Review of Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
I’m a sucker for Japanese settings. The plot is as simple as a horror movie. Horror movie fans will appreciate the many nods to the genre tropes she offers.
At bottom, it is a quirky take on tried and true set-pieces, a cinematic, low-budget adventure, rife with her signature post-punk similes. Khaw’s style is eccentric. The number of f-bombs is too realistic (nearly every sentence). That plays into the horror movie vibe. The raw material of the prose is concealed by elaborate, rapid-fire flourishes of tongue-twister similes. Some good Japanese vocabulary and folkloric references. A bit of angst, character flaws in the forefront. You have to come into it with the right mentality. This is a bit of cheesy fun, B-movie fare, with an edge of kaleidoscopic weirdness. Khaw’s method is best suited to bloodbath scenarios and conjuring eldritch shadow-puppets with her maverick imagination. I can’t wait to see where her career leads.
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