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Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination Paperback – May 10, 2012
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"Rampo is Japan's foremost writer of mystery and tales of suspense." —The Journal of Asian Studies
"Japan's most famous mystery story writer is named Edogawa Rampo. Rampo took this name because he is a great admirer of Poe. When a visiting American asked [a noted Japanese psychologist] if the Japanese reading public didn't confuse Rampo with the real Edgar Allan Poe, he replied, 'Oh, no … Edogawa Rampo is much more famous.'" —New York Times Book Review
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While a few reviewers have criticized Edogawa Ranpo for his stories lacking Poe's feel for the dark horror novel, one must know that Edogawa Ranpo is regarded as the father of the Japanese MYSTERY novel, not horror. So, for anyone hoping to get a good scare from this book, you will be let down.
But, with that said, the stories are wonderful and I, quite honestly, would have forgotten that the stories were set in Japan if not for character names. A beautiful collection of dark mysteries that would please fans of Poe's "The Purloined Letter" and "The Tell-Tale Heart," but not necessarily fans of "The Pit and the Pendulum."
I highly recommend this book to fans of Japanese literature, those who like the "Kindaichi Case Files" (Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo) and fans of a good mystery.
Tarō Hirai, the actual author of the book, was a great admirer of Poe (along with Doyle) and used 'Edogawa Rampo' as his pen name and nod towards the famous western author.
The tales within this book incorporate the very same elements of mystery, intrigue, the bizarre, and the grotesque commonly found in Poe's works. If you enjoy stories of this nature the you'll love this collection. 'The Human Chair' is one of my favourites!