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Nijigahara Holograph Hardcover – March 19, 2014
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*Starred Review* A mother commits suicide. A bully keeps watch over a victim. A teacher withdraws from her students. An obsessed man weaves a tale of monsters. By shifting time and perspective, Asano is able to fit all of these puzzle pieces together to create a haunting story of trauma, guilt, and, finally, closure. At the heart of the tale is Arié, who tells one too many stories about the monster that lives in the tunnel behind the school. In an attempt to shut her up, her classmates push her into a well. The consequences of that action spiral outward in ways the children never imagined, affecting friends, family, teachers, and neighbors in ways the children never imagined, horrifically affecting friends, family, teachers, and neighbors, both physically and psychologically. Anger, hopelessness, and betrayal run rampant—echoed by the eerie, ominous clouds of butterflies swarming the town—and fuel heartless violence. Though there are many moving pieces, the fluid time line; tight, stark, and realistic artwork; and clues carefully revealed through deliberately worded dialogue and purposeful character design work in perfect harmony to prevent ambiguity or confusion. Critically acclaimed Asano deftly twists this disturbingly compelling story, managing to shock the reader at every turn. Its intricacies are even more rewarding on the second read. --Eva Volin
“It’s a brilliant piece of psychological horror that is both deeply intimate yet expansive in scope, with a large cast of characters that are sucked into the terror in different ways. The cyclical, abstract story is challenging, but greatly rewards rereading, and it’s easy to get lost in Asano’s intricate art, which does outstanding work realizing the setting that is so important to the plot.”
- Oliver Sava, The A.V. Club
“This beautifully drawn but elliptically told story is almost relentless in its depiction of the evil that lurks behind everyday life, but it’s impossible to put down. Fable and film-noir crime mix in a small town where the children believe a beast living in a tunnel is a sign of the end of the world, and adults cope with the aftereffects of a hideous crime. This is a book that rewards repeated readings…”
- Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
Top customer reviews
Asano's books are like reading his finger prints. The hard cover book itself is well put together - as usual, my only complaint is that there is no color to accompany the fine illustrations...but that tends to be the norm for this genre.