Review of Zoo by Otsuichi


4/5 stars

Zoo is a collection of creepy short stories by Japanese author Otsuichi. The stories vary from fantastical to science fiction to gritty realism. Over all, I thought the collection was varied enough to make them interesting but still cohesive due to the dark tones of the stories.

The only story that I didn’t enjoy to some extent was the titular “Zoo”. “Zoo” was the story that started off the collection and I got a bit worried that I would dislike them all. “Zoo” felt repetitive and confusing.

Some of the stories had Frankenstein-ish themes and tropes which were modernized and used in interesting ways. “The White House in the Cold Forest” felt like a dark retelling of Frankenstein’s monster which included a house made out of dead human bodies.

I also really enjoyed “In a Falling Airplane” because of the psychological aspects. The main characters in that story had horrendous backstories that caused them to act they way they did.

“Find the Blood” was one of the oddest stories but with a twisted sense of humour. It was one of my favourite stories for that reason.

The saddest one was “Kazari and Yoko”. It was a story about child abuse (actually a pretty common theme in the collection). There were some moments of hope but it was bleak for the most part. This story was probably my favourite because I really felt for poor Yoko.

The other stories were okay. Some I enjoyed more than others.

I don’t read a lot of horror in general so this was a nice collection to pick up. It took me out of my reading comfort zone. I would definitely recommend it to horror fans and to readers that want to try some horror but don’t want to jump into a full length novel.

*I received Zoo from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


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