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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  16,025 Ratings  ·  1,766 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 (first published 1997)
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Luca Joos You can order the movie via Japanese Amazon、I'm pretty sure there is no English synchronization, but it might have English Subtitles if you're lucky.…moreYou can order the movie via Japanese Amazon、I'm pretty sure there is no English synchronization, but it might have English Subtitles if you're lucky.

Name: Out, アウト、”auto"

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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The night air trembles with a malevolent intensity. Something hangs heavy in the humid breeze - the stomach-churning smell of deep fried tempura prawns sealed inside boxed lunches mingled with something putrid, perhaps the stench of rotting dismembered human limbs hidden away in trash cans. The insufferable July heat accelerates decomposition, causes beads of sweat to cling to Masako's neck persistently as she waits in the taut darkness of the deserted parking lot for 3 of her colleagues - women ...more
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
Feb 05, 2008 Preeta rated it it was ok
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
Apr 18, 2009 Yulia rated it it was amazing
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
Edward Lorn
Jan 24, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of noir and crime fiction.
Recommended to Edward by: Bark's Book Nonsense
Shelves: paperbacks
Reviewing good books has always been difficult for me. Not because I don't know what to say, but because I don't want to say too much. Part of the wonder of reading, for me, is discovery, and I want you to be able to discover this book for yourselves.

Predictable books are the worst, and for the most part I do not read synopses. I decide what to read based on friend reviews/recommendations and, yes, the absolutely risky business of buying media based on pretty packaging. I dug the cover of this
Jun 19, 2015 Estelle rated it it was ok
I keep hesitating between 1 and 2 stars... I'm going to be generous and say "it was ok" and it was entertaining enough that I kept reading till the end.
This is just my opinion, but I found "Out" to be poorly written and poorly constructed. Most characters and their reactions weren't credible at all, and the story completely lack of suspense or tension. It was more laughable than gripping.
Not my kind of book at all.
Jim Fonseca
Sep 06, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing
Let’s start with a few descriptors from the blurbs on the cover: nervy, perverse, dark, gruesome, depressing, daring, disturbing, brutal, unsentimental, scathing, gutsy, hair-raising. You get the picture.

After all that build-up it seems like a come-down to say that this is basically a story about four thirtyish, lower-class or lower-middle class Japanese women who work night-shift filling box-lunches in a factory. With the increasingly common globalized life-style, their lives and families are
Bark's Book Nonsense
Feb 15, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it it was amazing
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.
Hertzan Chimera
Feb 24, 2008 Hertzan Chimera rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2015 Gregsamsa rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gregsamsa by: Samadrita
Isn't it weird how some sensations can be intensified by the presence of another, different, sensation? You know, like when you have to pee and you're also really cold?

So many horror writers are bad horror writers because they pack everything onto the back of one horse, horror, and run it to the end. Once a horrific event is reduced to print, it's not the same as horror, so needs more. For me the horrific in itself is rarely enough.

Folks might reasonably quibble over whether Out is a horror nove
Dec 28, 2010 Tressa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2010, asian, murder
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
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
Dec 19, 2016 Roberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Toccando il fondo si può veramente risalire?

Sento spesso parlare tante persone di fortuna e sfortuna. Quanto è fortunato questo ad avere questo, quanto sono sfortunato, capitano tutte a me.

Ma la fortuna e la sfortuna nella vita ce la costruiamo un pezzo alla volta, mattone dopo mattone, giorno dopo giorno. Purtroppo ce ne rendiamo conto solo quando, improvvisamente, per un evento casuale, siamo costretti a voltarci indietro e a fare il bilancio della nostra vita.

In questo romanzo la scrittrice è
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
Jul 29, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
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
Apr 12, 2015 El rated it it was ok
Shelves: 21st-centurylit
I cannot for the life of me put my finger on what it is about this book that rubs me slightly the wrong way. It could be as simple as I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as other readers have, but I think there's more to it. And it's probably a combination of things - the fact that the relationship between the women is clunky, as is their dialogue; the fact that people (readers) think that anytime a female protagonist commits violent acts in literature, it immediately is labeled as feminist; the fa ...more
Mar 25, 2007 pinkgal rated it really liked it
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
May 29, 2016 Sinem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aslında tarz olarak pek tercihim olmasa da bir gerilim filmi izler gibi elimden bırakamadan okudum. gerçekten çok başarılı. yazar önce taşları tek tek koyuyor sonra onları bi güzel karıştırıp önünüze atıyor. sonra o hengameden hepsini öyle bir çekip tek tek diziyor ki bu sihir gösterisini ağzı açık izliyor insan ve tabi adamların yapamadığını kadınların başarması da feminizm damarlarını şımartmıyor değil :) tavsiye edilir, denemeye değer bi gerilim :)
Jul 30, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This is a deeply disturbing, dark and twisty, gritty psychological thriller. Set in the underbelly of Japan it tells the story of 4 women who work the night shift at a boxed lunch factory. When one of them kills their abusive husband the others jump into help but things quickly spiral out of control. This is not your average "female friendship" story.
Athena Shardbearer
No rating, just DNF for now. Maybe one day I'll pick this back up.
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 ag
Oct 16, 2013 Christina rated it it was ok
I didn't hate the book , but I thought it was just ok. I picked it up because I wanted to read a thriller. Well, for the first 200-250 pages (out of the total of 400 pages), we were told everything we already knew from the blurb on the back of the book : Woman works at Tokyo box lunch factory. She is abused by her husband. She kills him. She asks coworkers to dispose of the body. No thrills no twists and turns, just elaborating for over 200 pages on the summary that is on the back of the book.
Jul 05, 2007 Angela rated it it was amazing
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
Wow, that was insanely creepy. Desperation, murder, dismemberment. What more could you ask for in a crime novel?

Not sure how I feel about the ending, but you can read my full review HERE!
Oct 10, 2008 Marissa rated it did not like it
Shelves: feminist, crime
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
Michael Hicks
My original OUT audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Out, an Edgar Award nominated crime novel out of Japan, is a deep, twisty, and complex thriller that is neither for the faint of heart, nor the uninitiated.

Natsuo Kirino does a masterful job penning this tale of murder, greed, corruption, and sexism taking a slow-boil approach and letting it all steep and simmer. Coming in at more than eighteen hours, this is not a quick whodunit kind of listen, but more of a how
Bookcase Jim
Dec 05, 2014 Bookcase Jim rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 22, 2007 spooky rated it liked it
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.
Sep 14, 2014 Anastasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2012
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
Oct 26, 2012 Nafiza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.” 13 likes
“You know," she murmured, "we're all heading straight to hell."
"Yes," said Masako, giving her a bleak look. "It's like riding downhill with no brakes."
"You mean, there's no way to stop?"
"No, you stop all right - when you crash.”
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