Goth

GothGoth
Author: Otsuichi
Publisher: Haikasoru
First Published: 2002
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

five-stars
Synopsis:

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 Haikasoru edition features the previously untranslated bonus novelette, “Morino's Souvenir Photo.”


My Thoughts

Goth is a strange book to talk about, it is the type of book that I absolutely loved while also recognizing the absurdity of the story. The synopsis for the novel is poorly written, it leads prospective readers to think that Morino, a young gothic girl, is the main character and that she and a friend hunt serial killers to “understand them.” This summary is only partially true, the main character is the mysterious boy whose hobby is observing tragedy and his strange friendship with Morino, a beautiful but seemingly unlucky girl that ends up caught up in encounters with serial killers.

“I was scared of being disconnected from society, and so I became a deceiver myself.”

The boy was engaging not because he wants to understand murderers, instead, he wanted to observe them for the same reasons people want to see the animals at a zoo. I loved Morino and the boy and was a little sad when I finished reading, I had come to adore the two main characters and I wanted to keep reading about their adventures with death. The two characters were equally dark but contrasted each other in a way that they just fit together.

I fell in love with Goth because of how it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is: a goth fantasy about two teenagers that are deeply interested in serial killers and death. Each story felt like I was reading an episode of a twisted detective anime, complete with mind-bending and at times unbelievable resolutions. The mild mystery aspects gave the stories a sort of charm, the writing doesn’t pull any punches and isn’t afraid to show the ugliness of people, a few of the stories even told from the point of view of serial killers. The stories were well-planned out to provide some truly surprising revelations that caught me off guard and left me flabbergasted, and I ate it up no matter how insane the stories got. The book is a fun read for fans of gritty gory horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously but delivers some truly twisted stories.


Warnings: animal abuse, child abduction, graphic descriptions of death, gore, and murder


About Otsuichi

Otsuichi is the pen name of Hirotaka Adachi born 1978. He is a Japanese writer, mostly of horror short stories, as well as a filmmaker. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of Japan and the Honkaku Mystery Writers Club of Japan.

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