The Writer's Reviews > Out

Out by Natsuo Kirino
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's review
Dec 17, 2008

really liked it
Read in November, 2008

Nothing beats Japanese horror.

(even though it's been translated into Danish) Yep, I have just finished reading Natsuo Kirino's Out - in Danish (imagine the trouble! but oh, it's so worth it!) and no, the book hasn't lost its main purpose to scare the hell out of people, not in the ghostly way, but in the creepy and nasty way as the book tells the story of four Japanese women who decide that killing and mutilating men is definitely not a big deal and as "evil" as everyone in the planet earth suggested.

These four Japanese women, Yayoi, Yoshie, Masako and Kuniko have nothing in common but the fact that they're all working as night shift staffs in food-packaging industry and that they're all "treated" badly by their men as most Japanese women are (as the book has suggested).

Yayoi, however, suffers from the worst fate among the other three (although I couldn't really say that Masako, Yoshie or Kuniko are standing in better positions amidst their own private problems). Yayoi's husband, who is portrayed as an absolute asshole and a nightmare for all the wives out there, signed his own death sentence after he lost all the family's saving money in a baccarat table and went home drunk and treat his dutiful wife as a punching sack.

Naturally, Yayoi couldn't take it anymore and decided that the husband simply couldn't be allowed to breath the air of the living anymore and murdered him. Of course, the three other women helped her as a form of sisterhood bond among these pathetic women and tried to figure out how to get rid of the body and conceal the evidence.

Masako, being the smartest of all, found that mutilation might be the best answer of all since women are used to knives and cutting up fresh meat (this is proven to be true!) and they all did the dirty job in order to help a friend in need.

Of course, the problem didn't just end like that. There are more inter-connecting, super complicated relationships between the four female characters here and the fact that their own private problems are not making it easier for these women to deal with their daily lives. Kuniko with her debts and her lavish lifestyle, Yoshie with the needy mother in law and two unruly daughters and Masako with her dysfunctional family have actually given the book a new depth.

I have to admit that I have to peel my eyes off the pages in order to exhale a couple of sighs before focusing back to the book. The intensity of the book did come as quite a shock to me as I didn't expect the story about four women mutilating a guy to be that complicated.

All I could say that I have no regrets after reading this wonderfully-written book (although I am still longing to re-read it in English version) and it can be a proof that one can do anything if one is poked hard enough, even if she's just a plain old boring housewife. Creepy

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