At this late stage in Revenge , Ogawa has moved horror directly into a home. The characters do not have to break into an abandoned post office or dig in a garden to find the macabre. It is on display in plain sight, used just as a table or a chair or a record player. As the perspective and point of view change from story to story, the reader feels ground shifting constantly.
In Revenge , Ogawa introduces us to the ultimate horror, not confined in a haunted house, but surrounding us every day. View all 39 comments. Apr 14, Jamie rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of my favorite books this year. Every story was dark and had a somber feel to them, all the while, every short story linking perfectly to one another. Jun 02, Lynne King rated it really liked it Shelves: It was the title that struck me first of all, that of "Revenge: I had never heard of Yoko Ogawa before. What an extraordinary selection of eleven short stories and what an imagination the author has.
One of my two favourites was "Old Mrs J" and what a lot she has to hide. For a start, the death of her husband is quite a mystery. Well I kept on thinking about that and wondered what could possibly result fr It was the title that struck me first of all, that of "Revenge: Well I kept on thinking about that and wondered what could possibly result from this. Well that was superb and yes, despite reading this short story, I do still love eating carrots in whatever form they come.
And as for the poor hamster; well that was sad. Also the so important final sentence or paragraph to each story that says it all. A woman with a bundle, a black Labrador, some tomatoes and theft of a manuscript. It is so simple but so meaningful. This is indeed my favourite story in this collection. Death, murder, suspicion, blood, mystery, poignancy, libraries, etc.
View all 8 comments. Feb 22, Teresa rated it really liked it Recommended to Teresa by: I admire writers who can write such deceptively simple sentences and with no exposition make everything clear that they want to be clear.
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Ogawa, at least with these stories, is one of those writers; yet she doesn't want everything to be clear, another thing I admire. I especially loved her subtle, wicked sense of humor, even about herself, or at least about writers. Each story from the first to the last is linked either by a mysterious happening or, in some cases, what seems like the passing of a I admire writers who can write such deceptively simple sentences and with no exposition make everything clear that they want to be clear.
Each story from the first to the last is linked either by a mysterious happening or, in some cases, what seems like the passing of a baton in a relay, each story ratcheting up the tension, until the last story turns us back to the first in what almost seems like an Escher painting. I'm thinking specifically of his "Drawing Hands," as there are meta elements to some of these stories as well.
Every story is told from the first person point-of-view, though each narrator is a different person. At times you're not even sure right away whether the speaker is male or female, adding to the unsettling feelings. Though this book is new to English translation, I see that the Japanese copyright is from , which makes me happy, as I will now probably read the rest of her works in English in publication order.
View all 9 comments. Nov 20, Anish Kohli rated it it was amazing Recommended to Anish by: This is a BR. Not a Buddy Read. With the most awesome Sillyhead and it was her idea too! We read the book like a month apart but we are posting our reviews together today. May there be several more such reviews and reads together!
Here goes the review: I mean, I know there are like a This is a BR. I mean, I know there are like a million reasons but for me the most important one is to be able to discover books. Not just through GR but through people on GR. I could read in solitude for a years but still not pick books like this one. It came as a recommendation from Nishith and I picked it up on faith.
Little did I know I would spend days trying not to finish the paged book I had in my hands. I read it slow on purpose! This book was a damn treat! A huge shoutout to the man who suggested this. Although stop changing your name! This is a whole new style. Here is my feeble attempt at reviewing it. Today is his birthday. How old is he? It has no character names, no locations, no dates, no times, and no specifics of any kind.
I can sum up my review in just one quote from this very book itself. A loss that makes you indifferent to many things that should matter and curious about things that should be morbid. This book is an embodiment of all that it is to be human. Being a human is not about being happy and mentally healthy.
To be all smiles and to care about things and people. To act a certain way. Those who do not fit the box are branded as misfits, weird, crazy, mentally unfit and discarded. We are accepting of only the ones who can keep their darkness in check and hidden. What about the ones who are beaten by their demons? The ones who lost to the darkness and would rather stay there now.
The ones who are lost? The ones who are okay being lost. This book is a collection of short stories, or so it seems at the start. Perfect bcz it is not untrue. It could all be happening somewhere out there, maybe even in your country, or your own town. Or maybe it is your story. After all, you are just as human. For me, atleast, it is true. When I picked this book, on a random recommendation, no less, I was afraid of what I might be getting into.
