Amanda's Reviews > Out

Out by Natsuo Kirino
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Sep 16, 08

bookshelves: mystery, horror
Recommended for: Readers who don't mind tasteful gore
Read in September, 2008, read count: 1

After reading “Grotesque” I couldn’t wait to read “Out.” While the novel was very strange in its foreign way, I found that the story stuck with me long after I’d finished reading it. With all the rave reviews for “Out” I was hoping for a story that was just as good for a first novel. I was not disappointed.

The story is of four women, workers on the night shift of a local box lunch packing factory, who have formed a thin friendship from working together and all being under the same money stresses (though all for different reasons). When the most beautiful of the four women murders her husband, she calls on one of the others to help her. In the turn of events, all four of the women end up helping with the disposal of the body. With the shared guilt begins the inklings of accusations and hatred and the friendship begins to fall apart as outside forces, including a money hungry loan shark and a former yakuza casino owner, pull from them the secret they’d all started out trying to hide.

Contrary to the way this synopsis reads, this is in no way a feel good “group of women” story. This book is brutal, with fairly detailed narration of the body disposal and other things that pop up throughout the story. Yet there is also many times when humor comes into play, and though you don’t think you should laugh, you almost have to at the dialogue between the characters, especially in the midst of some very not-so-funny material.

What stuck with me from this book, probably even more so than in “Grotesque” was the psychological aspect of the characters: what drives them, how they justify their actions, and how they view the world. They’re not truly likable, but they’re real and easy to connect with, even if sometimes that connection was a matter of being very irritated by them.

A good detailed read that doesn’t read like a dense volume of over described boredom. Definitely a must read.
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