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Real World

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  5,736 ratings  ·  578 reviews
A stunning new work of the feminist noir that Natsuo Kirino defined and made her own in her novels Out and Grotesque.

In a crowded residential suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer and endless “cram school” sessions meant to ensure entry into good colleges. There’s Toshi, the dependable one; Terauchi,
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by Knopf (first published 2003)
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,736 ratings  ·  578 reviews

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Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I really wanted to like this one (especially after reading and enjoying Grotesque) but unfortunately this one just didn’t work for me. The book centers around a teen nicknamed Worm- who we learn very early on, kills his mother. Four female friends decide to help Worm out while he’s on the run and the book details these interactions. The actions of these characters seemed ridiculous- they seemed so bored or sick of their lives, that they were just looking for something to do. I must say that whil ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brace-18, readon-18
Κάθε μια από τις πρωταγωνίστριες της ιστορίας, μας την αφηγείται από τη δίκη της σκοπιά, εμβαθύνοντας κυρίως στον εσωτερικό ψυχολογικό της κόσμο. Ανήκουν στην ίδια παρέα, αλλά πόσο καλά γνωρίζει η μία την άλλη;

Περίεργο πράγμα οι φίλοι. Φαίνεται σαν να ξέρουν τα πάντα για σένα, αλλά δεν ξέρουν καθόλου πως είσαι στ' αλήθεια.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5/5 - I enjoyed some of the characters' perspectives in this book more than others, but overall I'm very excited to check out more of Natsuo Kirinio's work in the future. I'll have a video review of this up next week!
Maloja Snake
Επέλεξα το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο ως αστυνομικό μιας και με τράβηξε το εξώφυλλο και έπειτα η πλοκή. Όμως διάβασα κάτι άλλο, κάτι που μετα βίας πατάει στο αστυνομικό είδος όπως το γνωρίζουμε. Είναι μια αφορμή για σχολιασμό πάνω σε ποικίλλα θέματα και νομίζω οτι τα κατάφερε πολύ καλά. Kι ας μοιάζαν κάποια σημεία πιο βεβιασμένα, όταν η παρέα απηύθυνε το δριμύ κατηγορώ της στην κοινωνία. Ενώ μου άρεσε το πως μπλέκονται οι ζωές των κοριτσιών και μαθαίνουμε πράγματα για την ζωή τους, για το πως μαθαίνουν ...more
Aug 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2008, asia
I gave up on this book. Real World follows the lives of one teen guy and 4-5 girl teens after the guy murders his mom. Perhaps it is the translation that is the problem. Maybe it is not the writing....I found the writing to be very unconvincing and awkward (I guess maybe that fits the teen POV). Kirino gives the reader too much. Each chapter is from a different teens perspective and it just goes on and on about how horrible their lives are (not saying I don't agree).
I think Kirino does capture t
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I said that this book is intense, I might have understated a bit. Imagine, if you will, that you have stepped into the heads of four very different teenage girls and one, probably insane, teenage boy.

Kirino's Real World gives you a closer look at reality than you might have wanted to get. The books explores issues of blatant materialism, consumerism, how contemporary society seems to be fervently buying, selling, consuming and asks what the effect of this is on children. Society has turned
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: has-some-gay
A group of girls act out against their parents and society by aiding and abetting a boy in their neighborhood who murdered his mother. It doesn't always make sense as to why these girls do what they do, but then again I guess that's part of the point.

A dark little book about the dangers of disaffected youth.

3.5 Stars

"Fooling around with guys is thrilling, like walking next to a busy highway. If you fall off the curb, it's all over."

This isn't a mystery novel, if you're looking for one,you know everything from the first chapter.
Four high school girls get mixed up with another high school boy,a matricide who is neighbour to one of them. Sometimes it feels like characters are far fetched and how girls go crazy over some dude who killed his mother is strange, very STRANGE. But, apparently everyone's messe

William Graney
Aug 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Another mesmerizing masterpiece from Kirino. I thought going in that at just over 200 pages it might be somewhat unsatisfying but as it turned out, calling it "satisfying" would be an extreme understatement. Every page was wrapped in such intensity it was a thoroughly exhausting read (I mean that in the best possible way).
I was under the impression that her books that have been translated into English (this one plus Out and Grotesque) were the totality of her novels, but reading the book jacket
A deceptively game-like excitement about news of a male neighbor's matricide leads four female friends into a surprisingly harsh look at the masks they've put on to maintain appearances, at our fascination with and empathy for those who are driven to do an unthinkable act, and at the meaning of life's struggle to be honest with ourselves and our closest friends and to accept the consequences of our actions. The boy's young neighbor doesn't want to get involved in the police investigation and pro ...more
Book Riot Community
I bought Kirino’s Out months ago, after reading the rave reviews, but rather than start with that book, I picked up Real World to zero disappointment.