If I would end up hating the book or writing a ranty review. As I read, I was comforted by a very particular feeling that I have come to love. That feeling of coldness. The knowledge of the fact that we carry light and dark both within ourselves. And we are just as capable of being monsters as we are of being angels. They live inside us. And sometimes, they win. The feeling of loss and gloom is rich and it is wonderfully done. The first person POV works like a cherry on top bcz it makes the stories that much more personal.
And I personally feel that the anonymity this book has, it only adds to the magnificence of it all. The feeling of helplessness and despair. You can feel the bond that darkness can forge. The understanding that it can bring. Perhaps there was no reason at all.
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Her tears had that sort of purity. I realized she was finally letting flow the tears she could not cry at the post office, and that this sadness was coming to her peacefully from the distant past. I found it somehow comforting to think that his coldness was in no way special or unique. I feel so glad to have taken this book on faith and given it a fair chance. I did myself a service. Completely amazing and enjoyable for such a short read and I would suggest this book to probably everyone who might like a dark read.
Pick it up and dive right in! Who knows, you may find something of yourself in these lovely words and stories. The screams no one heard. Jun 27, Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it liked it Shelves: If I were rating this against the other Ogawa books I've read then I'd probably go lower with the stars, but as a standalone it is no more and no less than meh, fine by me.
It is just fine, a "woo" without an exclamation point. A straight-faced, monotone "woo" probably accompanied by a lethargic blink and some dried up streamlets of slobber. Seriously, it is totally just fine. The thing with Ogawa that I love is the way she renders a scene. She's makes these little minimalist snapshots in these m If I were rating this against the other Ogawa books I've read then I'd probably go lower with the stars, but as a standalone it is no more and no less than meh, fine by me.
She's makes these little minimalist snapshots in these muted pastels like polaroids, but with horrifying subject matter that seems totally out of place frozen in time all bright and milk n' honey like that. She's generally a more sensory than intellectual reading experience, more like art-uh films-uh than lit-uh. This novel or short story collection or whatever you want to call it has some of that awesome icky-in-the-light-of-day going on, but seems to rely on the disturbed feelings these images rouse simply by the nature of what they are - creepy, disturbing things, rather than using them as foundational blocks to build up from via craft.
She doesn't really play with her sick-twisty ideas as much here, rather just throws them on the page and lets 'em do all the work. And they are lazy buggers. Oh, and stringing together a bunch of different stories by having the characters cross paths at some point doesn't turn your short story collection into a novel about "murderers and mourners, mothers and children, lovers and innocent bystanders, their fates converg[ing] in a darkly beautiful web that they are each powerless to escape.
Look, I get that Tokyo is crowded enough that it probably blows your mind when you even see the face of your upstairs neighbor more than once in an entire lifetime, but that doesn't mean every crossed path has some crazy-profound meaning. Besides, none of these people should even know each other in the first fuckin' place. Y'ask me, they are all far too psychotic to be building any webs together, beautiful or otherwise.
It is for the best. It just seems like maybe Ogawa got pressured to release another novel, and all she had was this notebook full of sketches for novels, and she just couldn't bring herself to flesh any of them out because life happens, so she scotch-taped them all together and gave us this instead. And it is stupefyingly just okay. View all 6 comments.
This is a fascinating collection that weaves together the lives of broken people unable to cope with lingering memories and pains. United by a sense of commonality in the quest of gaining triumph against their personal devils, the stories move hauntingly, enveloped with an off-kilter atmosphere, told with a chilling precision often eerie.
There is even a dreadful sense of self-awareness in the collection when one story would be read or alluded to in another. Ogawa also manages to playfully inser This is a fascinating collection that weaves together the lives of broken people unable to cope with lingering memories and pains. Ogawa also manages to playfully insert self critique in one of them saying: Probably, however for a vengeful theme I expected a bit more.
Sep 13, Rachel rated it really liked it Shelves: Revenge is a gentle and unsettling collection of interconnected short stories focused mainly on death and grief and an inner darkness that plagues its eleven different narrators. Both melancholy and macabre in tone, these stories range from heart-wrenching to disturbing, each narrated in an eerily calm and poised tone. This was absolutely engrossing and I'm keen to check out more of Yoko Ogawa's work.
