Book Review: The Cabinet by Kim Un-su

A surreal tale with haunting and disturbing prose that left me wondering if we humans are meant to live in cities and if we aren’t, then what is this environment doing to us? Does it grow ginkgo trees on my fingers, or do I become a machine? I have no answer. I’m still processing what I read.

This is an episodic story, or like a short story collection with a background plot moving through the book. I’m unsure if I want to disclose anything about the story because I picked up this because of the cover and the first sentences I read. It was an adventure, but perhaps it is better to know more. Deok-Geun is a bored worker who stumbles into a cabinet full of bizarre stories, and he is drawn into this world where nothing makes sense anymore. However, he cannot look away from the disturbing laboratory notes about people with weird inflictions.

There is more to the story than the bizarre, nauseating, and haunting beauty of existence; there is this subtle social commentary. Mainly about the absurdity of exiting, failings of us as humans, and the loneliness of being a bit out of the normal rhythm. I think this is one of those books I will visit again. Its magical and profound approach to everything transported me to a world I never knew I needed.

Thank you for reading and have a beautiful day ❤

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