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Earthlings

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  29,874 ratings  ·  7,173 reviews
Natsuki isn't like the other girls. She has a wand and a transformation mirror. She might be a witch, or an alien from another planet. Together with her cousin Yuu, Natsuki spends her summers in the wild mountains of Nagano, dreaming of other worlds. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the two children forever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what. ...more
Hardcover, UK edition, 247 pages
Published October 1st 2020 by Granta Books (first published August 31st 2018)
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Miriam I absolutely believe a teen could handle this book, and I also generally believe that teens should read whatever they want. That being said, this book…moreI absolutely believe a teen could handle this book, and I also generally believe that teens should read whatever they want. That being said, this book does have some heavy content, including a somewhat detailed depiction of a child being sexually abused. Also cannibalism. (less)

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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  29,874 ratings  ·  7,173 reviews


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Kat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Edwards
Apr 15, 2022 rated it liked it
Provocative, chaotic, and absurd -- the kind of book you can't explain at all without spoiling it. Expect the unexpected... and also expect your jaw to drop. ...more
Robin
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is off the hook.

If I try to explain what happens in the plot, I will sound insane. And it is. The plot is outrageous and over the top - the oppression, the abuse, and then the equally shocking response to it. It's wild, fearless, and what makes it even stranger is that it's told in this completely simple, straightforward, conversational tone. It draws you in, with the ease of a YA novel. You almost think, hey, this is about 11 year old kids. I'm not that interested. But don't be fooled
...more
Meike
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, 2020-read
English Edition: Earthlings
The follow-up to Convenience Store Woman is absolutely outrageous: Rebellion, misogyny, hikikomori, incest, murder, cannibalism - Murata takes no prisoners. And have I mentioned that the whole story is a parable on modern society AND a dark fairy tale full of twists and turns that will lure you into a dark room and beat you to death with a trophy (don't ask)? Don't let yourself be fooled by that cute cover, it's aiming to point you in the wrong direction so the ultimat
...more
Barry Pierce
Jun 29, 2022 rated it really liked it
lmaooo sayaka murata you fucked up little thing
Tim
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese, reviewed, 2010s
Well, I just read two extreme horror novels. Time for a break. Something light-hearted, something silly... what's this? A Japanese novel about a woman who thinks she's an alien and with a cute cover? No doubt this will be a light comedic read.

...

Ha.
Ha.
Ha.

No, no it was not. This review is going to be mostly covered in a spoiler tag, but let me stress this to would be readers. This is the single most uncomfortable read I've had all year (and this has been a year filled with mostly horror novels fo
...more
Lark Benobi
I am so moved by this novel. It's entirely unique and yet it flows mysteriously in the same mighty river of fiction that has sprung up in these last years, written by women from all over the world, who are suddenly writing in a fierce and visceral and entirely ruthless way about what it's like to be different.

This novel is outrageous and funny in some parts, and it's outrageous and heartbreaking in others. I never knew what to expect, but then, every time the unexpected happened on the page, I t
...more
emma
The truth is that I am easily disturbed.

My metaphorical gag reflex is very sensitive. (No comment on my literal gag reflex, you pervs.) (Okay I am sorry about the sex joke in the second line of a review but also at the same time if you can't handle me at my PG-13 you cannot handle this book for even a singular second, so. Consider yourself warned.)

I get grossed out by almost anything. Ottessa Moshfegh books (even though I read her whole backlist). People fake puking on TV. Bad smells.

This book t
...more
Maxwell
Feb 03, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
I cannot recommend this book to people because if I tell you I liked it, then you read this, you will probably wonder what's wrong with me or at least question my taste in books. Before getting into this review, please be warned this book is extremely graphic at times, trigger warnings for sexual assault and verbal & physical abuse. And I don't say that lightly. It gets quite intense and if you don't have a strong stomach, this book might not be for you.

That being said, all of the things Sayaka
...more
Henk
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Don’t let the cute cover fool you. This is a deadpan account of trauma, sexual abuse, the stifling nature of conformity and breaking taboos to try and set oneself free from a limiting definition of being human
Children’s lives never belong to them. The grownups own us.