Jun 27, Hadrian rated it really liked it Shelves: A short collection of intertwined stories. Ogawa has a sparse style which creates the first impression of an ordinary banal existence, but she also has this subtle way of making each story grow more unsettling. Ogawa is not the type of horror author who parades blood and guts, but they have a creeping unknowable mystery about their stories.
Dec 31, Yamna Rashid rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Recommended to Yamna by: Favourite of the year Have you ever read a story and realized that it has the power to completely restructure your thoughts? If only I had words to describe Revenge. This book…where do I even start? Revenge is a series of stories, all very short and all interconnected in one way or the other.
I also cannot forget the story or stop thinking about it. The story starts off with a brilliancy that has you amazed. A small conversation with another customer, an older woman, reveals the truth quoted above. Slow suffocation" And since the author knew this would ensure she had us, the story ends there.
And we start on with the next.
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Although it can get frustrating for people to have just the minimal amount of information in any tale, the author spun her own magic within her book, making the storytelling so rich and so detailed that you find yourself constantly mesmerized. And most of them are beautiful enough to be interpreted whatever way you want, in however way you want, and still be perfectly applicable to your own life. A bag has no intentions or desires of its own, it embraces every object that we ask it to hold.
You trust the bag, and it, in return, trusts you. To me, a bag is patience; a bag is profound discretion. In that way, I believed, I would see that my pain was due not only to my husband but to the cruelty of countless others besides. And for that, I think she deserves all the literary awards and readers in the world. View all 54 comments. This book was suggested to me by my wonderful local bookshop lady and she certainly pushed me in a direction I don't normally go, namely translated short stories.
Ogawa starts most of these tales very matter-of-factly, calm sensory descriptions, leaves fluttering, people reading or going about their daily activities but something always feels slightly eerie and it is hard to put your finger on what. Eventually, the weirdness escalates in utterly unpredictable ways.
The things that happen are odd This book was suggested to me by my wonderful local bookshop lady and she certainly pushed me in a direction I don't normally go, namely translated short stories. The things that happen are odd and often creepy but I would not say this is horror. It feels like the reading equivalent of looking at miniature surrealist still life paintings. I really enjoyed that these stories were linked, mainly by central characters in one story appearing tangentially in others but also by odd things like strawberry shortcakes and the scent of ferns..
A book that would reward repeated reading. I will leave this review with a segment from the story "Old Mrs J". These hand shaped carrots haunted me! Scrubbing turned it bright red. I had no idea where to insert the knife, but i decided it would be best to begin by cutting off the five fingers. One by one, they rolled across the cutting board. That evening, my potato salad had bits of the pinkie and the index finger. View all 5 comments. Yoko Ogawa weaves together a collection of short stories to create a haunting tapestry of death.
While this is a collection of short stories, Yoko Ogawa has managed to link each story with the last with recurring images and motifs. Apparently this is an old tradition from classical Japan An aspiring writer moves into a new apartment and discovers that her landlady has murdered her husband. Apparently this is an old tradition from classical Japanese poetic collections. This is an eerie and very sinister novel but there is a real beauty within it too; not just in the writing, but in the imagery.
Yoko Ogawa takes the reader on a clever journey of life and the afterlife. I love what Ogawa does in this book, not only looking at the human psyche but plays with it a little to mess with the mind. From the very start of this book, I was planning my next dip into the world of Yoko Ogawa, I was hooked and I wanted to explore her writing more.
It was just the combination of beauty with the sinister tones of the stories that really worked for me. If this book is anything to go on, Yoko Ogawa is an amazing writer; showing the reader the beauty behind the dark and disturbing.
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Each story is macabre but the best part of the entire book is the way the stories link together and the beautiful tapestry Ogawa weaves. This review originally appeared on my blog; http: Seriously I have never in my life felt so off kilter during and after reading a book as I did with this one. It is truly a masterpiece of darkness like I've never seen before. You can read my discussion of this book here. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ogawa never ceases to amaze me with her capacity to tell an interesting story.
