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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  17,047 Ratings  ·  1,898 Reviews
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With volcanic urgency, Kirino's story erupts onto the page with a searing heat, flowing like lava to a remarkable finish. Facing the daily burdens of slavish work conditions, stale marriages, and a society refusing to show them a proper respect, the women on the nightshift at a suburban Tokyo factory are all looking for one thin
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published July 11th 2003 by Kodansha (first published 1997)
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Luca Joos You can order the movie via Japanese Amazon、I'm pretty sure there is no English synchronization, but it might have English Subtitles if you're lucky.…moreYou can order the movie via Japanese Amazon、I'm pretty sure there is no English synchronization, but it might have English Subtitles if you're lucky.

Name: Out, アウト、”auto"

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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The night air trembles with a malevolent intensity. Something hangs heavy in the humid breeze - the stomach-churning smell of deep fried tempura prawns sealed inside boxed lunches mingled with something putrid, perhaps the stench of rotting dismembered human limbs hidden away in trash cans. The insufferable July heat accelerates decomposition, causes beads of sweat to cling to Masako's neck persistently as she waits in the taut darkness of the deserted parking lot for 3 of her colleagues - women ...more
Jim Fonseca
Let’s start with a few descriptors from the blurbs on the cover: nervy, perverse, dark, gruesome, depressing, daring, disturbing, brutal, unsentimental, scathing, gutsy, hair-raising. You get the picture.

After all that build-up it seems like a come-down to say that this is basically a story about four thirtyish, lower-class or lower-middle class Japanese women who work night-shift filling box-lunches in a factory. With the increasingly common globalized life-style, their lives and families are
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
There's just something about Japan that produces the grittiest, darkest, scariest, most realistic horror, psychological thriller, and suspense. The seedy underbelly of Japanese society is perhaps so successfully portrayed because so little has been embellished. And with the dark, empty surburban streets, so much is possible, so much can go unnoticed. In Natsuo Kirino's wonderful crime novel, Out, a sharp social commentary on Japan's patriarchal society and the situation for women and foreigners ...more
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointing ending! At first, I was absolutely entralled by the characters and their various relationships. The first 3/4ths of the book are filled with so much texture - it felt like I was running my hands through a fabric store. Most intriguing are the female-female relationships ranging from trust to need to fear. How I hated Kuniko! How I rooted for Masako!

And then, this whole S&M dark and violent erotic stuff comes out, which threw the entire book in downward-spiral away from n
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yulia by: Frank Bogues
A literary page-turner as timely as when it first came out, this biting critique of Japan's social and economic underclass begins when three female co-workers are forced to confront the act of a friend against her abusive husband, but evolves into a blistering exposé on those whose stories are never told: the unseen night-shift factory workers who make Japan's endless supply of box lunches; women who are swamped in credit-card debt but cannot live off their looks, youth, or father's paychecks as ...more
Edward Lorn
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of noir and crime fiction.
Recommended to Edward by: Bark's Book Nonsense
Shelves: paperbacks
Reviewing good books has always been difficult for me. Not because I don't know what to say, but because I don't want to say too much. Part of the wonder of reading, for me, is discovery, and I want you to be able to discover this book for yourselves.

Predictable books are the worst, and for the most part I do not read synopses. I decide what to read based on friend reviews/recommendations and, yes, the absolutely risky business of buying media based on pretty packaging. I dug the cover of this
I keep hesitating between 1 and 2 stars... I'm going to be generous and say "it was ok" and it was entertaining enough that I kept reading till the end.
This is just my opinion, but I found "Out" to be poorly written and poorly constructed. Most characters and their reactions weren't credible at all, and the story completely lack of suspense or tension. It was more laughable than gripping.
Not my kind of book at all.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giappone, thriller

Toccando il fondo si può veramente risalire?

Sento spesso parlare tante persone di fortuna e sfortuna. Quanto è fortunato questo ad avere questo, quanto sono sfortunato, capitano tutte a me.

Ma la fortuna e la sfortuna nella vita ce la costruiamo un pezzo alla volta, mattone dopo mattone, giorno dopo giorno. Purtroppo ce ne rendiamo conto solo quando, improvvisamente, per un evento casuale, siamo costretti a voltarci indietro e a fare il bilancio della nostra vita.

In questo romanzo la scrittrice è
Bark's Book Nonsense
This is a great book about a group of late shift female co-workers at a boxed lunch factory. It is extremely effective in portraying the desperation in their day to day lives and shows how even the most gruesome of deeds can become just another yucky job if the pay is good enough. It's so violent that, at times, it's almost funny and still very sad and frighteningly realistic as well. This was one of those impossible to put down books but it isn't for the faint of heart as it gets quite grisly.
Hertzan Chimera
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masako Katori; Kuniko Jonouchi; Yoshie Azuma; Yayoi Yamamoto; who are these normal people? Well, they all work the night shift at the local boxed-lunch factory. From midnight until 6 a.m. every 'day' they prepare these meals for the office workers and commuters of downtown Tokyo. It's not much of a life but they work well as a team and they always snatch the best part of the conveyor belt; the easiest jobs, if you will.

