Callum McLaughlin's Reviews > The Diving Pool

The Diving Pool by Yōko Ogawa
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really liked it
bookshelves: translated, gothic-and-horror, character-study

There's something about Ogawa's work that is so effortlessly unsettling. It's like wandering around a seemingly pristine room, feeling that something just isn't quite right about it, before spotting a patch of mould festering in the corner. We'd rather ignore its ugliness, lest it spoil the beauty, but Ogawa takes us by the hand and makes us stare right at it.

The three novellas that comprise this book all explore suppressed emotion, with her heroines' slightly off kilter view of the world and inner frustrations manifesting in a sense of detachment, and casual everyday cruelty. In this way, she exposes the dark side of human nature that is never far from civilised society, using elegantly simple prose that is punctuated by imagery that tips the balance between beauty and revulsion.

The third story in particular challenges convention, plays with tropes of the gothic genre to toy with reader expectations, and presents us with a startling final tableau. She doesn't hand us all the answers, nor does she want us to feel entirely comfortable, and yet somehow, she hooks us in for the ride, and leaves us feeling bewildered in the very best way.
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Reading Progress

January 14, 2018 – Shelved
January 14, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
August 14, 2018 – Started Reading
August 15, 2018 – Shelved as: translated
August 16, 2018 – Shelved as: gothic-and-horror
August 16, 2018 – Shelved as: character-study
August 16, 2018 – Finished Reading

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