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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  11,996 ratings  ·  1,342 reviews
Natsuo Kirino's novel tells a story of random violence in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works a night shift making boxed lunches brutally strangles her deadbeat husband and then seeks the help of her co-workers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime.

The ringleader of this cover-up, Masako Katori, emerges as the emotional heart of Out and as one of t

Paperback, 1st Edition, 400 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Vintage Books USA (first published 1997)
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
There's just something about Japan that produces the grittiest, darkest, scariest, most realistic horror, psychological thriller, and suspense. The seedy underbelly of Japanese society is perhaps so successfully portrayed because so little has been embellished. And with the dark, empty surburban streets, so much is possible, so much can go unnoticed. In Natsuo Kirino's wonderful crime novel, Out, a sharp social commentary on Japan's patriarchal society and the situation for women and foreigners ...more
Apr 18, 2009 Yulia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Yulia by: Frank Bogues
A literary page-turner as timely as when it first came out, this biting critique of Japan's social and economic underclass begins when three female co-workers are forced to confront the act of a friend against her abusive husband, but evolves into a blistering exposé on those whose stories are never told: the unseen night-shift factory workers who make Japan's endless supply of box lunches; women who are swamped in credit-card debt but cannot live off their looks, youth, or father's paychecks as ...more
What a disappointing ending! At first, I was absolutely entralled by the characters and their various relationships. The first 3/4ths of the book are filled with so much texture - it felt like I was running my hands through a fabric store. Most intriguing are the female-female relationships ranging from trust to need to fear. How I hated Kuniko! How I rooted for Masako!

And then, this whole S&M dark and violent erotic stuff comes out, which threw the entire book in downward-spiral away from n
Mike Philbin
Masako Katori; Kuniko Jonouchi; Yoshie Azuma; Yayoi Yamamoto; who are these normal people? Well, they all work the night shift at the local boxed-lunch factory. From midnight until 6 a.m. every 'day' they prepare these meals for the office workers and commuters of downtown Tokyo. It's not much of a life but they work well as a team and they always snatch the best part of the conveyor belt; the easiest jobs, if you will.

These four unassuming women are the heroines of Natsuo Kirino's novel OUT, wi
Out by Natsuo Kirino is a brilliant Japanese murder mystery that’s not much of a mystery at all, at least not a mystery in the sense that we don’t know whodunit. Whodunit is a pretty, young wife and mother of two named Yayoi who is fed up with her husband Kenji’s philandering ways, and decides to strangle him one night in an uncharacteristic moment of rage. Assured that her children heard nothing of the struggle, she calls a friend who works the night shift with her at a boxed lunch factory. As ...more
I wanted to like this one more than I actually did like it. The beginning of the story, learning about Yayoi, Yoshie, Masako, and Kuniko was interesting, and the death and immediate aftermath was interesting, but I just found myself losing interest shortly after that, and struggled to finish.

I think that this book would work for a lot of people, but I found it kind of disappointing. I found it hard to connect with these characters. I kept thinking how I would react and act and think differently
When I caught the words “hard-boiled” on this book’s back cover before reading it, can’t lie: I was less than enthused. During my embarrassingly long mystery-novel obsession, I’ve pinpointed my favorite kind quite precisely – cerebral social comedies, preferably written by British women between 1915 and ~1965, with levels of gore not to exceed your occasional poisoned crumpet.

Out is not that. Out is not even on the same planet as that, and yet it grabbed me by the shoulders and shook, hard, unt
Patrizia O
“[…] abbiamo cominciato solo perché odiavamo i nostri padri, o la nostra patria, il Giappone – non è così? Voglio dire che siamo tutti figli perduti, outsider ai margini della società”

Il titolo originale “Out” sicuramente esprime meglio l’essenza di questo romanzo: i protagonisti sono tutti personaggi ai margini della rigida e misogina società giapponese.
Per le donne non è semplice riuscire a farsi valere soprattutto se pretendono, in casa come sul lavoro, lo stesso trattamento riservato agl
Read this book for the scene in the bento factory alone. Just do, and you'll never again eat a bento in Japan without thinking of it! This is the side of Japan the Japanese media never show! The Japanophiles with their obsession with tea ceremony, flower arrangement, anime, manga, samurai, ninja, clothing... this is yet another face of Japan and Natsuo Kirino does it wonderfully. Wage is low in a country that has some of the highest living standard costs in the world. The economy isn't kind to i ...more
This is another book I gave up on halfway through. In fairness, the climactic ending of a thriller is probably pretty important to your sense of how good the book is and having not read that part, maybe I am missing out on the brilliance somehow. But leading up to that finale, I thought the writing was pretty terrible.

In theory, it should be exactly the sort of thing I'm really into. A feminist, Japanese crime novel? Sounds great, right? And for some reason a lot of the major mainstream critics
Che cosa scabrosa, che cosa scabrosa..