These four unassuming women are the heroines of Natsuo Kirino's novel OUT, wi
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gregsamsa by: Samadrita
Isn't it weird how some sensations can be intensified by the presence of another, different, sensation? You know, like when you have to pee and you're also really cold?

So many horror writers are bad horror writers because they pack everything onto the back of one horse, horror, and run it to the end. Once a horrific event is reduced to print, it's not the same as horror, so needs more. For me the horrific in itself is rarely enough.

Folks might reasonably quibble over whether Out is a horror nove
When I caught the words “hard-boiled” on this book’s back cover before reading it, can’t lie: I was less than enthused. During my embarrassingly long mystery-novel obsession, I’ve pinpointed my favorite kind quite precisely – cerebral social comedies, preferably written by British women between 1915 and ~1965, with levels of gore not to exceed your occasional poisoned crumpet.

Out is not that. Out is not even on the same planet as that, and yet it grabbed me by the shoulders and shook, hard, unt
Dec 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2010, asian, murder
Out by Natsuo Kirino is a brilliant Japanese murder mystery that’s not much of a mystery at all, at least not a mystery in the sense that we don’t know whodunit. Whodunit is a pretty, young wife and mother of two named Yayoi who is fed up with her husband Kenji’s philandering ways, and decides to strangle him one night in an uncharacteristic moment of rage. Assured that her children heard nothing of the struggle, she calls a friend who works the night shift with her at a boxed lunch factory. As ...more
João Carlos

“Out – Uma Saída” é um romance policial escrito pela escritora japonesa Natsuo Kirino (n. 1951), originalmente publicado em 1997, e editado em Portugal em 2007.
A trama narrativa centra-se em quatro mulheres – Masako, Yayoi, Yoshie e Kuniko - que trabalham no turno da noite numa unidade fabril de confecção de refeições pré-embaladas. Quatro mulheres com vidas difíceis, desiludidas com as implacáveis rotinas diárias, algumas delas decepcionadas com os filhos, com problemas financeiros que se acumu
I wanted to like this one more than I actually did like it. The beginning of the story, learning about Yayoi, Yoshie, Masako, and Kuniko was interesting, and the death and immediate aftermath was interesting, but I just found myself losing interest shortly after that, and struggled to finish.

I think that this book would work for a lot of people, but I found it kind of disappointing. I found it hard to connect with these characters. I kept thinking how I would react and act and think differently
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21st-centurylit
I cannot for the life of me put my finger on what it is about this book that rubs me slightly the wrong way. It could be as simple as I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as other readers have, but I think there's more to it. And it's probably a combination of things - the fact that the relationship between the women is clunky, as is their dialogue; the fact that people (readers) think that anytime a female protagonist commits violent acts in literature, it immediately is labeled as feminist; the fa ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heartwarming tale of friendship and stepping up to the plate to help a fellow boxed lunch factory worker in her time of need. That’s what friends are for. Well…that and body disposal. And maybe making a little extra dough in the process. Bonus!

Since bad decisions and escalating consequences was my middle name in college, this was right in my wheelhouse.

Surprisingly dark and even funny at times with well-developed characters and an intricately woven plot line. Crime fiction thrillers are pretty
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me about three months to read this novel. For those who know my reading habits, you will be aware that I read fast. Inordinately fast, I am told. The reason for my lagging pace where this book is concerned was not because it was so bad I couldn’t make myself read it, it was because the novel was a bit too realistic, it sucked me in a bit too deeply – enough anyway that I had to put it down, recover and then resume reading. So from the synopsis you will know that four women work the night ...more
3.5 stars.

It took me much longer than originally anticipated to finish reading Out. On paper, this book has everything I love: dark humour, murder, suspense, a Japanese setting. Unfortunately though, this wasn't the standout read I was hoping for, but one with many peaks and troughs.

The initial storyline drew me in: a woman who is abused by her husband ends up killing them, then enlists the help of her night shift co-workers to help her dispose of the body. It's a really awesome idea, and I lov
Read this book for the scene in the bento factory alone. Just do, and you'll never again eat a bento in Japan without thinking of it! This is the side of Japan the Japanese media never show! The Japanophiles with their obsession with tea ceremony, flower arrangement, anime, manga, samurai, ninja, clothing... this is yet another face of Japan and Natsuo Kirino does it wonderfully. Wage is low in a country that has some of the highest living standard costs in the world. The economy isn't kind to i ...more
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2012
Che cosa scabrosa, che cosa scabrosa..

(Perché gli do 5? Perché non ho nessun motivo per dargli di meno).

