The Hole | Review
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐
"Ogi has woken from a coma after causing a devastating car accident that took his wife’s life and left him paralyzed and badly disfigured. His caretaker is his mother-in-law, a widow grieving the loss of her only child. Ogi is neglected and left alone in his bed.
His world shrinks to the room he lies in and his memories of his troubled relationship with his wife, a sensitive, intelligent woman who found all of her life goals thwarted except for one: cultivating the garden in front of their house.
But soon Ogi notices his mother-in-law in the abandoned garden, uprooting what his wife had worked so hard to plant and obsessively digging larger and larger holes. When asked, she answers only that she is finishing what her daughter started."
The Hole is a standalone horror novel written by Hye-Young Pyun and translated by Sora Kim-Russel.
I honestly don't know how to rate this book. The author definitely wrote a very intriguing story that wasn't bad by any means, but I did struggle a bit with this book because the subject matter just made me angry.
Since this is a short book, I won't be going into too much detail in order to not give too much away.
First of all, I thought this was translated extremely well. Second of all, I really liked the artistic choice to include a growing hole at the beginning of each chapter. While it was a bit distracting, it was interesting to see if looming in the corner of the page.
As I have said already, this book made me kind of angry because of the way Oghi was treated. It wasn't the easiest thing to read about not only how he was neglected and treated because of his situation, but also how he was treated by his wife and in-laws.
Another reason why I didn't give this a higher rating was because of the pacing. Despite the short length of the book, it still took a while to get to any mention of hole digging, which was what intrigued me the most about the premise. Instead, the book focused on Oghi and his relationship with his family and his background, which was only interesting so much.
I also just found the climax and end of the book to be a bit anti-climactic. After finishing, my immediate thought was 'that's it?'
I don't have much to say about the characters. I thought the author did a good job at developing Oghi's character and giving him the necessary background. They also did a good job at making the rest of the characters incredibly unlikable.
If you are looking for something similar to this book, I do agree that Misery is about as close as it gets in terms of the kind of horror used.