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The Diving Pool: Three Novellas

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  3,117 Ratings  ·  427 Reviews
From Akutagawa Award-winning author Yoko Ogawa comes a haunting trio of novellas about love, fertility, obsession, and how even the most innocent gestures may contain a hairline crack of cruel intent. A lonely teenage girl falls in love with her foster brother as she watches him leap from a high diving board into a pool—a peculiar infatuation that sends unexpected ripples ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by Picador (first published 1990)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
Okay, a few things are definitely going on here, and I'm happy to clear up the confusion for anyone who may not have my depth and breadth of knowledge on the subject. People are crazy or sane, things are happening or not happening, supporting characters are flesh and blood or mental constructs, and there's honey. Or blood. A body or a beehive. Okay? You're welcome.

As you can see, I actually had no idea what was real at least half the time while reading this, but I love it. I like the sparse pros
...more
Teresa
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The three stories in this collection are disturbing, warped and lovely. Unlike with some collections, the stories seem to belong together and are placed in a chronological fashion, by age of the the first-person female narrator (though they are not the same person): from a young teenage girl to a college-aged woman with a part-time job to a young wife. The stories are told in deceptively simple prose that keeps you thinking for a long time afterward.

There are thematic and symbolic strains: of me
...more
Kay
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: not divers, pregnant women, or long lost cousins
Well, if I ever want acid indigestion, I know just the book to turn to.

I've been very lucky this past year with contemporary Japanese authors, and Yoko Ogawa has been one of the top on that list. This novella features three standalone stories, all united by recurring themes. In each story, the main characters assume the role of the incongruous outsider, distant and apathetic, but frothing underneath with violent undercurrents of obsession and desire.

Perhaps most significantly, these outsiders
...more
Anasylvia
Three mini reviews for the three novellas.

The Diving Pool

I wondered what sort of sound was made when the hooks holding a family came apart. Perhaps a dull spat, like the sound of a ripe fruit splitting open. Or maybe it was more like an explosion, when you mix the wrong chemicals.

This one was my favorite of the bunch. It follows the main character Aya's obsessive crush on Jun her foster brother. Her parents own a Catholic orphanage, and she has grown up with children shuffling in and out of
...more
Kaya
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Despite the fact I find Asian literature a bit unconventional, the more I read it, the more I like it. This book is no exception. It has it all - melancholy, questionable behaviour and obsession. I've read it in one sitting, it really is fast-paced, but it's not for everyone.

This is a collection of three short stories that are really dark. You're never sure whether the story will turn into tragedy or resolve safely. Or even if it will resolve at all. The characters walk on thin line between luc
...more
mai ahmd
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات
عُرف عن أوغارا شفافيتها المطلقة وحساسيتها في الكتابة وأظن أن الأدب الياباني بشكل عام يتسم بهذه السمة ..القصة تدور حول إبنة مدير دار الأيتام والتي عاشت طفولتها ومراهقتها في الميتم حتى اختفى شعورها بالانتماء نحو أسرة وأصبح المسيطر عليها الشعور باليُتم كحال كل المتواجدين فيه
تستطيع أن تفكر كيف أن شابة في مقتبل العمر خالية من أية طموحات تستطيع أن تقضي الجزء الأهم من عمرها في مكان كهذا !
سنوات المراهقة !
والتي تدفع من يمر بها للتفكير في بعض الأمور الغريبة
البحث عن متعة في ميتم !
تبدو قضية !
هذه المراهقة
...more
David
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: big-red-circle
I think she should have made a novel from "The Diving Pool". I thoroughly enjoyed our hero empowering herself and expressing love through brutal cruelty to another:
"Rie's terrified tears were particularly satisfying, like hands caressing me in exactly the right places – not vague, imaginary hands but his hands, the ones I was sure would know just how to please me." Yikes, huh?

"Pregnancy Diary" - Eerie. Weird. More of Ogawa's nourishing cruelty.

"Dormitory" - Again, cruelty in place of communicat
...more
Jill
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Last year, I read Yoko Ogawa’s newest collection, Revenge – spare and unsettling tales of emotionally damaged individuals that contrast elegant prose with often bizarre situations.

The Diving Pool, written nearly a quarter century earlier, provides a context for Ms. Ogawa’s trajectory as a writer. It offers three novellas that start out gently and gradually build in intensity while maintaining their dreamlike state.