Questo libro è stato un woha. Credo di dover cominciare dal principio a raccontare la mia vicenda personale legata a Le quattro casalinghe di Tokyo.
Un bel pomeriggio di metà Dicembre mia madre sbuca in camera mia con un piccolo bottino di libri appena diventati orfani, e che cercano disperatamente una mammina che li accudisca: questi sono Tess d'Urberville, Mansfield Park e Le quattro casaling
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aslında tarz olarak pek tercihim olmasa da bir gerilim filmi izler gibi elimden bırakamadan okudum. gerçekten çok başarılı. yazar önce taşları tek tek koyuyor sonra onları bi güzel karıştırıp önünüze atıyor. sonra o hengameden hepsini öyle bir çekip tek tek diziyor ki bu sihir gösterisini ağzı açık izliyor insan ve tabi adamların yapamadığını kadınların başarması da feminizm damarlarını şımartmıyor değil :) tavsiye edilir, denemeye değer bi gerilim :)
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. This is a deeply disturbing, dark and twisty, gritty psychological thriller. Set in the underbelly of Japan it tells the story of 4 women who work the night shift at a boxed lunch factory. When one of them kills their abusive husband the others jump into help but things quickly spiral out of control. This is not your average "female friendship" story.
Athena Shardbearer
No rating, just DNF for now. Maybe one day I'll pick this back up.
Patrizia O
“[…] abbiamo cominciato solo perché odiavamo i nostri padri, o la nostra patria, il Giappone – non è così? Voglio dire che siamo tutti figli perduti, outsider ai margini della società”

Il titolo originale “Out” sicuramente esprime meglio l’essenza di questo romanzo: i protagonisti sono tutti personaggi ai margini della rigida e misogina società giapponese.
Per le donne non è semplice riuscire a farsi valere soprattutto se pretendono, in casa come sul lavoro, lo stesso trattamento riservato ag
I didn't hate the book , but I thought it was just ok. I picked it up because I wanted to read a thriller. Well, for the first 200-250 pages (out of the total of 400 pages), we were told everything we already knew from the blurb on the back of the book : Woman works at Tokyo box lunch factory. She is abused by her husband. She kills him. She asks coworkers to dispose of the body. No thrills no twists and turns, just elaborating for over 200 pages on the summary that is on the back of the book.
I don't normally read psychological thrillers. The first 50 pages were hard to get into, there were a lot of characters all at once and it felt really dense and intense. Also, I should tell you, if you are sensitive to rape scenes in books, this book is not for you.

But let me tell you, this is one of the best, most well-written, most layered books I have read in a long time.

Masako Katori is one of the best female protagonists I have come across. She is complex, she is almost unknowable, and that
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like FREAKY stuff
Shelves: japanese-authors
This book is full of amazingly WRONG situations and I thought it was amazing.


I may have thought it was amazing because I have lived in Japan for nearly three years and I felt like I could identify with the characters. I picked up on cultural subtleties that made me laugh and made me cringe. I rolled my eyes at Japanese women being Japanese women in the book and I cheered when they broke free from that mould - even though breaking free meant that they were ostracized from society and th
Wow, that was insanely creepy. Desperation, murder, dismemberment. What more could you ask for in a crime novel?

Not sure how I feel about the ending, but you can read my full review HERE!
Sep 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminist, crime
This is another book I gave up on halfway through. In fairness, the climactic ending of a thriller is probably pretty important to your sense of how good the book is and having not read that part, maybe I am missing out on the brilliance somehow. But leading up to that finale, I thought the writing was pretty terrible.

In theory, it should be exactly the sort of thing I'm really into. A feminist, Japanese crime novel? Sounds great, right? And for some reason a lot of the major mainstream critics
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YA e dintorni: GdL di aprile: Le quattro casalinghe di Tokyo di Natsuo Kirino 31 25 Jul 07, 2017 07:57AM  
Books that will be translated 1 6 Oct 26, 2016 06:09PM  
Ellipsis Book Group: And March's Book is... 1 14 Mar 02, 2015 03:39AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Out by Natsuo Kirino 2 23 Feb 18, 2015 03:30PM  
Japanese Literature: Struggling with Out 7 131 Jun 06, 2014 11:46PM  
Out by Natsuo Kirino 6 116 Apr 10, 2014 03:45AM  
Goodreads Librari...: New ebook edition (combine with others) 5 29 Aug 21, 2013 11:22PM  
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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
More about Natsuo Kirino...

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“When stones lying warm in the sun were turned over, they exposed the cold, damp earth underneath; and that was where Masako had burrowed deep. There was no trace of warmth in this dark earth, yet for a bug curled up tight in it, it was a peaceful and familiar world.” 14 likes
“You know," she murmured, "we're all heading straight to hell."
"Yes," said Masako, giving her a bleak look. "It's like riding downhill with no brakes."
"You mean, there's no way to stop?"
"No, you stop all right - when you crash.”
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