(Perché gli do 5? Perché non ho nessun motivo per dargli di meno).

Questo libro è stato un woha. Credo di dover cominciare dal principio a raccontare la mia vicenda personale legata a Le quattro casalinghe di Tokyo.
Un bel pomeriggio di metà Dicembre mia madre sbuca in camera mia con un piccolo bottino di libri appena diventati orfani, e che cercano disperatamente una mammina che li accudisca: questi sono Tess d'Urberville, Mansfield Park e Le quattro casaling
Jul 05, 2007 Angela rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like FREAKY stuff
Shelves: japanese-authors
This book is full of amazingly WRONG situations and I thought it was amazing.


I may have thought it was amazing because I have lived in Japan for nearly three years and I felt like I could identify with the characters. I picked up on cultural subtleties that made me laugh and made me cringe. I rolled my eyes at Japanese women being Japanese women in the book and I cheered when they broke free from that mould - even though breaking free meant that they were ostracized from society and th
Bark's Book Nonsense
This is a great book about a group of late shift female co-workers at a boxed lunch factory. It is extremely effective in portraying the desperation in their day to day lives and shows how even the most gruesome of deeds can become just another yucky job if the pay is good enough. It's so violent that, at times, it's almost funny and still very sad and frighteningly realistic as well. This was one of those impossible to put down books but it isn't for the faint of heart as it gets quite grisly.
A gruesome, fascinating page-turner about working class Japanese women and their desperation. The insight into the characters' psyches is brilliant. I didn't particularly like the way it ended--I thought the way Masako ended up relating to Satake was a bit over the top and not so believable--and there were parts that were so gory I felt nauseous, but overall it was a very satisfying read. (Thanks, Jill!)
João Carlos
“Out – Uma Saída” é um romance policial escrito pela escritora japonesa Natsuo Kirino (n. 1951), originalmente publicado em 1997, e editado em Portugal em 2007.
A trama narrativa centra-se em quatro mulheres – Masako, Yayoi, Yoshie e Kuniko - que trabalham no turno da noite numa unidade fabril de confecção de refeições pré-embaladas. Quatro mulheres com vidas difíceis, desiludidas com as implacáveis rotinas diárias, algumas delas decepcionadas com os filhos, com problemas financeiros que se acumu
Una storia estrema, cinica, nichilista, violenta, splatter e a tratti irritante, questo è il modo della Kirino per prenderti a schiaffi e mostrarti una condizione umana e sociale che forse non vuoi vedere, e un Giappone che forse non ti aspetti.
La sua è una denuncia della società, aspra e tagliente, senza giri di parole, una denuncia che la porta a scavare nei meandri dell’animo umano fino a rivelarne i lati oscuri e a dipingere un mondo in cui ogni felicità sembra bandita, un mondo pervaso da
Oct 21, 2013 Ally rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: crime fans, Japanese fans, people who like anti-heroes
This is my favorite book. I almost didn't finish reading it, because the beginning is rather boring and bleak. I set it aside for a year, but after reading more good things about the author, I picked it up again and I am so glad I did!
From the perspective of an American reader, this book is refreshingly different from the usual crime novel. There are no completely "good" or "bad" characters, only those you root for and against. And by the end, some of that might change a little. Kirino does an e
Natsuo Kirino is hard-core. This book starts out with a kind've "accidental" murder of a husband, then the wife asks her three factory buddies to help her out with getting rid of the body and coming up with a story. You ever want to know how to slice and dice somebody, there's an awful lot of detail in here. But the point is, it's 4 very different women trying to deal with that, and then the fall-out. Kirino gives you a snapshot of the gender roles in Japanese society, and what's roiling around ...more
this book was interesting on a national level, as well as a personal level. women doing a man's work for a lower price and incurring man's wrath. sexism in the work place, eastern style. the fixation on youth. and it was a fast, exciting read! the characters were relatable. i KNOW kuniko. the only part that lost me was the very end. if somebody can break this down for me i would make them 10 bento boxes.
Maria João Fernandes
"Porque o destino é o que lhe acontece apesar de todos os seus planos."

Quatro mulheres trabalham juntas, no turno da noite, numa fábrica de refeições pré-embaladas. Cada uma delas, por razões diferentes, está insatisfeita com a sua vida: desilusões com os maridos, filhos ingratos, dividas, familiares problemáticos. O trabalho é difícil e as mulheres encontram conforto no seu pequeno grupo.