In the first, a truculent teen named Aya is obsessed with her younger foster broth
...more
Calzean
Ogawa writes tightly and draws you into her stories. I think the meaning between these stories would probably be best debated by those studying Japanese literature.
Each of these three novellas put their characters in a pendulum of normality and evil.
In "The Diving Pool" the teenage narrator lives in an orphanage run by her parents. She is infatuated with a long term resident who dives in the local pool. She also has an evil side when dealing with the youngest resident.
In "Pregnancy Diary" a youn
...more
Mashael Alamri
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
في تلك البقعة المنزوية داخل المقهى الصغير، جلست تتأملُ الكتاب في يديها وغلافه الذي يشعلُ الفضول فيها (حوض السِّباحة) تتساءل هل أحسنت الاختيار؟. حوض السِّباحة، تسأل نفسها، هل سأغرق هل سأبتل هل سأسبح؟. في حروف هذا الكتاب وبين فواصله بين انعطافات أفكاره و بعد نقاط التوقف فيه، قبل أن تلتهم صفحاته مع قهوتها جالت نظراتها في ما حولها لغات غريبة عنها وأخرى ألفتها تستمع لأحاديث اعتلت الأصوات فيها انفعالاً، أو إلى ضحكات هاربة من أفواه صبايا التقطت أذنها حوار دار على بعد بضع خطوات منها , في المقعد القريب ...more
Rina Suryakusuma
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it

Three novellas and I found it quite disturbing



The diving pool, Pregnancy diary dan Dormitory

Ketiganya bukan jenis cerita yang meledak-ledak

Sebaliknya, mengalir tenang

Tapi di balik setiap katanya, ada horor yang mencekam

Dan saya pikir jenis yang ini lebih meninggalkan bekas



The diving pool diceritakan dari seorang Aya, gadis yang tinggal di rumah yatim piatu, tapi bukan yatim piatu

Ia memiliki ketertarikan kuat dengan saudara angkatnya Jun

Kemudian di balik narasinya, ia memiliki kekejaman tersendi
...more
Abeer Saleh
رواية رقيقة , تحكي عن فتاة في دار للأيتام, تشاركهم إحساس اليتم رغم وجود والديها برفقتها, فتاة لا تملك وسيلة متعة سوى النظر في جسد أحد نزلاء الميتم حين خروجه من حوض السباحة, والمتعة الأخرى في إشباع قسوتها ببكاء "رييه" ذات العام والنصف تقريبًا.

 رواية تكشف لك مشاعر البشر الغريبة, غربة الروح مع وجود العائلة, إحساس القسوة الذي يظهر حتى مع طفلة صغيرة, كره الأحاديث العائلية, عدم تقدير النعم التي نحن بها , قد يكون لذلك دوافع عديدة ,لكن أن تؤلم يتيمة صغيرة, لتستمتع ببكاءها ونحيبها, وتشبع إحساساً بداخلك,
...more
أحمد جابر


غريبة، ومخالفة لما هو عادي، فتاة لوالدين يديران ملجأ للأيتام، وهي تعيش بينهم، وتتعايش على عدمية وجودهما، أي أنها يتيمة كباقي زملائها، تعجب بشاب أشد الإعجاب، تفتن بجسده، وتدقق في تفاصيله أكثر مما هو يدقق فيه، لكنّها من زاوية أخرى، تعذب طفلة أو بالأحرى تتلذذ في سماع بكائها، وتتسبب عن قصد أو بغير قصد في تسميمها.

إنها قصة التناقض في النظر إلى الكائن البشري، رغم أن العين واحدة، أما حوض السباحة فهو الشاهد الوحيد على كل ما سيحصل أو حصل من جريمة بين العاشقين الجدد.

Zak
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
It's always exciting when trying out writers for the first time. You never know what to expect and whether the book is ultimately good or not, there's still that initial feeling of unfamiliarity and discovery. Yoko Ogawa has been popping up in my feeds a lot lately, with generally rave reviews and comments about 'The Housekeeper and the Professor'. I still haven't read that but could gather that it was a generally sweet, moving tale with some romance thrown in.

Instead of going for that most well
...more
Cheryl
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I have read by this leading Japanese author. After recently reading her wonderful book “The Housekeeper and the Professor” I started looking for her other translated works.
This is a collection of 3 novellas, all marked by her simple elegant prose. My favourite was the title story, about a teenage girl whose religious parents run a home (the ‘Light House’) for orphans and abandoned children. She feels out of sync with her family and her home. “Sometimes, as I approach, th
...more
Jamie
Dec 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prose-fiction
I have been dying for some more Ogawa ever since I read two of her short stories in The New Yorker over two years ago and instantly fell for her prose. A novel that was supposed to come out last year never arrived, and it's been one long tease.

Ogawa writes with unfettered, graceful prose that is seductive in its softness and simplicity, lending even more shock value to her dark subjects. In the title story, a young girl who grew up in the orphanage run by her parents has grown obsessed with the
...more
Shaindel
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I recently read this book so that I could interview the translator, Stephen Snyder, for my radio show, _Translated By_. I read this book and _The Housekeeper and the Professor_ (also by Yoko Ogawa and translated by Stephen Snyder). I LOVED both books.

