‘Model T Frankenstein’ by Hideo Furukawa, translated by Samuel Malissa

This recent collection contains ten stories by a younger generation of writers, making for a good introduction to contemporary Japanese literature, and Furukawa’s story starts the book off. On a small island near Tokyo, a disembodied presence observes a number of goats as they go about their business in their enclosure, and when the male goat is taken away on a container ship, the presence follows it. What seems slightly bizarre, and fairly quaint, turns nasty when the goat’s container is opened and the crew discover something very different to what they expected. Part philosophical musing, part wacky horror story (with an impressive body count), ‘Model T Frankenstein’ shows us a very different side to Tokyo in an allegorical tale looking at the anonymity of life in the big city, and at how the idea of a monster is a rather subjective one.

Included in The Book of Tokyo, Comma Press, 2015