Wednesday 14 July 2021

Book Review: Tha Cabinet by Kim Un-su (Contemporary/Literary Fiction)

Title: The Cabinet
Author: Kim Un-su
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publication Date: 26 October 2021
Pages: 242
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Contemporary/Literary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley 

Cabinet 13 looks like an old, ordinary cabinet. But it is filled with stories - peculiar, strange, eye popping, disgusting, enraging, and touching stories. The life of the man who manages cabinet 13, an ordinary office manager, is similarly filled with stories. Un-Su Kim intricately interweaves the all these stories with precise prose and in rich style, and will leave you thinking about the stories inside your own cabinet long after you turn the final page.


The Cabinet was an absolutely fascinating read that captivated me from the very first page. At first it seems to be simply a collection of vignettes -- stories found in Cabinet 13. However, as we reach the second half of the book, one of those tales takes us into a stronger narrative thread, which then plays out until the story's end. The main theme of The Cabinet is a reflection on modern life and the speed of change that takes place these days. The 'symptomers' are people whose bodies have been so affected by this that they develop odd conditions, such as sleeping for months as a time or growing small trees on the tips of their fingers. The metaphors and social commentary are subtly handled, weaving effortlessly amid the stories, making it a book that is both fantastical and thought-provoking at the same time. I would definitely read more from this author in the future. This book gets 5 stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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