by Chet Williamson
Dust jacket by Jill Bauman
Signed Limited Edition - $30.00
Fine in fine dj; new and unread, direct from the publisher
OUT OF PRINT FROM THE PUBLISHER
Cemetery Dance, 2007; 100 pp.; limited to 1500 signed numbered copies
Chet Williamson's The Story of Noichi the Blind blends Japanese classicism with the tropes of contemporary horror to create the most literate yet stomach-churning tale this writer has ever told.
Purported to be a possibly lost Lafcadio Hearn manuscript, this Japanese "folk tale" (complete with introduction and scholarly afterword) tells the story of a simple woodcutter whose confrontation with a mountain demon plunges his life into a nightmare of violence, self-delusion, and extreme sexual darkness.
Tinged by the blackest of humor, The Story of Noichi the Blind is a work that Williamson fears could get him arrested in several countries and carefully observed in his own.
"The novella's early fairy-tale tone gives way to a creeping, perverse darkness that grows through several ingenious twists to a bitterly ironic ending. To be honest, I enjoyed this more than I have most Hearn stories, despite the dismissive tone of the editor's postscript. Imagine Takashi Miike's version of Snow White and you're almost there."
- Rue Morgue
"Williamson (Ash Wednesday) pays homage to Lafcadio Hearn in this well-written pastiche, which includes an introduction about the chance discovery of a lost manuscript and a scholarly afterword discussing the likelihood that Hearn penned the tale. In the province of Harima, Noichi, a humble woodcutter who's developed a mystic rapport with all living things, rescues Noriko, a poor servant girl who has become a fugitive after accidentally slaying a lustful samurai captain. Once Noriko falls ill, what was initially a sweet love story becomes a much more disturbing and powerful narrative, as Noichi's animal friends strive to help their human friend in his travails. Williamson's dark Japanese fairy tale, with its graphic scenes of supernatural horror, makes even the unexpurgated Grimms' stories seem tame."
- Publishers Weekly