The Hole

Synopsis

Asa’s husband is transferring jobs, and his new office is located near his family’s home in the countryside. During an exceptionally hot summer, the young married couple move in, and Asa does her best to quickly adjust to their new rural lives, to their remoteness, to the constant presence of her in-laws and the incessant buzz of cicadas. While her husband is consumed with his job, Asa is left to explore her surroundings on her own: she makes trips to the supermarket, halfheartedly looks for work, and tries to find interesting ways of killing time.
      
One day, while running an errand for her mother-in-law, she comes across a strange creature, follows it to the embankment of a river, and ends up falling into a hole—a hole that seems to have been made specifically for her. This is the first in a series of bizarre experiences that drive Asa deeper into the mysteries of this rural landscape filled with eccentric characters and unidentifiable creatures, leading her to question her role in this world, and eventually, her sanity. – Goodreads

Review

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

This is a really bizarre little book. It’s a whole lot of nothing happening, followed by very weird, maybe not real nothing happening. It’s an interesting look at how the utterly relentless trap of time can make a person feel a little insane, but unfortunately this book has little to say on that subject that anyone who has been stuck permanently at home thanks to unemployment/quarantine doesn’t already know. Asa and her “the hours take years to pass while the days fly by” is almost too relatable in 2020.

Also, in typical Japanese fashion, this book is more of a window into a specific period of time in the main character’s life, rather than a full story. There are no answers from the author about what happened and the words just stop rather than the story actually ending.

However, the book is oddly compelling, and at just under 2 hours, a very fast read. I say if you are intrigued by the synopsis go ahead and grab this one and just expect it to be weird as hell. If you’re hesitating then skip it. I’m not even going to leave a star rating because I honestly can’t decide if I loved or hated this one, but it was certainly captivating.

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