Masako é uma líder nata e é ela quem toma todas as decisões; Yayoi é jovem e bonita, cuja inocência a proteg
Black Elephants
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Nov 11, 2007 Katie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No One
Although this book is the same genre as many books I've enjoyed, I found it to be terribly boring. Since it was an award-winner in Japan, I'm betting the laborous writing style was more a product of the translation than the writing itself. In other words, the writing in the original Japanese was probably very well done, and the translator did his job of putting it into readable English, but it didn't flow as well as novels written in English. The words may have been a correct translation, but th ...more
This was my very first Japanese thriller book,I will say that first of all.In the first 50 pages,I wanted to give this book a 5/5.In the middle of the book,I still wanted to give this book a 5/5 and then the end..I still give this book a 5/5.What a masterpiece of story telling.Natsuo Kirino,was the winner of Japan's Grand Prix for Crime Fiction.She was the Edgar Award Finalist.No wonder!
What a find for me!I wont go into any detail persay as there are lots of other comments out there on this boo
Nicolina Miller
A Japanese suspense/mystery. Boy. Quite different than any American suspense/mystery I've read (which, granted, aren't many). I was surprised at the graphic nature of it, more so because it was written by a Japanese woman--it just seems so against the stereotype that we are made to believe in. I also found it hard to get involved in any of the characters--I didn't feel one way or another towards them. I don't know if it is the translation aspect or just this style of writing, but it was very non ...more
This book is about women in Japan, living in robotic obligation towards their homes, families and workplaces. They are ignored by their husbands, mistreated by their own children and even dismissed by the police. But it's also one of the most brutal and visceral books I've ever read. Natsuo Kirino does not mess around. She could could Stephen King a real run for his money, and without any fantasy whatsoever. If you dig horror and suspense and a good story with good characters, this book is a mus ...more

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That's pretty much me, until I reached the 70% mark of this book.
I was completely new to the mystery genre, as well as to psychological thriller and dark thematics, all mixed together.
Having Kirino Natsuo among my other authors crush list may sound rather peculiar, if not puzzling, given that I DNF'ed her first work I read (Tokyojima) and rated her second and the one in question, Out, with three stars. It looks more like a love/hate relationship that I have with this frighteningly smart writer
Bookcase Jim
Out is a symphony, a work of art. When I set my rating, I oscillated between four and five stars, but then I realized I could only really make that decision based on what the novel is, not what it isn't. It isn't The Brothers Karamazov and it doesn't fall in the category of 'high' literature, so it would be silly to withhold a star because I'm not left with the requisite philosophical baggage that Nobel prize literature tends to evoke. But it does have a literary aspect nonetheless. It brings up ...more
It took me about three months to read this novel. For those who know my reading habits, you will be aware that I read fast. Inordinately fast, I am told. The reason for my lagging pace where this book is concerned was not because it was so bad I couldn’t make myself read it, it was because the novel was a bit too realistic, it sucked me in a bit too deeply – enough anyway that I had to put it down, recover and then resume reading. So from the synopsis you will know that four women work the night ...more
Jul 02, 2008 Valerie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cast-iron stomachs
Recommended to Valerie by: Kat, PrimeTime
Out contains some truly gruesome passages, and having finished it quickly, I was trying to decide whether I was more affected by the bloody bits or by the banal--but nevertheless gruesome--bits regarding everyday life in Japan. But as the days go by, I find my memory of the gruesome passages has faded almost entirely and I'm left with feeling depressed by the despairing conditions she depicts of everyday life under capitalism.

That's right--everyone else will talk about the gender relations held
Luglio, un'estate soffocante. Tokyo, una città molto popolosa che non dorme mai. Allo stabilimento, un lavoro orribile e usurante, il turno di notte in una fabbrica di colazioni in scatola. E soprattutto, Masako, Kuniko, Yoshie e Yayoi, quattro amiche, quattro casalinghe, costrette per motivi diversi a lavorare nello stabilimento puzzolente di Tokyo.
Masako, una donna intelligente con una famiglia distrutta, un marito che vive per conto suo ma sotto lo stesso tetto e un figlio ribelle che non le
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NATSUO KIRINO, born in 1951 in Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture) was an active and spirited child brought up between her two brothers, one being six years older and the other five years younger than her. Kirino's father, being an architect, took the family to many cities, and Kirino spent her youth in Sendai, Sapporo, and finally settled in Tokyo when she was fourteen, which is where she has been res ...more
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“When stones lying warm in the sun were turned over, they exposed the cold, damp earth underneath; and that was where Masako had burrowed deep. There was no trace of warmth in this dark earth, yet for a bug curled up tight in it, it was a peaceful and familiar world.” 8 likes
“The woman had gasped beneath his heavy body. He rubbed against her, lubricated by the warm, sticky liquid, but as her body gradually grew cold, he felt as though they'd been glued together. She seemed to be see-sawing between agony and ecstasy, but finally Satake pressed his lips over hers to quiet the groans-of pain or pleasure-that were leaking from her mouth. He found the hole that he had made in her side and worked his finger deep into the opening. Blood was pumping from the wound, staining their sex a gruesome crimson. He wanted to get further inside, to melt into her. As he was about to come, he pulled his lips from her and she whispered in his ear: "I'm finished . . . finished."
"I know," he'd said, and he could still hear the exact sound of his own voice.”
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