**spoiler alert** What to say about this one? Intertwined stories with an underlying sense of something sinister? Perhaps leaving one with the expecta...more**spoiler alert** What to say about this one? Intertwined stories with an underlying sense of something sinister? Perhaps leaving one with the expectation that something yet worse is to come? Some of the stories start off innocuous enough only to betray themselves a dozen sentences later, usually with a rather startling admission.
There is a subtlety and ambiguity to Ogawa's writing which is typically Japanese. Very rarely do we get a character name and if we do it's usually an initial alone (Dr. Y, Mrs. J) Sometimes even the gender of the narrator is not precisely evident (come to think of it, this may be a statement only true to the English translation as in the Japanese version it may be apparent as there are different gender-based ways to say "I"). Even the character descriptions and locations are vague, usually with enough given to define the person but also leaving much to our imagination. These stories could take place almost anywhere, these characters could be almost anyone. Maybe that's what the author wants us to think--to second guess the girl behind the counter at the bakery, the beautician who cuts our hair, the receptionist at the hospital. Many of the stories start off like a fairy tale and even the ones that don't still have that quality to the story-telling.
All in all, I very much liked the book and I in fact wish there had been more of these strange little stories than the eleven we were treated to. I will definitely check out the other books she has written.(less)
Dear Dexter, you sure spend a lot of time addressing yourself. Maybe it's a sociopath thing. Hopefully alliteration isn't a sociopath thing too becaus...moreDear Dexter, you sure spend a lot of time addressing yourself. Maybe it's a sociopath thing. Hopefully alliteration isn't a sociopath thing too because I noticed you did quite a bit of that.
I've actually never watched the TV series--something I keep meaning to get around to but never manage so I was happy to read the book. It's a fun, especially with Dexter's quippy, dry running commentary. It did get a little redundant, him reminding us he's (mostly) void of emotions but I guess he's like Santa in that respect and has to make sure everything is double-triple-checked twice. Per Harry's Law, of course.
It's actually not as gory as one might think. Most of the descriptions are left up to the imaginations of the reader with just the barest hint or description given when it comes to the murders themselves. So even though mutilations and so forth may happen, the author doesn't dwell. Which I suppose makes sense, given his leading man doesn't care one fig how the victim's nervous system is handling the damage.
I'll read the next one anyway and maybe one day I'll actually sit down and watch the series too.(less)
Bland, I think, would be the best description for this. It had all the ingredients to make an interesting read but it just didn't deliver. Part of the...moreBland, I think, would be the best description for this. It had all the ingredients to make an interesting read but it just didn't deliver. Part of the problem, I feel, was the lack of character development--I simply didn't feel anything towards them, couldn't get a true sense of the character beyond what I was informed by the narrator and even then, the characters remained fairly one dimensional card board cutouts. Rather than being shown or immersed into the story, I was merely told a series of facts, like bullet points or some outlined draft. Overall, very disappointed as I had been looking forward to reading a Georgian-era murder mystery.(less)
Not wanting to spoil but what an unsatisfactory end! I've not yet finished reading her entire body of work but I couldn't help staring in disbelief th...moreNot wanting to spoil but what an unsatisfactory end! I've not yet finished reading her entire body of work but I couldn't help staring in disbelief that I'd reached the final chapter. What a lot (a whole lot!) of unlikeable characters. There was a very long part in the beginning where I felt I wasn't entirely sure who I was meant to win my sympathy or, at the very least, who I was meant to be rooting for.(less)