Saturday 24 June 2023

Book Review: Dragon Palace by Kawakami Hiromi (Short Stories)

Title: Dragon Palace
Author: Kawakami Hiromi
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
Publication Date: 19 September 2023
Pages: 160
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Short Stories
Source: ARC via NetGalley

From the bestselling author of Strange Weather in Tokyo comes this otherworldly collection of eight stories, each a masterpiece of transformation, infused with humor, sex, and the universal search for love and beauty—in a world where the laws of time and space, and even species boundaries, don’t apply.

Meet a shape-shifting con man, a goddess who uses sex to control her followers, an elderly man possessed by a fox spirit, a woman who falls in love with her 400-year-old ancestor, a kitchen god with three faces in a weasel-infested apartment block, moles who provide underground sanctuary for humans who have lost the will to live, a man nurtured through life by his seven extraordinary sisters, and a woman who is handed from husband to husband until she is finally able to return to the sea.


I have read and loved several of Kawakami Hiromi's other works, but I struggled a little with Dragon Palace. A few of the stories were interesting and appealing, but with several others I really couldn't make out what was supposed to be happening or how to interpret them. I am not sure if this was a cultural issue, with ideas simply not translating well into another language with different cultural precepts, or if the stories were just bizarre and unfathomable to begin with. As such, I am giving it three stars. If you are already a fan of Kawakami Hiromi, it would be worth checking out this book for interest; however, if you are knew to her writing, I definitely recommend starting with one or more of her other books before giving this book a try.

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

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