KL NOIR : RED
Editor: Amir Muhammad
Authors: Adib Zaini, Preeta Samarasan, Marc de Faoite, Shaz Johar, Shih-Li Kow, Fadzlishah Johanabas, and more
Published by: Buku Fixi (Fixi Novo)
Released: February 27th, 2013
Genre: Short stories, Fiction, Mystery
“Dark, twisted and mind grappling”
Synopsis / Introduction to the book :
KL NOIR RED is the first of 4 volumes on the Malaysia capital city’s dark side. This book consists of 15 short stories, written by 15 different authors. There were many topics and themes could be found in the book, such as: murder, drug-dealing, kidnapping, sexual depravity, prostitution, celebrity secrets, suicides, academic rivalry, gangsters, police brutality, cannibalism, black magic, creepy rituals, political corruption and even busking. The stories in the book were claimed to be fictional but I somehow believe that there were always some truth behind the fiction of each story. That is what I believe Buku Fixi wanted to bring about. Some truth in the dark and twisted tales.
My Review :
For the first time reading a local (Malaysia) English book, this book had actually confirmed a few things that I’ve seen some readers posted about local English books. But again, different people has different opinion. One book that might seem not so okay to a reader might be a great read after all to another. First of all, I felt the language of KL NOIR RED was a bit stiff for me. Like some people said, “too essay-like”. The flow of story is there, but the language somehow didn’t have a nice flow to match the story. The structure of the language or sentences were all alright but the feel was missing, for me.
Next, I also struggled to understand some of the stories and thus, I couldn’t enjoy the whole book that much. Again, maybe partly it was because the language sounded a bit unnatural in my head while I was reading but also because it was too dark, deep and twisted that caused me had a hard time understanding them. Nevertheless, there were a few stories that I enjoyed a lot and found them mind blowing. This was one thing that I liked about KL NOIR RED, which is the way the stories had some hidden message or story behind the story on the surface. For instance, ‘A Gift of Flowers’ appeared to be such an amazing and beautiful story, so inspiring how a bunch of flowers could brighten up so many people’s day but the very first person who received the flowers didn’t have such luck with her day. (read this book if you want to know more about the story!)
The unique thing about KL NOIR series is how it is able to surprise you and you will definitely go “OMG!” “OMFG” or “HELLA SHIT!” Although I had more stories that I didn’t enjoy compare to the ones I enjoyed. The plot twists and the ending of the stories that I liked were commendable and deserved whole lot of attention. If I could rate each story individually, the good ones would definitely have a perfect 5 stars or a 4.5 stars. But since I am going to rate them as a compilation of short stories, I couldn’t help but to lower my rating as it didn’t manage to grab my attention most of the time as a compilation.
Overall, I think KL NOIR RED definitely had some great messages and strong concept. It is a great fiction read, that was for sure. However, I’m not sure if I would read it again, maybe some of the stories that I enjoyed but definitely not the whole book.
Rating : 3 / 5 stars