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192 pages, Paperback
First published July 13, 1998
"Books are the mirrors of the soul."
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts
take Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa, especially the writing style and slight drips of metaphysicalness, spirituality, and imagery, slather it with Haruki Murakami; but don't over do it. Add a dash of Karen Russell (when she is on her game).... and you have this book.
these stories, while completely, definitely grounded in their ownness, are somehow linked. The linking is personal, and grounds the read, or at least it did for me. It's difficult to explain, but for the most part I found myself able to identify personally with every story, and curtail its meaning around my historyâ€”present and pastâ€”advancing this long, expansive trajectory. It's remarkably scary in its depth and honesty, nakedness and realness. It's jagged around the edges, but a warm and assuring hug in the middle. It whispers "it will all be ok" and it honestly means it.
A link to my favorite, below recalled the raw, gnawing, realness of mental illness (or death, or whatever feelings rush in) and completely shattered me word by word.
Personally, it was my 'Mia Michaels moment' of the series (see below for visual)....
I kid you not, dear goodreader's this one made me tear up, and that is a rarity. If you can not connect to this story to a bad break up, your own mental illness or a loved one, or terminally ill grandparents/parent's then you are heartless... terribly and absolutely heartless.
Calling these amazing gems short stories is a disservice. They aperitifs, sliding down your throat after a long cry. Some will hurt, and you will buckle over, holding your stomach, as if your insides might burst open. Some glide across your palate effortlessly and kindly, relieving inward and outward pain. Others are a shade of gray, some learning towards the darker side of the color wheel, while others are dashed with heavy white tones.
good god the first story crushed my soul, spit it out, and folded it back into pieces....