Monday, 19 November 2012

Out by Natsuo Kirino

Out by Natsuo Kirino
Published 2005, Vintage
416 Pages

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. -

My Review:
Rating: 5/5!

This was a really great read.

The story is about a small group of housewives that work the night shift at a factory. They all have their share of problems at home, and one of them takes it too far by murdering her husband. Together, they try to figure out what to do from there to avoid being caught. So it is a murder mystery but from the perspective of the murderer.

But that's not the whole story. What happens afterwards is more interesting. More people become involved, things change, and the intensity increases. I was impressed by how much story was packed into the book. Initially, I expected the ending to be either "they get caught" or "they escape somehow." There are so many layers that after the halfway point of the book, it feels like another mystery is added. What is going on? That was a constant thought while I was reading this book, trying to fit all the pieces together.

It took me a bit to get through, but that was not because the book was bad. I loved this book and took my time with it. I definitely recommend it if you are interested in murders, Japanese society, and the psychology of those who commit crimes

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