Goth (英語) ペーパーバック – 2015/8/18
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Morino is the strangest girl in school—how could she not be, given her obsession with brutal murders? And there are plenty of murders to grow obsessed with, as the town in which she lives is a magnet for serial killers. She and her schoolmate will go to any length to investigate the murders, even putting their own bodies on the line. And they don’t want to stop the killers—Morino and her friend simply want to understand them.
This new edition contains the bonus novelette "Morino's Souvenir Photo."
Born 1978 in Fukuoka, Otsuichi won the Sixth Jump Short Fiction/Nonfiction Prize when he was seventeen with his debut story "Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse." Now recognized as one of the most talented young fantasy/horror writers in Japan, his other English-language works include the short story collections Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse/Black Fairy Tale, and ZOO (Haikasoru). Goth won the Honkaku Mystery Award and was adapted into a feature film starring Rin Takanashi.
The ending caps off my disappointment. Disjointed, incongruous and non-sensical -- like the author had no idea of how to end it. He invents a new character, and voila! The end.
EDIT: after reading the postscript, I think it's unfair to rate this book a 2 star, so I'm adding another. Hell, maybe within the genre, it's better than that. Still, the ending was a mess. Turns out it was never really written as a organic, whole novel, but was originally printed in installments in a magazine. Also, the author states that though he never explicitly shared this in the piece, the entire realm the story takes place was not meant to be interpreted as this earthy place where we reside. That helps a bit with the implausibility that everyone mentioned in the book turns out to be a murder or a victim.
OK, 3 stars. Still recommend it, despite these flaws in the novel. The author's prose is just that good, and his perspective and voice is enchanting. Were the plot lines cleaner, it's easily a 4 star.