Book Review – Dark Water by Koji Suzuki


Thalassic and ghost-like, haunted as the waters which connect them.
Dark Water I don’t believe is merely a series of scary stories, whatever they dress themselves as. They are horrific, but of a sea-deep emotional agony that explores the most primal and realistic fears – drowning at sea, a friend or child gone missing, having an inexplicable bad feeling about a strange object…

Suzuki’s poetic and intelligent style unravels each story gently, carefully. They start with something innocuous, then break into an intense wave of emotion. Fear, longing, sorrow, helplessness, contentment, anger, trauma. But most of all, a sense of feeling very small and transient in an environment that is truly unknowable.
“Adrift”, “The Hold” and “Dream Cruise” stood out the most to me, especially “Adrift”, about a sailor trapped on an abandoned yacht. The famous “Floating Water” (the one they made the films of) also packs a powerful punch.

(Also, just as a fun fact, that mentioned once or twice is a place called Yumenoshima, which is a real and habitable island basically built out of landfill garbage.)

Adrift – 5/5
Watercolours – 3.5/5
Floating Water – 4.5/5
The Hold – 5/5
Solitary Isle – 4/5
Dream Cruise – 5/5
Forest Under the Sea – 4/5
Prologue / Epilogue – 3.5/5

General Score – 4.5/5

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