[Book Review] The Dark Dark: Stories by Samantha Hunt

51mqci7w7hl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Title: The Dark Dark: Stories
Author: Samantha Hunt
Genre: Fiction, short stories, literary fiction, magical realism, surrealism, horror

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★★★★

Summary: A woman may or may not be turning into a deer at night. An FBI agent develops a humanoid robot for a suicide mission and falls in love with it. Two strangers become intimate and suddenly find themselves responsible for the resurrection of a dog. This collection of ten dark, captivating, and mind-bending short stories blends the literary and the surreal.

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[Book Review] The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

30558877Title: The Summer that Melted Everything
Author: Tiffany McDaniel
Genre: Fiction, literary fiction, magical realism, contemporary

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★★★★

Summary: During the summer of 1984, when a scorching heatwave invades Breathed, Ohio, Fielding Bliss befriends the devil. The devil calls himself Sal, is a bruised and skinny 13-year-old boy, and has come to answer an invitation from Autopsy Bliss, Fielding’s father. The Bliss family takes him in, assuming he’s just a runaway boy, but after a series of strange accidents, the townspeople start to believe that Sal really is the devil. While the Bliss family faces their own personal demons, the tensions in Breathed rise along with the feverish heat.

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[Book Review] The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami

17181679Title: The Elephant Vanishes
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genre: Fiction, short stories, contemporary, magical realism

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Bokkilden.

My rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: A woman has not slept for 17 days and soon finds herself passing the time in a state of semi-consciousness. A factory worker makes a pact with a dwarf in order to win the heart of a beautiful girl. A man’s favorite elephant vanishes into thin air and his whole life is subtly thrown out of balance. This is a collection of 17 short stories that deal with the experience of loss, confusion, and loneliness in a slightly surreal world.

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[Book Review] The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

25716554Title: The Master and Margarita
Author: Mikhail Bulgakov
Genre: Fiction, classics, satire, magical realism

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: One summer afternoon in 1930s Moscow, the Devil enters the city with his infernal entourage. They wreak havoc by targeting the literary elite and its corrupt trade union. Meanwhile, in a parallel story set in ancient Jerusalem, we follow Pontius Pilate’s trial and execution of Yeshua Ha-Nozri. Together, these two distinct but interwoven storylines present a satire of Soviet society.

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[Book Review] The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke

51emj1pgool-_sx323_bo1204203200_Title: The Explosion Chronicles
Author: Yan Lianke
Genre: Fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, mythorealism

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

Summary: The village of Explosion was first founded by refugees fleeing a seismic volcanic eruption, hence the name “Explosion”. In the post-Mao era, it rapidly grows from a small rural community to a massive metropolis. Three of Explosion’s major families are behind this successful growth: the four Kong brothers, the daughter of the former village chief, and Cheng Quing, a former secretary turned politician and businesswoman. Through ambition, desire, and betrayal, these families transform their hometown into an urban superpower.

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[Book Review] The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

41x3q5g6x2l-_sx331_bo1204203200_Title: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
Author: Ken Liu
Genre: Fiction, short stories, science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, historical fiction

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★★★★

Summary: A boy helps a hunted creature from Chinese folklore to adapt to a steampunk future. A mother expresses her love for her son by creating origami animals, which she magically brings to life. A couple offers people a chance to travel back in time to explore one of the hidden atrocities of the Second World War, but their invention has widespread consequences. This collection of fifteen short stories and novellas explores our technological advances and the individual’s assimilation into society.

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