I liked the first part of this book markedly more than the latter. The perspective of a young person being forced into a mould and to be “normal” really was portrayed in a way that I thought had emotional impact. That Japanese socie
...more
Marchpane
‘It’s really hard to put into words things that are just a little bit not okay.’

Earthlings. Where to start with this book? Tonally, it is all over the place. At times it reads with such naivete and simple language it could be a children’s book. But then it turns dark. VERY dark.

There are (warning!) explicit scenes of child sexual abuse described in first person from the child’s POV. There are eruptions of surreal violence and gore. Things get... weird.

In its calmer, more realist moments, thi
...more
s.penkevich
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan, society
Survive, whatever it takes.

The reward for conformity,’ wrote author Rita Mae Brown, ‘is that everyone like you but yourself.’ The alienation that comes from an inability or distaste for conforming with society is heart and center in the works of Sayaka Murata. Revisiting and revitalizing many themes addressed in her brilliant, previous novel Convenience Store Woman--which hit English-speaking shelves in 2018 translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori--Murata’s newest novel, Earthlings goes further i
...more
Sam Quixote
Apr 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
daph pink ♡
I read Convenience store woman earlier this year and fell in love with it. Earthlings had been on my to-read list for a long time, but I never got around to reading it.

And now that I've finished it, I'm thinking about it. I'm still undecided about whether I should give it 4 or 5 stars because the dark plot had me twisted and I'll never forget it. Though the concept is similar to that of the Convenience store woman , this one is more bold, dark, and twisted in every manner.

I won't go into deta
...more
Debbie
You want crazy? I’ll give you crazy!

This is the most bizarre and unique book I’ve ever read, hands down. Going into this, Geek Love held the title of Weirdest Book Ever, but this book knocked that one off the shelf and stands proudly in its place. Everything in this book is OVER THE TOP (yes, in all caps)! This is just what I needed in a time when our country is over the top in so many ways. Everything in your face, a big deal, all exclamation marks. So why not escape into a book that takes me
...more
Elyse Walters
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sayaka Murata’s “Convenience Store For Women”, was a contemporary unique-charming debut —-with a thirty-ish woman [Keiko]—who didn’t feel as if she ‘fit-in’....
In “The Earthlings”, Natsuki, doesn’t feel she ‘fits-in’, either. As a child — her parents favored her sister, Kise.
She also suffered abuse -(sexual abuse by her math teacher), plus mockery & humiliation from the community ( who Natsuki refers to as ‘The Baby Factory’).
Her best friend was a toy hedgehog named Piyyut.....who explained he
...more
Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤
Mr Cummings Psych Therapy GIF - MrCummings PsychTherapy Doctor GIFs

I don't know what it says about my state of mind that this book didn't disturb me, but it's the second book in a month that I was warned about that hardly made me blink an eye. 

There's some messed up shit in this book. I should have been squirming and ugh-ing and needing to just stop reading.... but no. Didn't happen. I think I've grown a little numb. 

It's a fun book to read, whether or not your brain is screwy and unbothered by.... stuff. 

It's a story about fitting in, or not. About the demands
...more
The Artisan Geek
26/1/21
One year later, I finally did a full review on this one :)
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------


26/1/20
What a story! I got a limited edition ARC, because I'll be doing something fun with the publisher, so I can't really say anything about the contents of the book - will do in the future! :)



25/1/20
Granta was so so kind to gift me a copy of this book! I'll be reading it today :)


You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitch | Twitter | Tumblr | Website | The Storygraph
...more
John Mauro
Dec 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My complete review of Earthlings is published at Grimdark Magazine.

See that cute stuffed hedgehog on the cover of Earthlings? That’s Piyyut. He’s best friends with Natsuki, the book’s narrator, an 11-year-old girl who is also a self-described magician. As explained by Natsuki:

“I hugged my backpack to me. Inside it was my origami magic wand and my magical transformation mirror. At the very top of the backpack was my best friend, Piyyut, who gave me these magical objects. Piyyut can’t speak human
...more
Michael || TheNeverendingTBR
Possibly the most bizarre novel I've ever read that just gets even more outrageous as you get further into it.

It's a well written book though but it just got too weird for me towards the end.

It covers a range of disturbing themes including sexual abuse, incest, murder and cannibalism.

