Caroline's Reviews > Real World

Real World by Natsuo Kirino
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's review
Jul 19, 08

bookshelves: fiction, read-in-2008, favorite-covers
Recommended for: Sarah
Read in July, 2008

Natsuo Kirino does not deal with light-hearted issues. Like her other novels that have been published in English, this deals with very dark problems--a teenage boy murders his own mother. Four teenage girls, one of which is his neighbor, get wrapped up in the ensuing drama.

Something I've loved with each novel she's written is how vivid her description is of Japanese life. I've never felt like she does a half-hearted job at describing anything, no matter how dark or unpleasant it is, which really adds to the depth of her stories. The details really breathe life into the characters, who are all very different and very complex.

There's a whole lot of psychological studies going on in this--each character has deep-seated concerns that causes them to act the way they do on top of the normal pressures of Japanese high school students. It was really fascinating to see how different personalities might react to the same situation and just how far some people will go. I found the characters all to be incredibly realistic and complex, which is always a good change from the one-dimensional characters so many authors rely on.

My only complaint about this was it was so short! Then again, with how short it was it told the story very well and very powerfully, it's just I was so wrapped up in the characters that I wanted to continue reading about them longer. Real World was definitely one of those novels that I tried reading slowly to prolong but I couldn't help devouring it!

A fantastic book, but very dark and could be difficult for readers who are sensitive (but that just goes for Natsuo Kirino in general--she's definitely not for the faint-of-heart).
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message 1: by ☯Bettie☯ (new)

☯Bettie☯ hej där!

matricide has been pretty well discovered/chronicled in western literature, and IMHO none has done it better than Shakespeare; that said, I think I will give this author 'a go' and have found 'Grotesque' to be of the best price tag to introduce me to this author.

hee - wish me luck

Caroline Luckily, it was less about the actual matricide and more about the consequences. It was handled much better than Almost Moon by Alice Sebold (which I don't recommend to anyone under any circumstances) and definitely wasn't the focus.

Good luck with Grotesque! Out of the three books that I've read, I'd say that was the least accessible but it was a good book. It's told from the perspective of multiple people that all remember things happening differently (which is just human nature!) and you never really get the full story, but it definitely an interesting read.

message 3: by ☯Bettie☯ (new)

☯Bettie☯ It's told from the perspective of multiple people that all remember things happening differently (which is just human nature!) and you never really get the full story

I think that's known as the 'rashomon affect' :

Caroline Oh, neat, I wasn't aware of that term! Thanks for the information on that.

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