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Booker International Longlist 2022 – Cursed Bunny

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Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, Anton Hur (Translator)

Book 5– reviewed by BookWorm, Rachel & Tracy

Synopsis from Booker Prize website: Bora Chung presents a genre-defying collection of short stories, which blur the lines between magical realism, horror and science fiction.

Korean author Bora Chung uses elements of the fantastic and surreal to address the very real horrors and cruelties of patriarchy and capitalism in modern society. Anton Hur’s translation skilfully captures the way Chung’s prose effortlessly glides from the terrifying to the wryly humorous.

BookWorm’s Thoughts:  Short stories **groan** first story faecal matter **groan** second story menstrual matter **groan** third story Cursed Bunny **Yes**. So let’s be honest here I am sure the first two stories are the reason the judges selected this one and yes they would probably be the ones with the most debate about current issues affecting women but for this reader the book doesn’t pick up until we hit Cursed Bunny then the collection moves into the realm of fairy tales, artificial intelligence and supernatural goings on and I was all for that. Cut the first 2 stories from the collection and I would have loved this book whole heartedly.

Writing quality: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Character development: 2/4
Plot development: 2/4
Overall enjoyment: 1/2
Total: 15/20

Rachel’s Thoughts: In this collection of truly disturbing short stories, Chung moves between horror, sci-fi, fairy tales and ghost stories. As someone who rarely chooses to read horror, it was the social aspects of the stories I found particularly chilling – generational trauma, the non-acceptance of single mothers, the pressure to marry, to earn more…

Beautifully crafted, I have no doubt that a couple of these have now taken up permanent residence inside my head. I’m not too sure how happy I am about that!

Writing quality: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Character development: 3.5/4
Plot development: 4/4
Overall enjoyment: 1.5/2
Total: 17/20

Tracy’s Thoughts: This was one of my favorite reads of 2021. Yet another short story collection, this is another book in the genre-bending combo of horror, sci-fi and magical realism. Maybe there should be a new genre started for stories like these.

The scatalogical feel of the first two stories was disturbing, but the rest of the book made up for them. I especially liked the Cursed Bunny story. Themes touched upon are all about women- patriarchy, gaslighting, the physical difficulties of womanhood. What better setting to discuss these issues than horror/magic/fairytales?

Writing quality: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Character development: 4/4
Plot development: 3.5/4
Overall enjoyment: 2/2
Total: 19.5/20

Rankings
Elena Knows 18.25
Cursed Bunny17.17
Heaven 16.5
Happy Stories, Mostly 16
After the Sun 11.33

Have you read this one? Let us know your thoughts

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Thanks for the review. Duly warned & cautioned. Not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 27, 2022

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