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Geoffrey Ivar studied Japanese and English Literature at the University of Virginia. He moved to Japan on the JET Programme to teach English, improve his Japanese, and gain a greater appreciation for Japanese literature. Although he has returned to live in America, he still travels frequently between Japan and the U.S.
on July 01, 2011 :
I found these stories to be grim, mysterious, and -- though somewhat open-ended -- ultimately satisfying as easily-digestible spine-tinglers.
Gruesome at times but far more often subtle and psychological, the tricks that we have all seen before still grant genuine chills here. I also confess one tale presented a final twist that I did not expect at all and absolutely loved. Just as I began to be familiar with the author's echoes of Edgar Allan Poe, things were quickly turned on the proverbial ear.
Though falling short of the economy of words of the tales of Poe, the eerie atmospheres and imagery of "The Hole and other stories" are very reminiscent and recommended for the reader who doesn't mind the no-so-gentle nudge to think twice, to reconsider just how gruesome this world might be.
In the end, it's the power that these stories have to keep readers second-guessing that echoes ominously through the years.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on June 29, 2011 :
These stories are "horror" in the more traditional sense. More like a ghost story, less like Saw. The stories themselves are quite different, each involving different characters from different walks of life. There is, however, a fascination with death and what might exist in the hereafter that is present in each story.
The translation is very readable. It is not like many other Japanese translation I have read in which the reader almost has to be familiar with Japanese grammar to piece together the meaning of each sentence. More importantly, this means that the stories are interesting rather than tedious and boring.
Best of all only 99 cents.
(reviewed the day of purchase)