First Published: September 15, 2009
Genres: Dark Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction, Short Stories
A man watches his girlfriend decompose, one Polaroid at a time. A salesman offers a euthanasia drug at an exorbitant price to a man on a hijacked airplane. An abused boy builds a house in the woods out of dead bodies. These are some of the stories in Otsuichi's ZOO. Creepy, funny, strange, and sad, these stories will fire up your imagination. Let one of Japan’s brightest young authors into your mind. Welcome to the ZOO.
I enjoy Otsuichi’s stories because he is unafraid to take risks, his stories are always a breath of fresh air. This collection was a delight because of the many genres included, and it showed Otsuichi’s range as a writer. From grimdark fairy tales to science fiction, black comedy to spine-chilling horror. I didn’t find the leaps in genres to be disorienting at all and enjoyed having something new and unexpected with each story.
While not every story was an instant hit for me, there was definitely more good stories in this collection than bad, and the ones that were good were really good. My favorite story was also the very last, Seven Rooms, which featured an elaborate death game that left me feeling really satisfied when I finished the book. In A Falling Airplane was also great, it was so darkly funny and I enjoyed it so much I immediately re-read it. In all, a fantastic short story collection that cements my admiration of Otsuichi, he has quickly become one of my favorite writers.
“I hope you don’t mind my asking, miss, but are you familiar with the prophecies of Nostradamus?”
Trigger Warning: Violence, Gore, Death, Domestic Abuse, Chlid Abuse, Animal Death