Revenge by Yoko Ogawa was the last book I read in 2012 and it was the best. Since its publishing date is January 29th, this could be your best first read of 2013.
Revenge is eleven stories all connected to each other in some way and all extremely creepy. The stories are told in first person and I never knew who the narrator might be until I was into the tale. A man or woman, boy or girl. Even the point in time is unclear. The narrator of one story could be a man who was a child in a story earlier. Objects important in one story pop up in another. It’s discombobulating, but at the same time fascinating. By the end, the stories came full circle but I didn’t want them to end. I thought, “Nooooo! It can’t end now.” If I have any complaints, it’s that there is not enough. 173 pages is not enough!
Okay, so the book is titled Revenge but there is not a lot of revenging. The revenge is often subtle (although there was that one lady…but never mind). The people in the stories seem ordinary enough, until they say or do something so bizarre it made me say, “Yeah, that person is not right.” There is a wisp of the macabre throughout the stories. There is a quiet eeriness about them, with a little murder here and there to keep things interesting. In some ways, they remind me of the stories of Daphne du Maurier or Shirley Jackson.
With a title like Revenge, I was sure I was going to like it but I am actually surprised at how much I liked it. The writing is crisp and the theme deliciously creepy.
Thanks to Picador via NetGalley for the review copy.