“Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales” by Yoko Ogawa

I don’t want to alarm you, but they’ve traced the post.  And it’s coming from inside the house.

when a stranger calls

My house, to be more precise.  Since my days off coincide with both Halloween Eve and Halloween this year, I decided to take a break from my usual day-off tasks like eating cinnamon peanut butter directly out of the jar while I watch internet videos and tell you about a chilling collection of eleven interconnected short stories: Revenge by Yoko Ogawa.

revenge-elevendarktales

Last year I read Ogawa’s sweet novel of friendship and math, The Housekeeper and the Professor.  All of the spare and elegant language, poetic images, and attention to detail that made that book so charming and lovely is used in Revenge to create chilling imagery, melancholy and angry and desperate characters, and an atmosphere of sheer creepiness.

These stories flow into one another elegantly, so easily that it takes you a moment to realize what the connections are, until the ending flows back into the beginning with a shared image between stories.  Each story stands on its own, as well, but you definitely need them together to get the entire picture.

If you enjoy moody, kind of sad, old-fashioned horror movies, like the wonderful The Orphanage (El Orfanto)you might like this collection.  They’ve got the same tone, and even share a few themes, like loss and revenge.

Happy Halloween Eve, everybody!

–Marie

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