Review: The Fetishist by Katherine Min - Tuma's Books

Review: The Fetishist by Katherine Min

  • The Fetishist by Katherine Min
  • Pub: G.P. Putnam's Son on January 9, 2024
  • Started: 1/13/24
  • Finished: 1/18/24
  • Genre: Literary Fiction

In The Fetishist, David has mostly dated Asian women—hence he's the "Fetishist". The novel alternates between the story of David and his past relationship with Alma and Kyoko, a young woman who seeks to kill David because he broke her mother's heart, leading to her suicide.

For most of the story, I was reading at a distance—the characters are caricatures instead of real people. The stories of David, Alma, and Kyoko felt separate. It took a bit too long for the story lines to come together. But once they do, I was like ohhhhhhhh and suddenly the caricatures became real, flawed human beings and I was invested.

The middle of the novel is full-on absurdity as Kyoko, with the help of her boyfriend Kornell, succeeds in kidnapping David and holding him in their basement for two weeks. After a climatic and cathartic scene of Kyoko kicking the crap out of David (amongst other things), they are somehow on a road trip together to California for David to reunite with Alma. Oh, and Kyoko and Kornell are in a band and were also going to California to perform. The absurdity of it all kept me hooked though; I just had to see how it was all going to end. David and Alma's reunion was interesting and realistic. Happy to see growth in all characters. And the ending was just as absurd as the rest of the novel. 😩

Recommended if you:

  1. are a patient reader for a slower start
  2. enjoy the absurd
  3. don't mind a peculiar ending that makes you question everything

* * *

You can grab a copy on Tuma's Books, as your January Diverse Reads pick. Every month, we offer three unique options of diverse reads for you choose from. You can purchase one time or subscribe. Or you can purchase via Bookshop and support our bookstore.

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