Nonami, Asa. Now You're One of Us. Trans. Michael Volek and Mitsuko Volek. New York: Vertical, 2007. Summary
: Despite the misgivings of friends and family, Noriko marries into the Shito family, four generations living under a single roof. At first, they're like the perfect in-laws, but then things start to get weird. Why did the ice seller, who seemed to be trying to warn her about something, end up dying so violently? Is Great Granny really selling hallucinogens from her bedroom?! And for that matter,why are the Shitos always so damn close...? Comments
: Throughout the reading of Now You're One of Us
, I was continually reminded of the "One of us!" chant from the movie Freaks
and that episode of the The X-Files
about the incestuous hillbilly family. Oops. That was a spoiler. But not really...'cause it was bleedingly obvious what was going on before the novel was even a fifth finished. Stories like this are supposed to play with your head, but the only real doubts you'll be having is whether or not Nomani is actually going to go for all-out, over-the-top ridiculous. (She does.) Still it was a fun tale of paranoia akin to Rosemary's Baby
, and if the denouement was that annoying "You must be punished for making us worry!" attitude that I so often see in Japanese popular culture, well, that was just the ending. Besides, reading about a "traditional" Japanese family getting high on peyote and then having a sex orgy was...err...worth it from the point of view of sheer audacity. Anyway, it's a quick, easy read; once you start, you definitely will not want to stop. Rating
- A solid example of the domestic horror genre. No big surprises, but it's still plenty of fun.