Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo Paperback – November 19, 2013
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Of the stories, the best one is "Cage of Shadows", a first-person narrative (and nunc dimittis) that is moving because of the narrator's sorrow about whether things could have turned out differently-- had he stepped out of station, could he have stopped the tragedy that unfolded? Other stories of note include "When Plum Rains Fall" (the introduction compares it fairly to "The Minister's Black Veil"), "The Futon Storeroom" (a horror story any Marxist would be pleased with!) and "The Mussel Mound" (which reminds me especially of Lafcadio Hearn and has a streak of dark humor).
The book blurb says it best that these stories are “written with a journalistic eye and a fantasist’s heart.” They’re grounded in real life happenings that the reader is able to understand what the characters are going through but also get swept up in the events of their lives being affected by the supernatural. The stories (I felt) are essentially mysteries. Sure the ghosts are surrounded in mystery (that’s a given.) But so are other parts of the stories that the author doesn’t choose to answer. I mean, why should we know every detail? It wouldn’t be a good mystery if the only mysterious thing were the ghosts themselves. Reading this book was almost like reading a Neil Gaiman novel, and I’m okay with that.