Black Fairy Tale by Otsuichi Book Review

A raven who has learned to speak from watching movies befriends a young girl whose eyes were ruined in a freak accident. He brings her eyeballs he steals from other people, and when she puts them in her eye sockets, she sees memories from their original owners. Desperate to make the girl happy, the raven brings her more and more eyeballs.

✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ / ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ 5 out of 5 stars.

Errrm how often is it I give books a five out five review? Never! But it happened, it finally happened with this book.

We have a thing for Japanese authors in this house with Rick and I both fans of Haruki Murakami’s works and we have a whole two shelves dedicated to his books and those of other authors on our bookcase and if my copy of Black Fairy Tale wasn’t in e-book form it would be on there too. I’ve been banging on about Rick reading this horror story for weeks now because I know, as a horror and gore fan, he’d love it but he just hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

This book is a translated text (and difficult to track down on Goodreads!) so one can be forgiven for not quite understanding the basis of the story nor the ideas that a) medical science is a rather simple and wonderful thing and b) animals can have human characteristics and that’s totally acceptable.

As an introduction to a story that happens mostly in flashbacks a lonely raven befriends a young blind girl and gifts her with the eyeballs he takes from living people around the land so that she can explore the world through the memories imprinted within their organs. Cut to a young woman called Nami who receives an eye transplant after an umbrella related injury (don’t laugh) and a young man discovers that those within his grasp skip death and continue on living regardless of whatever state, or order, their organs are in.

I don’t think if I bolded, put in capital letters or in a different colour the phrase ‘dark’ you would truly understand what I meant until you read Black Fairy Tale. Mikki, the dude who kills people but somehow doesn’t, is the twisted grown up version of the kid who burns ants with a magnifying glass on the front lawn and Nami is a heartbroken woman wondering far from home to complete the unfinished business of the previous owner of her new eyeball.

A little confusing at times but carefully tied up by Otsuichi, this was a mesmerising tale that certainly isn’t for children.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.