This small collection is a selection of stories each of which has a touch of the dark. Each story is somehow related to the others. Mainly via a character or characters in any one story who is or were protagonist in some other story in the set...
I can’t really tell you if there is a rigid linear progression but the stories seem to stand on their own as well.
From a heart that is outside a body and for which a bag has to be made, to the death of a tiger in a secret garden. From a torture museum to a body in an abandoned fridge. Stories that, by all accounts, must leave you in a dark place.
Yet the stories do nothing of the sort. At least not for me. They exhilarated and intrigued and were each exquisite morsels like a dark chocolate, each square of which bespeaks a different flavour while the whole breathes a peculiar delight, melting softly in the consciousness.
I’m afraid I have read little of Murakami and so I shall leave you to figure out for yourself if Ogawa is influenced by him or if, as is more likely, her writing lies more in a general framework of Japanese contemporary literature.
“You certainly get that feeling of being haunted by Murakami when you begin reading the "Eleven Dark Tales," as she calls them, in this story cycle by Yoko Ogawa.”
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