Despite the subject matter, there were lighter moments that were nice to read but overall it's a deeply unsettling and heartbreaking read, so beware.

I wouldn't read this again.. 😶
...more
Kate
Sep 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
1/5stars

((Dropped from a 2 to a 1 Star after a few weeks consideration))

**Arc received from NetGalley - thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this ARC!

Okay so... this was a bit... too much.

I read "The Convenience Store Woman" last year and really enjoyed it. I was prepared (and excited!) for this book to be weird... but it went a little too far in my opinion.

This book had some really good conversations - such as autonomy of one's own body and life, a lot of commentary on women's
...more
Pedro
Don’t be misled by the kind of cute little (short-eared) Mogwai on the cover because if you ever decide to open this book what you’re going to find inside it can only be described as a Gremlin.

This novel starts like a light YA novel but very quickly evolves into a nightmare.

The writing is deceptively simple with a dreamlike quality to it and the narrator’s (young) voice very relatable.

As I said, it didn’t take long before I realised this wasn’t going to be what the cute cover suggested. In a
...more
JimZ
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Nine days ago, I read “The Sound of a Wild Snail” and had this comment early on in my review:
• I became aware somewhere in the middle of this book that I was saying, out loud, “geez”, over and over again.

In that book I was saying ‘geez” because the author kept on astounding me with the most interesting facts about snails. So, astounding I was saying “geez” out loud a number of times while reading.

For this book I finished the book saying out loud “Jesus” and in the middle saying out loud, I thin
...more
Emily B
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up.

This novel is super odd to say the least! If you’re looking for something a bit different then give this a try.

I loved how unique it was, although I have to say I did find the abuse parts particularly hard to read, more so than other books actually. Something about it hit a nerve for me.

Overall, I enjoyed it but didn’t find myself completely hooked, instead I was able to make my way through it over a couple of days, despite it being a relatively short book.
Ms. Smartarse
Published in English as Earthlings.

Natsuki's been leading a double life: regular middle-schooler by day, extraordinary magical (alien) girl by night. Not an easy balance to keep, but our heroine handles it like a champ. It helps to keep in mind that the mother ship would be picking her up any time now...

The one bright spot amid these trials are the family's yearly get-togethers. Set in the grandparents' house in the countryside, Natsuki looks forward to the company of her secret boyfriend, takin
...more
Melanie
Aug 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
I feel the need to bleach my brain. I wish there was an indication in the blurb about just how vicious the abuse - both sexual and psychological- of the primary school/teenager is. I read on because I felt I needed to know if she was going to be ok, when I know better. Why did I not DNF? I don’t even know that myself.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This is without a doubt the weirdest book I have ever read. What the fuck lmao

CW: incest, pedophilia, child abuse, death of a loved one, suicide, victim blaming, sexual assault, cannibalism
Reading_ Tamishly
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
There's a lot going on with just the first few chapters. There are a lot of characters which get introduced, a lot of good and not-so-good things happening in the life of Natsuki.
I would say it's a coming of age fiction where it depicts sexual abuse/molestation by a male teacher, a mother who appears to be downright disappointed in her daughter and rather abusive on a constant basis, a close male cousin who is supposedly to be the secret boyfriend/husband. So many things are not handled properl
...more
Sara
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
ARC received in exchange foor an honest review.

Having previously read Murata's Convenience Store Woman, I knew that this would be odd. What I wasn't expecting was a whole host of weird, coupled with incest, cannibalism and child abuse.

Honestly, I'm not sure where to start (or indeed finish) with this. The writing is very simplistic, and there isn't really much of a plot other than Natsuki trying to cope with her awful childhood by re imagining a world where she has magical powers and is in fact
...more
persephone ☾
and I thought Convenience Store Woman was weird ... i am traumatized y'all 😭 ...more
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3,984 followers
Sayaka Murata (in Japanese, 村田 沙耶香) is one of the most exciting up-and-coming writers in Japan today.
She herself still works part time in a convenience store, which gave her the inspiration to write Convenience Store Woman (Konbini Ningen). She debuted in 2003 with Junyu (Breastfeeding), which won the Gunzo Prize for new writers. In 2009 she won the Noma Prize for New Writers with Gin iro no uta
...more

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