark tales filled with ordinary people experiencing sad, fascinating, shocking, and rather odd experiences definitely makes for quite an amazing read.  There are five-fingered carrots, strawberry cakes, tigers, kiwis, a tongue, a handbag for your heart, and so much more.  With Ogawa, you never know what you are going to get and that is precisely what I love about her works.  They always leave me feeling shocked, curious, awed, and, even speechless at times.  She is just so talented at exploring the dark and twisty aspects of life and writing about them in such a matter of fact manner, that you almost accept these events as part of the daily norm.  And its crazy, because dead husbands buried in the garden, and tongues popping out of coat pockets are not part of the daily norm; but they are in Ogawa's world.  What makes these stories even more interesting is that all they connect to one another in the most unexpected ways.  I loved figuring out how each story related to the next one - it made reading the book even more fun. 
  
So, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy of  Revenge - you will love it!! 

10 comments:

Jennifer Hartling said...

Ooooh! That sounds GOOD. I don't usually read short stories or scary stuff. BUT your review has really made me want to read this particular one :) I'll keep my eyes open!

Ti said...

THE BEST every written?? How can I not read it after that endorsement?

Ti said...

*ever Can't type today!

Nadia said...

Jennifer, the book is AMAZING! Of course, I'm a huge fan of Ogawa's writing, so in my eyes she can do no wrong - yes, I'm biased ;)

Ti, well, the BEST in my biased opinion. Although, Lahiri is my fave and I must say that Ogawa is right up there with her now. Her writing is excellent, Ti! You will love it!

Bellezza said...

Love your new header, love the reading women (surely the three of us are good friends), and I love this book. I've only read the first chapter, today, but it is mesmerizing! That said, I'm interested how such a 'gentle' author (I'm thinking of The Housekeeper and The Professor) can put such horror before us. Yet the writing is so beautiful, and Hotel Iris wasn't exactly gentle. She's an amazing author, so talented in her gift with words and story. I'll talk with you more when I finish the other ten dark tales.

p.s. Please forgive me for not writing a proper thank you note for the lovely books you sent. I posted them on my last Mailbox Monday, but that is not the best way to say I so appreciate your friendship and thoughtfulness. March has been too insane for me...

Nadia said...

Bellezza, I know, right! And, I'm so happy you are loving REVENGE - it is just so good! Like you, I thought Ogawa would be a gentle writer and then I read Hotel Iris and was shocked and blown away - REVENGE is in that same vein and I love it!

Regarding the books I sent you, I'm so glad you received them. I know you are going to love them! Enjoy them dear friend :)

Aarti said...

Wow, great review! Definitely will look into this one!

Nadia said...

Aarti, you will love it! Ogawa is an excellent writer and her work is must-read material!!

Tom Cunliffe said...

It sounds like a terrific read. I'm a bit of a fan of macabre short stories but seldom write about them. Must watch out for this one (I don't often BUY books, but beg, steal and borrow)

Beck said...

Argh, this post is killing me-- I've been on the library waiting list for it for aaaaages. Can't wait!