Cursed Bunny: Stories

Hachette Audio. Dec. 2022. 7:06 hrs. ISBN 9781649041449. $24.98. HORROR
Shortlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize, Chung’s short story collection offers a haunting introduction to her wholly original body of work. By blending magical realism, science fiction, fantasy, and horror, Chung forces her characters to inhabit a universe that is disturbingly askew and only slightly familiar. One story involves a woman who spends her entire life haunted by her bodily waste while another features a youth who escapes a monster only to find other monstrous people ready to exploit him. In “Snare,” a story reminiscent of one of Aesop’s fables, a man finds a strange fox that bleeds gold. The standout titular story focuses on a cursed object and the havoc it wreaks on one family and its business empire. Narrator Greta Jung’s restrained delivery is focused and direct, abandoning excess flourish and flowery language. The result is a collection that sounds like it could have come from older relatives, telling stories passed down orally through generations. One can only imagine how their awestruck and terrified audience might have reacted.
VERDICT Fans of unsettling short stories should give Chung’s twisted modern folk tales a listen. These visceral, smart tales, teaching their lessons through suffering, make an impact.
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