(ダイヴィング・プール / Daivingu pūru) — (妊娠カレンダー / Ninshin karendā) — (ドミトリイ / Domitorii)

(ダイヴィング・プール / Daivingu pūru) — (妊娠カレンダー / Ninshin karendā) — (ドミトリイ / Domitorii)From Akutagawa Award Winning Author Yoko Ogawa Comes A Haunting Trio Of Novellas About Love, Fertility, Obsession, And How Even The Most Innocent Gestures May Contain A Hairline Crack Of Cruel Intent.A Lonely Teenage Girl Falls In Love With Her Foster Brother As She Watches Him Leap From A High Diving Board Into A Pool A Peculiar Infatuation That Sends Unexpected Ripples Through Her Life.A Young Woman Records The Daily Moods Of Her Pregnant Sister In A Diary, Taking Meticulous Note Of A Pregnancy That May Or May Not Be A Hallucination But Whose Hallucination Is It, Hers Or Her Sister S A Woman Nostalgically Visits Her Old College Dormitory On The Outskirts Of Tokyo, A Boarding House Run By A Mysterious Triple Amputee With One Leg.Hauntingly Spare, Beautiful, And Twisted, The Diving Pool Is A Disquieting And At Times Darkly Humorous Collection Of Novellas About Normal People Who Suddenly Discover Their Own Dark Possibilities. Okay, a few things are definitely going on here, and I m happy to clear up the confusion for anyone who may not have my depth and breadth of knowledge on the subject People are crazy or sane, things are happening or not happening, supporting characters are flesh and blood or mental constructs, and there s honey Or blood A body or a beehive Okay You re welcome.As you can see, I actually had no idea what was real at least half the time while reading this, but I love it I like the sparse prose, the often stoic characters, the subtle psychopathy, the constant droning sounds pulling the nerves slow mo taut, and the overwhelming creepiness spun out of totally mundane and few threads The Japanese are apparently just forevergood at churning up sinister moods out of teapots, flowerbeds, and grapefruit jam How do they do it Well, I guess when your country is about 75% mountainous terrain and you have the 10th highest population in the world, you sorta have to embrace the utilitarian spirit, and it spills over into so much of their artistic expression that isn t, like, Hentai or Harajuku street fashion No matter how much I love a good verbosity vomit, I am still like a little kid seeing bubbles for the first time with the wonder and the drooly mouth a
The three stories in this collection are disturbing, warped and lovely Unlike with some collections, the stories seem to belong together and are placed in a chronological fashion, by age of the the first person female narrator though they are not the same person from a young teenage girl to a college aged woman with a part time job to a young wife The stories are told in deceptively simple prose that keeps you thinking for a long time afterward.There are thematic and symbolic strains of memory a sort of nostalgia , the outward crumbling of buildings reflecting what is within the narrators and the unease associated with the roles of females including, in the first two stories, the relationship of unmarried young women to babies not their own and, in the last, an almost passive aggressive rebellion of a wife toward her husband Irreconcilable is a word that is use
Well, if I ever want acid indigestion, I know just the book to turn to I ve been very lucky this past year with contemporary Japanese authors, and Yoko Ogawa has been one of the top on that list This novella features three standalone stories, all united by recurring themes In each story, the main characters assume the role of the incongruous outsider, distant and apathetic, but frothing underneath with violent undercurrents of obsession and desire Perhaps most significantly, these outsiders are all female, each seeking companionship but falling just short of getting it Isolation is a running thread in the three stories, and it is through the lens of isolation that Yoko Ogawa warps each protagonist s view of her world Beauty is perverted into revulsion The human aesthetic is reduced to a scientific specimen Repressed sexual desire, oftentimes misplaced or unrequited, is expressed through sadism and abuse.The most compelling aspect of this novella was just how capable of casual cruelty we are in everyday life, particularly in the first two stories, and how powerful and maddening isolation can become.I planned on finishing this book in one or two sittings because of its relatively short length But after reading the unsettling, mind bending first story
Yon Creepy Strange Stars This collection of novellas has three stories in total.Story one is about a girl who is rather obsessed with her foster brother, and she has some disturbing tendencies towards her new foster sister, who is a year and a half Something that is portrayed in this story through Aya s POV is that the boy is rather pure, but I didn t really feel that way, particularly near the end of the novella.Story two is f cked up, in a different way than the first A single woman is living with her pregnant, sister and husband She does not seem particularly off putting as a character in the beginning, but then enters the grapefruits , and I was beyond disturbed by her choices The last story is rather odd TBH, I don t even know what to make of the ending A woman is living alone, while her husband is away, working in Sweden She helps her cousin get living arrangements at a place she used to live at when she went to school, but the owner has changed triple aputy, and is in bad health , and there was a missing tenant from the year before Once again, really not sure what that en
. , , . I think she should have made a novel from The Diving Pool I thoroughly enjoyed our hero empowering herself and expressing love through brutal cruelty to another Rie s terrified tears were particularly satisfying, like hands caressing me in exactly the right places not vague, imaginary hands but his hands, the ones I was sure would know just how to please me Yikes, huh Pregnancy Diary Eerie Weird More of Ogawa s nourishing cruelty Dormitory Again, cruelty in place of communication
Despite the fact I find Asian literature a bit unconventional, the I read it, the I like it This book is no exception It has it all melancholy, questionable behaviour and obsession I ve read it in one sitting, it really is fast paced, but it s not for everyone This is a collection of three short stories that are really dark You re never sure whether the story will turn into tragedy or resolve safely Or even if it will resolve at all The characters walk on thin line between lucidness and madness Stories are chilling, creepy and shocking Cruelty of the characters is hidden inside compassion, politeness and innocence The Diving Pool 4 starsAya is obsessed with her younger foster brother Jun Her parents run a home for orphans and abandoned children Jun is a diver, and Aya loves to watch him from the corners and shadows, torn between desire to stay hidden and desire to be seen by him This story is my favorite of the three, because it s the most straightforward This is a twisted love story, which is expressed through various acts of cruelty towards a toddler The story ends with a bit of a twist The Pregnancy Diaries 3 starsThe descriptions of the morning sickness and cravings of pre
First read November 2016Rating DNF at 6%I wasn t in the right mood to read this a few years ago so I abandoned it then I m hoping I enjoy it now Re read May 2019The Diving Pool 2.5 5 starsPregnancy Diary 4 5 stars Dormitory 4.5 5 stars I really liked the second and third stories in this collection, which I read for the first