With Life Ceremony, the incomparable Sayaka Murata is back with her first collection of short stories ever to be translated into English. In Japan, Murata is particularly admired for her short stories, which are sometimes sweet, sometimes shocking, and always imbued with an otherworldly imagination and uncanniness.
In these strange and wonderful stories of family and friendship, sex and intimacy, belonging and individuality, Murata asks above all what it means to be a human in our world and offers answers that surprise and linger.
I had heard many great things about this author. I’d been told that I would really enjoy their writing as it can sometimes be quite odd or unusual and that’s something I do enjoy in a book. I thought that a collection of short stories co up d be a great way to get to know a new to me author. I think it was! I really enjoyed this short story collection and gave it 4 stars.
I had seen this collection referred to as ‘horror’ which is not usually my thing. I love a good gothic horror but my scare level is similar to that of a Victorian lady, it’s very low. These stories were horrific in parts but not in a scary way. There were moments of horror and of shock and these stories made me really think!
These stories covered topics that I perhaps wouldn’t usually read about such as cannibalism and but in a thought provoking way. This collection of short stories gave me a lot to think about and I will be seeking out more books by this author Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ebook in exchange for an honest review
Often in short story collections there are some weak ones and some strong one but I am struggling to think of a weak link in this anthology. I enjoyed every story. My favourite ones where the ones that seemed linked to other stories, or maybe I was reading too much into things and making links that weren’t there. I also really enjoyed the first story, which was about a woman who was very into ‘recycled’ items made from humans but was marrying a man who was against these items. I feel that this story set the tone for the entire book as I got a grasp of what sort of horror was involved. I did also love the story about the curtain. Like I said, there really were no weak stories in this collection.
Each of the stories involved issues that was quite uncomfortable such as cannibalism or possession. However the way that they were written didn’t make me feel nauseated. The writing was very beautiful and the entire book was compelling and through provoking. This is another occasion where it turns out that I do enjoy an author that my friends thought I would.
I received this book as an ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am thinking of reading Earthlings by this author next time I read their works.