The publisher, Vertical, calls Natsuhiko Kyogoku's The Summer of the Ubume, mystery/horror. The author loves Japanese folklore, Vertical says, especially that of the paranormal and preturnatural, with special interest in the supernatural entities called yokai . This book, Kyogoku's 1994 debut, "gives birth to a new form of Japanese fiction," according to the publisher. Vertical also calls Kyogoku "the Neil Gaiman of Japanese mystery fiction."
Now, horror is not generally my cup of reading tea, but I do like the wry humor and sense of dislocation in The Summer of the Ubume's opening chapter. The opening perches on the verge of excess without going over:
"At the very top of the hill, where the lackadaisical, interminable slope petered out at last, sat my destination: Kyogokudo."Want to know what Kyogokudo is? You'll have to wait til the bottom of the page. I've met no yokai yet, as far as I know, but Kyogoku knows how to build suspense from the beginning.
This will be a rare excursion in the world of ghosts for me. How about you? What are your thoughts on ghosts, spirits, and other other-worldly matteres in crime witing?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011