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Review: Short Story 벌처기 by KIM Nae-seong 김내성


Title: 벌처기 (罰妻記)
Author: KIM Nae-seong 김내성
First published in the collection of short stories 비밀의 문. I read the e-book version by publisher 어떤날의 책.

The short story 벌처기 was first published in the collection of detective short stories 비밀의 문. I think that it is still possible to buy an old physical copy of the book (1994). If not, there is an e-book version of the collection.


The story is very short and divided into three parts. A man is accused of having murdered his wife, and the reader has access to three narrations: first, the accused explain how he committed the murder; then his lawyer talks about the motive; finally, the person who discovered the victim relates how it happened.

Why I loved it

“평화는 장군을 줄이고 평범은 시인을 질식시킨다!”

I loved this short story, it was suspenseful and had interesting social elements. The first part describes a murder on the making and the fabrication of an alibi, I loved reading this part. The third part explains why the accused got caught in the end. The second part, however, contains a social criticism and the question: can artistic creation be an excuse for everything? are artists superior to the modest average citizen?

I found the structure of this short story very appealing and the ending was great too.

Note: I bought this e-book on Ridibooks, the volume contains both 가상범인 and 벌처기. If you buy an e-book on Ridibooks, be sure that you can download their reader (smartphone app or pc) because I don’t think that you can read the e-book otherwise.

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