Ogawa has a reserved and distanced writing style that I find intriguing. Many of her characters are disaffected, young females, struggling to find their ways in the world, and many of her stories are haunting or disturbing because of the ways these
...more
Hoda Marmar
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
Ogawa's creepy stories keep me begging for more. It is like a bad addiction really. The stories are either horrifying or downright mindblowing (or both). But I love them!
Farah Shamma
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I picked up this book of three novellas, I did not expect it to be so dark. I’d previously to this read one book for the Yuko Ogawa, The Housekeeper and the Professor, and it was one of my favorite books in 2014. This book of novellas was pretty great as well but for me, it took a whole new tone than what I was used to from the author.

The first novella, The Diving Pool, is about a girl who essentially has a thing for her foster brother and likes to watch him during his diving practice. We
...more
Jana
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ogawa writes about dark and disturbing materials. But you don’t really get that, she sucks you in her everyday-normal-life vortex with its usual dialogues and people. But stories are chilling, although you don’t know why you feel like you are subtly creeped out. I like it when nature is one of the crucial characters – here it seems like rain never stops and light is circling around grey shades.

In 'Dormitory', she writes about this sound that she can’t explain. It’s something close to a vibratin
...more
Steph
This is a wonderful collection of novellas! I had very high expectations for this book, and was not let down by Ogawa's subtly creepy storytelling.

Five stars for the title story - a sad and eerie tale about how the darkness within us isolates us from those we care for most.

I'm less fond of the second story, Pregnancy Diary. It covers similar territory (view spoiler), but it's much less satisfying than The Diving Pool.

And Dormitory? I couldn't p
...more
Gretel
Sometimes genuinely creepy, sometimes B-movie creepy.
Ctgt
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I've been looking forward to reading Ogawa for some time, her writing is described as lean, subtle and nuanced which is everything I love in storytelling. And everything I read is correct.....but for some reason this collection never really spoke to me.
A young girl, whose parents run a small orphanage, becomes infatuated with a boy staying in the home. Ogawa explores her secret obsession and her cruel treatment of a another very young child at the orphanage.
A woman keeps a diary of her sister's
...more
Jinn
. Not horror stories, these novellas just bring out that horror side of you.
. Strangely captivating and satisfying.
. Totally different from The Housekeeper and the Professor, which was what I'd expected, having heard a thing or two about Hotel Iris.
Katie
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
“I'm sure it must have been even more wonderful then, when we were young and knew nothing about the pain of growing up.”

Yay, finally another book review! I picked up The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa on one of my book-buying jaunts with the lovely Kirsty from The Literary Sisters. These happen quite often and luckily, I always seem to come away with some brilliant pieces of literature.

The Diving Pool is a collection of three novellas, all just as creepy and unsettling as the last. The collection has
...more
Kyle Muntz
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read this for the title novella. The others are what they are (they're okay I guess), but "The Diving Pool" is a perfect jewel of beauty, cruelty, and sadness. I also just went back again--after first reading this a year ago, except this time I'm going to teach it--and yeah, still one of the most pristine, atmospheric pieces of writing I've ever read; and the translation from the Japanese reads astoundingly well.
Genevieve
Eerie. Somehow Ogawa writes these quiet stories in which little threads tugged loose in the ordinary and everyday create huge ripples and intimations of something frightening and vast and unknowable. What made these, for me, is the way you're never quite sure whether the story is about to tip over into full-blown horror--or resolve safely, even happily, within the domestic; the characters tremble on the line between malaise and madness, and it's hard for the reader to tell which is which.
زهراء الموسوي
بطلة الرواية غريبة الأطوار، تتلذذ بإيذاء طفلة لم تتجاوز العامين. أغضبتني!
Deam Arrebdi
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
منعشة، مسلية، خاتمة مثيرة للحيرة والدهشة!
خفيفة بكل المقاييس.
Batool
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
بطلة الرواية -آيا- غريبة، يبدو بأنها مراهقة، تتلذذ بالنظر لعضلات رفيقها الغوّاص وبتعذيب طفلة لا يتجاوز عمرها السنتين!
رواية رقيقية لكن كنت أتوقعها أفضل :(
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Yōko Ogawa (小川 洋子) was born in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, graduated from Waseda University, and lives in Ashiya. Since 1988, she has published more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction. Her novel The Professor and his Beloved Equation has been made into a movie. In 2006 she co-authored „An Introduction to the World's Most Elegant Mathematics“ with Masahiko Fujiwara, a mathematician, as a ...more
More about Yōko Ogawa...
“Still, being alone doesn't mean you have to be miserable. In that sense it's different from losing something. You've still got yourself, even if you lose everything else. You've got to have faith in yourself and not get down just because you're on your own.” 67 likes
“When we grow up, we find ways to hide our anxieties, our loneliness, our fear and sorrow. But children hide nothing, putting everything into their tears, which they spread liberally about for the whole world to see.” 31 likes
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