woensdag 12 november 2014

Yoko Ogawa: The Diving Pool

Hi again

I finished this collection of three novellas’ on Monday but I couldn’t write a review about them.
These are strange and disturbing stories and I still don’t know whether I liked them or not.
My copy is in Dutch and it counts 158 pages and it won the Shirley Jackson Award.

“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.”

All three novellas’ have a detached, alienated and very, very lonely protagonist.
They don’t know why they are doing what they are doing and they don’t seem to understand the consequences of their actions, they are adrift. And in their isolation they try to reach out to others without knowing how. This leads them to cruelties both large and small. They get bitter and lost in their own world where there is no empathy for them.
She has a subtle, detached writing style. We are observing the characters and while we do so we get glimpses of their emotions, but only glimpses. It’s bleak and cold.
The stories are deeply unsettling and downright creepy.
Definitely not masterpieces. But unique and they have been turning around in my mind for two days now.

Happy reading.