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Goth: A Novel of Horror    by Otsuichi order for
by Otsuichi
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Goth is subtitled 'A Novel of Horror' and that it is. However, it is not a horror novel like typical English-language fare, nor it is like the J-horror that has made its mark in America through such films as The Ring and The Grudge. No, Otsuichi's Goth is a horror closer to what you would find on the most grotesque episodes of crime drama TV shows the horror of an all-too-human serial killer.

Goth is closer to a collection of short stories than a linear novel, but all of the stories have common elements. First, they all deal with killers who murder their victims in the most bizarre ways. Second, two characters are central to each story a teenaged (not-quite-couple) boy and girl who have a fascination with death (hence the title for the book). While the boy easily solves the mystery in each chapter, he never goes to the police, and sometimes will even try to bait the killer, leading to page-turning suspense that both frightens and enthralls.

In his Afterword, Otsuichi claims he never meant for the killers to be human, but it is much scarier when taken that way. Goth is both mystery and horror rolled into one terrifying collection of stories.

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