Book Reviews of Grotesque

Grotesque
Grotesque
Author: Natsuo Kirino
ISBN-13: 9781843432708
ISBN-10: 1843432706
Publication Date: 2/1/2007
Pages: 480
Rating:
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1

5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: The Harvill Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

5 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Grotesque on
Helpful Score: 7
I'll be frank: I cannot remember the last time I had such a visceral reaction to a book. I found this book to be so profound and so unflinchingly honest that even after I had finished it and closed it, I was unable to actually put the book down. I'll admit that it takes a strong stomach to swallow the graphic sex and unmitigated perversity, however, these elements are not gratuitous. Rather, they are vital to the tenebrous web that Kirino weaves. In the beginning I only wanted to read this book because as a Japanese translator I consider it part of my job to be educated concerning modern Japanese literature. (As a side note I'll say this: the translation work done by Copeland is stunning.) However, studying quickly fell by the wayside as I was drawn in by this haunting mystery. If you only read 1 book this year, it should be this one.
reviewed Grotesque on + 272 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I love Natsuo Kirino. This is an intriguing book. I am not sure what to say about it, because it is so deep and I am still digesting it. It is about relationships, women's power over men (and vice versa), prostitution, women in Japanese society. I liked it very much, but I need to marinate on this one awhile!
reviewed Grotesque on + 289 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Grotesque is a riveting, razor-sharp indictment of societal and gender roles in modern Japan delivered through three vivid first-hand accounts. Two aging streetwalkers are brutally murdered; they were both students at the prestigious Q High School for Young Women in Tokyo. Stitched together by their diaries, depositions and the "overall" narrator--the plain, unnamed older sister of the once monstrously beautiful prostitute Yuriko--Natsuo Kirino sheds light on a universe of painful solitude, darkness, and how societal preoccupation with beauty and youth warp susceptible young women into grotesque beings. Yuriko was a lascivious Lolita-esque beauty preyed upon in youth only to become an undesirable whore later in life. Her older sister, always living resentfully in her shadow, never emerges from her inferiority complex. Katzue Sato, another Q student always awkwardly trying to fit in, splits into a career woman by day and prostitute by night. Billed as a work by an author of "feminist Japanese noir," this quick-paced novel will frustrate those who believe in the power of positive thinking. All the characters resent everything about the world. However, Grotesque, like Kirino's other works (Out and Real World), represents a masterfully spun cautionary tale of how characters find themselves in untenable situations when they let societal norms crush their psyche.
reviewed Grotesque on
Helpful Score: 2
I'll be frank: I cannot remember the last time I had such a visceral reaction to a book. I found this book to be so profound and so unflinchingly honest that even after I had finished it and closed it, I was unable to actually put the book down. I'll admit that it takes a strong stomach to swallow the graphic sex and unmitigated perversity, however, these elements are not gratuitous. Rather, they are vital to the tenebrous web that Kirino weaves. In the beginning I only wanted to read this book because as a Japanese translator I consider it part of my job to be educated concerning modern Japanese literature. (As a side note I'll say this: the translation work done by Copeland is stunning.) However, studying quickly fell by the wayside as I was drawn in by this haunting mystery. If you only read 1 book this year, it should be this one.
reviewed Grotesque on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This novel is about the dark side of Japanese society, an intriguing look at their young women as they psychologically thrash each other in outrageous perversion.