Black Fairy Tale by Otsuichi
Three stories that blend seamlessly together: A blind girls given eyes by raven you wants to show her the world. Another girl, who has lost both her memories and part of her sight, starts to see things with her new eye. And finally a boy who plays with life and death.
- Good characterisation
- Great blending of stories
- Nothing really … maybe normalising what should of been horrific, but fits the story.
Oddly enjoyed this book, I didn’t even write many notes as I was reading like I usually do. I’m not sure what genre this would be … horror? … but it’s not what I usually read but I liked it. Saying that makes me feel bad though, considering what happens to the people in it, but oh well.
The book has three interwoven stories that connect with each other. One of them is a story within the story I think, but it relates well with the other ones. All of them are very cinematic, I could really imagine watching them on TV, can even imagine the different kind of shots or music that would go with them. Though thankfully my imagination isn’t that good because some of the visuals would be a bit disturbing.
Since it’s on the cover I’ll start with the story of the raven and the blind girl. The raven just reminded me of the saying – never look a crow/raven in the eye or they’ll steal your soul. That’s almost what he does. Once he catches the eye he takes part of the soul, or what that eye had seen anyway. He doesn’t do it for an evil reason, he’s just completely devoted to girl who became his friend… if it wasn’t so disturbing what he does it would be sweet.
Another one of the stories is about a boy who has the unique ability to keep people and animals alive despite the injury. The story messes with time a bit. Not that there’s time travel, just that it’s not in chronological order, unlike the other tales, which works well for the story really.
Even though what he did with the ability was… no words for it really … I didn’t find him sadistic. He was more just incredibly curious and … pragmatic maybe? The writing was what made it seem like that. It had a way of normalising the horrific things he did, or did for me at least. It only seemed truly evil when we’re in another POV.
Nami, from the last story I found the easiest to connect to. When she loses her memory you can really feel her struggle and how disconnected she felt to everything. Her story was the only time I wrote a note and that was because of the strange use of direct and indirect speech. It started with indirect speech for her in italics, which was a tad confusing since I couldn’t work out if it was speech or thoughts, but that’s beside the point. Then at some point – I didn’t notice when exactly – she has direct speech. I thought it really worked in showing when she came into herself. Or I could have read too much into it, who knows…. well, probably the author or the translator and… I’m going to shut up now.
Either way I really liked this book, despite some of the imagery in it. It was well written and the characterisation is reflected by the writing style. I would recommend this to anyone who likes horror or at least darker tales.