What happens when four teenage girls, who are allegedly great friends, get caught up in the murder that the teen boy who lives next door to one of the girls commits? Some of those girls choose to get close to the criminal and others fear that any/all evidence might point to them being involved in the crime — even if they had nothing to do with it a
Sotiris Karagiannis
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Δηλώνω μεγάλος fan του Ιαπωνικού σινεμά και σιγά σιγά κάνω τα πρώτα βήματά μου και στη λογοτεχνία. Λατρεύω ταινίες όπως το World of Kanako, Battle Royale, Confessions που δείχνουν "ιδιαίτερα" παιδιά. Οπότε όταν διάβασα την υπόθεση του Real World, ετοιμάστηκα για κάτι αντίστοιχο που θα άγγιζε την αγωνία του Confessions, τη φρίκη του Battle Royale και το ρεαλισμό του World of Kanako. Αμ δε...

Τέσσερα κορίτσια, η Τόσι, η Κίραριν, η Γιουζάν και η Τερόκι περνούν την καλοκαιρινή σχολική περίοδο ήρεμα.
Jul 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kirino
There are at least two distinct “real” worlds described in “Real World”, Natsuo Kirino’s most recent novel to be published in the United States. There is the world of parents, teachers, police officers and other adults and there is the world of high school students being driven insane by the pressure exerted on them from the other world. The two worlds are almost but not completely discrete—when they come together it is a disaster for all concerned.

On one level the central action is the murder
John Velo
Quick summary: MESSED UP

These characters are all messed up in the head.

Real World tells the story of 4 teenage girls who live in a small but crowded suburb in Tokyo. A murder happens and it all just goes downhill from there.

Most of the time, I wasn't sure what I was reading about (still not entirely sure). Sometimes, I didn't get decision-making the characters made or their humor but what I grasped in this book is that it tells about people who hide and pretend or who have a front to show to th
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
It's easy to read, but I just didn't love it. I wasn't convinced that the characters' actions made sense. I liked Out way better, but there just may be something to her writing that doesn't seem real to me. I didn't get their teenage angst and it didn't make me understand their ridiculous actions.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
I'm not an angry person. Anger is a very foreign emotion to me; whenever I'm frustrated, it stops at that. It never gets past the stage of "Well, that's not great." Thus, I don't like reading books about angry people, especially angry teenagers. I read Catcher in the Rye in high school, and I remember hating it. I felt like he should get over himself; that he didn't know anything and was just complaining for the sake of complaining. But after reading Real World, I feel like I kind of understand ...more
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
I thought Natsuo Kirino's Out was a pretty interesting book. It was very detailed and justifiably creepy. Her other two books that have been translated to English just seem like lame attempts at sensationalism and cheap thrills--the characters are not particularly realistic or interesting and the plotlines ludicrous. I didn't think the translation was all that great, either (though I don't really know how true the translation really was). It's like the translator is trying really hard to be edgy ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Đương những ngày lạnh ít ỏi của mùa đông năm nay. Hành lang nhỏ dùng để phơi phóng nhà tôi, gió miết vào giữa mấy cái móc áo trống kêu tang tang liên tục và inh ỏi. Như một lời nhắc nhở cũng lạnh te rằng dù đang đặt tầm mắt trong một thế giới không thực, tôi vẫn luôn và sẽ luôn phải tồn tại, đối mặt trong thế giới thực của mình.
Giun Đất, một nam sinh trung học tự kỷ, khi các phép tắc và khuôn khổ đã vượt ngưỡng chịu đựng, bèn gây ra một vụ sát hại rồi lững thững đi trốn. Nhờ pháp luật không côn
Ashita Thakur
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Anti-depressant please.

For a book that packs in itself (or atleast touches) a myriad of subjects important to the intellectual audience such as commercialism, existentialism, parent-child relationships, crime and psychology, Real World does not deliver as well as it should. But it is still a good book. Let me explain.

The story revolves around 4 girl friends- Toshi the kind one, Terauchi the smart one, Kirarin the cutesy feminine one and Yuzan the hard to read one. All of their lives change forev
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giappone
noir giapponese for dummies

Toshi, Yūzan, Terauchi e Kirarin studiano per prepararsi all'esame di ammissione all'università.
Una mattina il vicino di casa di Toshi uccide sua madre e ruba la bcicletta e il telefonino della ragazza. In seguito tutte le sue amiche riceveranno una telefonata dal Vermiciattolo, soprannome col quale Toshi chiama il suo vicino. E lentamente le quattro si faranno trascinare nel mondo di un assassino, lasciando il proprio come fosse un vestito di cui ci si è stancati.

Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, japanese
I suspect, due to Kirino's popularity, that this book is better than the translation makes it appear. I found the translation to be heavy-handed and treated the reader as if he or she wouldn't know anything about Japanese culture by over-explaining things. For example, there's a ganguro character, which is a style many people are familiar with, but the translator calls her "barbie girl", which really gives entirely different connotations and confused me until I realized she was ganguro. Needless ...more
George K.
Βαθμολογία: 7/10

Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλιαράκι, απ'όσο βλέπω, είναι λιγότερο γνωστό και ποιοτικά κατώτερο από τα Out και Grotesque, οπότε είπα να γνωρίσω την Νατσούο Κιρίνο με αυτό, έτσι ώστε να έχω να διαβάσω στην συνέχεια τα καλά της βιβλία. Μπορώ να πω, πάντως, ότι σε γενικές γραμμές μου άρεσε και πέρασα καλά, αν και βέβαια είχε ορισμένα προβληματάκια.

Τέσσερις έφηβες που ανήκουν στην ίδια παρέα, περνάνε την μηνιαία καλοκαιρινή σχολική διακοπή στο νεφελώδες και καυτό λόγω ζέστης Τόκιο, έχοντας μπρ
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-2015
This is a sad tale about the alienation of a group of youngsters. It is played out to the full; that is, their fantasies have become reality. They see the world from a distance. The lack of communication with their parents. The world around them has become a cancer.
Page 59'Most of the kids I know read only manga, but I prefer novels. Novels are closer to real life than manga, it’s like they show you the real world with one layer peeled away, a reality you can’t see otherwise. They’re deep, is wh
I would rename it 'Unreal World' as there is nothing real in this bizarre story of a teenage boy who intentionally bashes his mother to death, for she is pushy, and four teenage girls who befriend each other, and who are interested in aiding and abetting the boy in varying degrees.
Hope this is not how things are in Japan, as all the young characters were abnormal, eccentric at their best. There are a couple more deaths, and lots of ramblings. I never could fully understand the mentality of the
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Messed up. the characters are all messed up. but this book is really honest with the portrayal of the characters.
Joe Cummings
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
In the summer of 1992, I studied International business in Tokyo, Japan. Every school day, I would commute into the city on the train along with mostly businessmen, office girls and high school students who were attending cram school. After a while, the students on the train figured out that I was an approachable friendly sort of guy, and a few of the braver ones tried chatting with me to practice their English. I didn’t realize it at first, but as I talked with one or two of the students, their ...more
Alexis  (TheSlothReader)
DNF @ page 74

This book is more about the group of characters and their interactions, but I honestly didn't feel a strong connection to any of them or their individual stories.
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It's like reading someone's diary-- full of whining and ranting, how miserable life is, hatred and regrets. 4 girls and a boy known as Worm with stories divided to each characters' perspectives. It's kind of horrifying and heartless-- especially about Worm.

I like Terauchi. I think she's the most sane one out of all though at last it was not a happy ending for her. And Toshi-- I pitied her at the end. It feels like she really has to bear all those 'burden' with Terauchi's last letter.

It was sick
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Η ιστορία είναι σκοτεινή, ανησυχητική. Ένα συνηθισμένο αγόρι δολοφονεί τη μητέρα του. Το κορίτσι από δίπλα χωρίς να ξέρει η ίδια γιατί, τον αφήνει να διαφύγει. Θα της κλέψει το κινητό και το ποδήλατο. Θα πάρει όλες τις φίλες της τηλέφωνο. Και μία-μία θα αντιδράσει με τον δικό της τρόπο μπροστά στο γεγονός και τον άνθρωπο, συμπεριλαμβανομένης και της Τόσι.

Η ιστορία έχει πολλά αφηγηματικά πρόσωπα. Και οι τέσσερις φίλες καθώς και το «Σκουλήκι», όπως αποκαλούσαν το αγόρι πριν καν σκοτώσει τη μητέρα
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PNWJETAA Book Club: Real World 1 18 Aug 12, 2012 10:54PM  
  • Villain
  • Shadow Family
  • Kamikaze Girls
  • The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P
  • Autofiction
  • The Summer of the Ubume
  • Piercing
  • Hell
  • Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction
  • Strangers
  • Naoko
  • The Tattoo Murder Case (Detective Kamizu)
  • Dark Water
  • Vibrator
  • Goth
  • Supermarket
  • The Diving Pool: Three Novellas
  • The Master Key
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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“It wasn't so much that I was afraid of the place itself, but I was afraid of the creatures who masqueraded as people.” 109 likes
“I'm this superphilosophical kind of person. Stuck in a prison of abstract ideas and overpowering emotions, I have this personality that makes it really hard to survive.” 40 likes
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