Book Review: Out by Natsuo Kirino

OUTOut by Natsuo Kirino

Nothing in Japanese literature prepares us for the stark, tension-filled, plot-driven realism of Natsuo Kirino’s award-winning literary mystery Out.

This mesmerizing novel tells the story of a brutal murder in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works the night shift making boxed lunches strangles her abusive husband and then seeks the help of her coworkers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime. The coolly intelligent Masako emerges as the plot’s ringleader, but quickly discovers that this killing is merely the beginning, as it leads to a terrifying foray into the violent underbelly of Japanese society.

At once a masterpiece of literary suspense and pitch-black comedy of gender warfare, Out is also a moving evocation of the pressures and prejudices that drive women to extreme deeds, and the friendships that bolster them in the aftermath

What happens when you cross the line….when you discover a taste for the unthinkable?

This story is a really rather good, even after having been translated from the Japanese. I had a little difficulty with the names at first, but soon settled.

Four Japanese Women, working in a factory, get drawn deeper into crime to cover up their increasingly desperate actions – just what would YOU do?

Few people come out of this story well, as the four women get pulled down deeper into a world they know little about, but the story is riviting, and the translation very good (I have an “issue” with translations in that I rarely get on well with them)

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