This is a collection of short stories that are linked. Each one has a bit of creepy in it. The way they link together is genius. I can't wait to read more of her novels. Ogawa is making me curious to check out more modern Japanese authors. Definitely worth the time and it's a very quick read since it's only pages. This grouping of clever and gracefully written stories, I really enjoyed. It was fantastic how the author weaved something from one of the stories into another, it was almost like receiving a King cake at Mardi Gras, and discovering the prize.
Some were about revenge but others were just deliciously creepy. I think these were some of my favorites so far. I think the adjective I would use to describe these interlinked short stories is "unsettling". Dark and odd, with beautifully sparse prose, these stories really got under my skin. On the back cover of the book I found this blurb an extract from Washington Post Review. Usually I do not depend much upon the blurbs stated on the covers of the books. But after reading this collection of short stories I could not but depend on this blurb which I think captures the sentiments very rightly.
Here is the blurb: Ogawa writes stories that float free of any specific culture, anchoring themselves instead in the landscape of the mind.
For all the stories deal with the feelings that go on in the mind. And now add to this piece of information the title of the book - REVENGE Interestingly none of the stories in the collection has it as its proper title. So you guessed it right. Instead of being just a story with the theme of revenge, in fact the entire collection has a common theme - Revenge.
How do the feelings of revenge take its shape in the mind? How does the mind reason out in the moments filled with vengeful feelings? The betrayed wife on the way to meet the mistress of her husband to demand some answers finds incredible joy in driving over the tomatoes that are accidentally spread over the road. A teen age girl who is apparently rejected by her lover finds joy in listening to the explanations for the instruments of torture in the Museum.
These seem to be very simple in my 'reporting' it. But read it in the narration of Ogawa and you will find it very chilling and creepy. Another specialty in this collection is the inter-connectedness between the stories. That is, an aspect of a story or a person of a story somehow appears in the next story. They both are two different stories and yet the reader can find some connection between the two.
This is in a way a strategy to establish that the entire collection is just a Grand Story in which the individual story is a part. And Ogawa's genius lies in her choice of first person narrative for all the stories. The reader can not but associate the stories and see the actual events. The reader is part of the entire collection. And the entire collection helps the reader in identifying the chilling realty of a vengeful feeling.
Now read the The Washington Review blurb that I gave at the beginning. It has said everything I explained in a single sentence. View all 7 comments. Overall, I liked this book. I even learned some things about real-life Native American culture being interwoven with the storyline that I never knew before.
It's a good read for those who want to read and relax for their pleasure.
This story was quite interesting from beginning to end. It had mystery and intrigue. I was exposed to some of the customs and beliefs of Native Americans. I was surprised when I found out who was doing all of the savage acts in the book. It also provides lessons that seeking revenge usually causes more heartache and it can just continue unless someone stops it.
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If you want a look at some of the believed spirits that make deals with mankind, this is an interesting book pointing to some of those myths. One person found this helpful. A fast-paced wonderful crime novel with a touch of mystical elements. The past and present come together in the cycle of time as the author weaves events of the past into the whys and hows of ongoing present murders.
Children are being brutally murdered. Animals are being murdered. Are these two things related? Jennifer Hart and Patrick Jones are two detectives assigned to the case. They will have to put aside all reason and belief to solve this case. Cycles of time is a gritty murder mystery that intertwines native folklore, crime-drama, and evil magic. One part of the story centers around Detective Hart, a driven investigator who refuses to allow cases to go cold and dream walks into her victims' futures. Another part of the story integrates the past, handing you a heart-wrenching story of pioneers attacked by Native Americans, that separate a mother and child.
These two worlds come together to help stop a poetic serial killer that's fueled by an evil entity. Petrone has a wonderful way of writing about horror in hauntingly beautiful descriptions. Especially when it comes from the victims perspective as they die. I'm aware how odd that sounds, but I found myself rereading these paragraphs, astounded how well she paints death, from the pull of their soul to the numbness of pain.
The two stories mesh in a believable way and you turn the pages looking for evidence, and try to put the pieces together just like detective Hart. There are some editing issues, but nothing too grand that it detracts from the overall story. This novel is grim, shocking, and I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy-twisted crime dramas like X-files. See all 9 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 2 months ago. Published 8 months ago. Published 9 months ago. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.
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