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Hotel Iris

by Yoko Ogawa

A dark, disturbing tale of submission and obsession. Although the tale of seventeen year old Mari who is seduced and sadistically abused by an old man is shocking, the writing is delicate and somehow elegant. If you can stomach the violence then it's a compelling story.

Extract

More than the pain, it was the sound that captivated me. It was high and pure, like a stringed instrument. The whip played these notes on my body, contracting the organs or bones concealed beneath the skin. I would never have believed that I could make such fascinating sounds, as though the whip were releasing wells of music from the deepest cavities in my body.
Translated by Stephen Snyder

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