Great book! Gritty, dark, urbane. Four co-workers are bound together by murder and money. Twists abound in this crime novel. Some social commentary regarding the lives of middle-class women in modern day Japan. Warning: very descriptive, and not only for the initial murder and clean up.
This is one of those books that keeps you so engaged that it is possible to lose track of time while reading it, definately a page turner and one of my best reads of the year. Four women who work the graveyard shift at the lunch box factory try to protect one of their group after the death of her husband, leading them on an adventure outside their realm. Grief and greed play a hand in the out come of this unlikely story. Well worth it's weight.
Out presents a distinct twist on the usual crime novel. First of all, its descriptions of urban blight in the neighborhoods of Tokyo and the bleak lives led by the women who live there are haunting and portrayed in a way that allowed me to identify with the characters even though I have never visited Japan and don't know much about its culture. I came to genuinely care about the characters, even though they are not particularly lovable and, in fact, do some clearly evil things.
One of the creepiest, most gruesome books I've read all year, and also one of the best.
This was a good book about 4 Japanese coworkers that were bound together because of a crime that was committed by one of the women within the group. The author managed to give the readers a sense of the type of life one can live in Japan. She touched on some of the despair, and poverty, and also the trials and tribulations women can go through. I enjoyed this book, it had enough tangled webs that I kept turning the page, waiting patiently for them to be unwoven. I was not happy with the ending, but it still wouldn't stop me from recommending it.
This was an excellent book. A dark, gruesome, eerie read. Loved it.
If you like to read while you eat, don't. Not that this book is gory and gross, but the few descriptive scenes are interspersed within the tale and unexpectedly pop up. A real "horror" story, the depths that humans will go to in order to maintain a facade. I highly recommend this story.
This is a dynamite, flat out awesome read. A lot of the films and literature coming out of Japan lately is amazing. This book is no exception. It is truly brilliant and stays with you.
A fascinating story of four women working the night shift filling bento boxes (box lunches) in Japan. One strangles her husband, panics, and calls for help from one of her co-workers. And therein lies a tale. A story of women helping women, consequences of becoming involved in other people's troubles, and opportunities that arise from such help. A great read. Need not know anything about Japan as it is a universal story (as all good stories are). Highly recommend.
This was a stark, creepy novel populated by characters living unfulfilled lives. If it were a movie, it would be in black and white. It plumbs the depths of despair and tells us just how far people might go to alleviate despair. It was chilling, to say the least--and i thought it was great!
I have nothing but praise for Natsuo Kirino's first novel translated into English. Out delivered just about everything I want in a novel -- an engaging plot about how 4 female assembly line workers at a boxed lunch factory help one of them cover up a crime of passion, psychological insight in a bunch of fleshed-out characters (male and female), all wrapped around social commentary about the state of gender relations and modern life in Japan. I can see how you might not like this book if you are squeamish about corpses or put off by people filled with disdain and frustration, or simply looking for a murder mystery. But if you are okay with gore--physical and psychological--you'll enjoy this book which makes you think and react.
Engrossing, character-rich thriller. Recommend for regular thriller readers and also those who tend to read more literary fiction. Suspenseful story as well as a complex examination of women in Japanese society.
I really enjoyed how these women came together in lieu of this heinous crime. Additionally, the lead character was compelling as the person who tried to keep it together. There were some characters that were unnecessary to see the perspective from but that did not detract from the story. Some of the characters were utterly despicable but I must applaud the author for the masterful craft in making me, the reader, hate some of these characters so much. Solid read.
I liked this book a lot but it was very dark so I'm not sure I can give it 4 stars. It's a story of an abused wife who murders her husband and gets help from her coworkers to dispose of the body. The story goes on from there and leads into subjects of gambling and borrowing money from loansharks. It is a very good read and kind of surprising in that the author is Japanese and this book is a far cry from what one normally thinks of Japanese culture - there is a lot more to it than on the surface!
This was a real page turner! I adore novels that allow for a glimpse into the gritty side of Japanese culture.
Desperate times call for Desperate measures...When in a bind what would you do, who can you rely on? You think you may know someone, but how well do you know them? All of the seven deadly sins are examined here. Great read!
One of the best novels I've read in the last year. Expertly crafted characters created truly believable nuance in the friendships and tension between female leads in this dark blue collar Japanese thriller. I am eagerly awaiting my next Kirino read.
First time Japanese author. One of the most riveting, shocking stories I've read in awhile. I would not advise eating while reading this book. Tells the story of 4 factory workers who get involved in a gruesome circumstance from the viewpoint of the strongest of the four.
I'd very much recommend this book to fans of Koushun Takami's Battle Royale. Although the stories are very different, there's a similarity of style, and a similar theme of the exploration of the possibility of underlying violence in the psyche of the average citizen of Japan.
In 'Out' we are introduced to a group of Japanese women who are part-time night workers at a factory. They're all poor and each is dealing with a collection of personal and family problems. But when one, in an unprecedented revolt, strikes back against her abusive husband and strangles him to death, they are all brought into a plot to cover up the crime. For a while, it seems like they have been successful - the murder is pinned on a local casino owner and pimp. But when the casino owner is released for lack of evidence, his career ruined by the media revelation that he was formerly a gang member who brutally raped and murdered a woman - he is out for revenge. The women are in more trouble than when they were in fear of the law.
Excellent characterization and character interaction, and a tensely drawn plot. Good crime novel.
Natsuo Kirino takes the reader into the world of the lower class Japanese woman. The three protagonists are all factory workers. They care for families and each other is a strange and at times gut wrentching story. This is not the easiest book to read, but the Kirino makes you care about her characters. You will never get such a tour of this part of Japan again.
The New York Times loved it. I didn't, but maybe you will!
A dark and complicated story about female friendship and desperation.
For some reason, I could not get into this book at all and never finished it. The plot is strong and it's very well written, but it didn't stick.
DNF....a little too graphic for my taste.
* * Â½* The book seems disjointed. It starts out as a psychological thriller dealing with the effects of a murder/disposal. Then the thriller becomes the backstory and a revenge plot takes frontstage. Riveting at times, slow and redundant at others.