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3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,662 Ratings  ·  1,607 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 of 3,000)
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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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Athena Shardbearer
No rating, just DNF for now. Maybe one day I'll pick this back up.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Jun 12, 2007 Lucrecia rated it really liked it
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!)
Oct 26, 2012 Nafiza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, top-100, books-i-own
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 22, 2012 lanalang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 10, 2015 Ally rated it it was amazing
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
May 03, 2016 Ingrid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questo è il classico romanzo che si legge tutto d'un fiato ma...è meglio che non lo facciate. E' meglio che lo leggiate a piccole dosi perché può realmente fregarvi il cervello e farvi avere degli incubi sui quali David Lynch potrebbe costruire l'intero plot per gli agognati episodi della nuova serie su Twin Peaks.
Quattro squilibrate mentali (e mi mantengo gentile..) lavorano al turno di notte in una fabbrica che produce cibi precotti. Quattro donne che vengono descritte minuziosamente nelle lor
Kavita Ramesh
Jan 01, 2016 Kavita Ramesh rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 26, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fun read! There were so many more threads involved than I expected and I loved seeing how they knotted together then watching it all unravel. There were unexpected twists when you thought you knew exactly what was going to happen, but didn’t. And there were turns when exactly what you feared and thought wouldn’t be allowed to happen (because if it did, how could there be so many pages left!!??) happened anyway.

The story is told in a multiple split narrative (all in third person i
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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.” 10 likes
“I want to go home.' The moment the smell hit her, the words came into her head. She didn't know exactly what home it was she wanted to go to, certainly not the one she'd just left. But why didn't she want to go back there? And where did she want to go? She felt lost.” 6 likes
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