Wu Shih-sheng’s wife is admitted to the mental hospital as she begins to hear scary voices; soon after, she is found dead in a hospital bed. The doctors claim that the reason for the hallucinations was mental breakdown, yet Shin-sheng doesn’t agree. One day, he hears the same voice coming from an old radio in an abandoned taxi; sometimes it sings a folk Taiwanese song, sometimes it speaks Japanese, and sometimes it resembles the scream of a loved one.
Whisper is a great example of how a horror story explores hidden traumas formed by society and individual lives. Disguised as a ghost story, this book touches on the subjects of Taiwanese and Chinese relationship, situation of indigenious Taiwanese people and the Japanese colonization. It’s also a commentary on many contemporary social problems such as class division in Taiwan.
The story is told by four characters and the intertwining themes create a certain rhythm thanks to which the plot is engaging, yet allows to gradually uncover the secret as the puzzles start to come together. Whisper is an intriguing and non-obvious story inspired by the local folklore. Perfect book not only for the genre fans but also everyone interested in Taiwanese history and fantasy in general.