Captivating. Provoking. Mind-blowingly good.
I cannot heap higher praise on this collection of 4 short stories, which is right up my alley. I love a good psychological thriller (closer to the psychotic kind) and I always feel that Korean cinema does this genre really well – think Oldboy, I saw a Devil, The Neighbours, Hide and Seek. I’m pleased to say that three of the four stories gave me the same tingling sense of trepidation and kept me on the edge throughout.
Only three, as I didn’t quite get the last one. Bizarre is the word for it.
Diary of a Murderer is the strongest and most well-developed story of the four. A tale of an old serial killer diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease who struggles with his degenerating memory and the urgency to save his daughter from a man whom he believes is one of his kind. I found myself picturing the movie, k-film style, in my head and even as I had expected to find twists and turns in the story, the story managed to exceed my expectations. I’m super pleased to find out, belatedly, that the story had been adapted for the big screen. YASS. I hope it’s as good as the one I had in my head.
Experts only look like experts to me when they talk about things I know nothing about.Diary of a Murderer
His comment on crime experts rings true for most so-called experts too.
The writing’s sharp and it was as if all the sentences were made concise as there was simply no room / memory to waste on unimportant words. It makes me curious about the original Korean novel. Korean sentences tend to run several lines and its grammar system allows many details to be stacked into one sentence. I wonder if this stylistic choice is also present in the original or only in the translated.
Most reviews of the book focuses on the title story, but I found myself enjoying The Origin of Life and The Missing Child a lot. In particular, The Missing Child paints a bleak (and arguably more realistic) picture of what it means to lose a child and find him/her years later. It’s a thought provoking story and I find myself thinking and having no answers to the following question. What happens if the thing that you wished for (for years) came true? Is it a happily ever after ending,? Can life just return to normal? And more unnervingly, are you really happy to get what you wished for?
The last story The Writer was bizarre and sorry, I just couldn’t get it. If someone can explain to me about what’s with the cob of corn, I may appreciate it a little more.
A page-turner that I would read again (maybe not that last story) and I’m already thinking of getting the Korean original.