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The Graveyard Apartment: A Novel Hardcover – October 11, 2016
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“Strange, mysterious, a little unsettling, but mostly it’s just good.” ―Joe R. Lansdale, author of Paradise Sky
“Claustrophobic and chilling, Mariko Koike’s novel will slowly wrap its icy finger around your neck, while the last thirty pages will have you holding your breath. Highly recommended!” ―Ronald Malfi, author of Little Girls
“This incredibly creepy story seeps into your bones like that basement chill, searing imagery into your brain that’s so startling, your nightmares – and elevator rides – will never be the same.” ―Maria Alexander, Bram Stoker Award winner and author of Mr. Wicker
About the Author
MARIKO KOIKE was born in Tokyo and is the recipient of a number of literary awards including the Naoki Prize, the Shibata Renzaburo Award, and the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature. She is the author of The Graveyard Apartment.
DEBORAH BOLIVER BOEHM, who translated The Graveyard Apartment, is also the translator of Koike’s 2009 release The Cat in the Coffin and of Kenzaburo Oe’s The Changeling.
Top customer reviews
Like many of the authors I've listed here, Koike's fiction is dark, edgy, and uncomfortable. Set in contemporary Japan (note, the book was written in 1986, but is still modern and contemporary), it shows us what happens when a thoroughly modern young family faces very dark, supernatural forces. There's a bit of seediness in their story that eventually separates us a little from this little family and you're faced with the uncomfortable feeling that maybe...just maybe...some of what happens is deserved.
Unlike many American books, what happens isn't concrete and explained and tied up neatly with a bow on top. And if there is a bow, it's probably made of something dark, red, and glistening. But while not neatly explained, the things that happen in the book are creepy and unrelenting and if it happened to you, you'd be downright terrified.
Again, not your typical American horror. It's very Japanese and may not suit all tastes. But if you have a love for horror, edge, and can take a less concrete story, it's highly recommended.
I'll be looking for more of Koike's books in the future.
*Advanced Reader Copy Provided by Net Galley
unknown to the Kano's, a terrible supernatural presence has invaded the apartment complex. Strange things have begun to happen, including their young daughter being injured while innocently playing in the basement of the building. But this is only the beginning, for soon, Teppi's brother and wife are also drawn in. By the end, with no other people in the building but themselves, Teppi, Misao, and their in-laws find themselves at the mercy of these terrible forces.
I have never read a Japanese novel before, so I have nothing to compare this book to, other than similar ones by American authors such as Stephen King. I thought the story line was interesting, and the plot did increase in intensity throughout the book. However, I was totally disappointed with the ending. Overall, I did enjoy this book, I just wish the ending could have been a little different.
It takes awhile for the deep menace of the place to reveal itself, and when it does, the book begins to go downhill. For me, Stephen King's worst horror novels are the ones that build up to a confrontation with the Big Scary Monster, because the BSM is a generic evil that reduces the realistically drawn human characters to cartoon heroes. The evil entity of "Graveyard Apartment" is far less interesting than what we don't see, namely, what lies beyond the basement walls, and the isolation of the building by supernatural forces shatters whatever plausibility the story had left. Readers are expected to believe that neither employers, family, nor police would notice that movers and utility company employees who are sent to that address never return. By far, the best eerie moments are the fate of the brother and sister-in-law and what is seen by the taxi driver who picks up the ex-caretakers to deliver them to their new home.
I gave this book three stars because 70% of it was well done, and even though the last 30% was disappointing, it wasn't hurried. The remaining characters are resourceful and determined, and it is implied that they might have held out a little longer but for one careless act. If you enjoy a patiently developed story populated with thoughtful, practical people, read this book and then either stop once the caretakers move out or pause your critical thinking.
The book has a distinctly Japanese feel (obviously), and it's interesting to examine writing styles from thirty years ago.
I won't go into plot, because others already have, and because you should just dive in. Immerse yourself in this creepy setting. It's the perfect Halloween read, and the hardcover edition is beautiful.
Most recent customer reviews
Teppei and Misao move in a cheap, modern apartment with their young daughter.Read more