Diary of a Murderer: And Other Stories

Mariner. Apr. 2019. 208p. tr. from Korean by Krys Lee. ISBN 9781328545428. pap. $13.99; ebk. ISBN 9781328545565. SHORT STORIES
While celebrated South Korea author Kim's long fiction has appeared in English, (e.g., I Hear Your Voice), this is the first of his five story collections to be translated. The opening novella features a now inactive serial killer slowly losing his memory. ("It's been twenty-five years since I last murdered someone, or has it been twenty-six?") Now he's worried that another serial killer he knows is targeting his adoptive daughter—the very daughter his final victim begged him to spare. The narrative is brisk and the voice magnetic, but can this narrator be trusted? Other stories feature a violent encounter that upends two offbeat lovers and a writer contemplating murder to get his creative juices flowing again.
VERDICT Spiky, quirky reading for all short story fans, whether of literary or pop bent.

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