Gyo (2002) by Junji Ito

Nauseating, disturbing, horrifying. It’s amazing how well Ito evokes scents just through art and dialogue. The descent (de-scent, rather?) into unbridled insanity and body horror just goes on and on beyond any point I’d have thought possible. It’s impossible to look away from, and the speedy, well-maintained pace makes sure it never outstays its welcome.…

The Gambler and Other Stories (1867-1877) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

An excellent collection of some excellent stories. There’s some measure of unity between how the stories are structured together (like two consecutive stories featuring suicide), but for the most part it is just “The Gambler” surrounded by unrelated short stories and novellas. But what stories they are! Four spins of roulette, and a revolver. WHITE…

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1877) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A captivating short story encapsulating a lot of Dostoyevsky’s specific Christian worldview. Dostoyevsky pushes the fantastical elements here more than he usually does, to great effect. Some sections almost resound with science-fiction imagery, being read these days at least, but the theology and morality behind the story really are the driving forces. The prose in…

The Meek One (1876) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Long live the electricity of human thought” indeed. Keen, nuanced psychological insight as can be expected from Dostoyevsky. Intriguing structure that really melds the protagonist’s deluded mindset with the progression of the story itself. Dostoyevsky includes an author’s note at the beginning of the story explaining both the nature of the unreliable narrator and the…

Bobok (1873) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A zippy little atmospheric short story, perhaps inspired by Dostoyevsky’s own writing difficulties at the time. The irony of the protagonist literally being surrounded by stories ripe for the writing, yet dismissing them as nonsense and wondering where else to get inspiration, seems to key into some of the psyche around writer’s block. Even setting…

The Gambler (1867) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Rushed to completion to meet gambling debts, “The Gambler” reads as a kind of Dostoyevsky-lite, about as short as a novel can be before becoming a novella, pacing through a lot of Dostoyevsky’s strengths (keen psychological insight, insight into the Russian character, issues of wealth and poverty) without the depth or creativity of some of…