This book really got under my skin. It is a dark, disturbing, often explicit tale of the need to be accepted in modern society and the pressures everyone faces in a class striken, layered society (here focusing on Japan).
It is divided into the journal entries of Yuriko (a beautiful woman whose meaning in life is to be appreciated for her beauty, hence her decent in prostitution)and Kazue (a hard working career who moonlights as a prostitute at night). The journal entries are collected together by Yuriko's older sister following the murders of both Yuriko and Kazue.
Each journal entry and intermediate narration by Yuriko's older sister deals with each of their experiences with remarkable individuality, each voice different from the others. This book shows remarkable characterisation by Kirino. The tale the characters tell is shocking and they revel in their own hatred, insecruity, jealousys, lies and hopes with disarming honesty - this makes their stories very affecting. You are repulsed by their actions and reasons but sympathetic at the same time. This makes Kirino's writing stunning; to sustain this balance among all her characters is amazing. Her writing often overflows with penetrating insight and disturbing images of individuals depraving themselves all to become accepted by society.
"Grotesque" is a very appropriate title for this book. It is a dark, disturbing, challenging novel dealing with unpleasant issues; prostitution, murder, hatred, jealousy and the seedy side of human life.If you are looking for a nice summer read avoid this. However if you are looking for a brilliantly written novel, full of a psychological insight and images that remain with you after you have finished then buy this book now. As I said at the start, "Grotesque" really got under my skin.
Thanks for reading my views