15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Passport to the darkest depths of the human psyche!,
This review is from: Out (Paperback)
More than a simple thriller, Out is a tour de force of the unthinkable and a startling insight into inhumanity. With beginnings in an unlikely setting, four women stuck in a mundane factory night shift, you have a feeling that this has a touch of familiarity with ones everyday life. That touch of familiarity is by far one of the most disturbing elements of this novel.
Out's horror lies in the possible scenario of one taking an unthinkable step to escape the mediocrity of everyday life. All characters portrayed are seemingly average people leading lives that have lost a meaningful direction. However, when crisis appears and the way out is a seemingly unthinkable task, would you take it?
The dismemberment is only the beginning because from there Out takes a truly unpredictable direction. The unpredictability is one of the novels key strengths, because the author gives you hints, not clues, as to where the novel is going. The only thing one is able to discern from the hints is that it is not heading anywhere good. It is likely you will find yourself appalled at the acts comitted, yet retaining a sympathy for the perpetrators and a desire to see them escape from whatever fate they have carved out for themselves.
Without revealing too much about the plot, Out presents an unflinching examination into how dehumanized one can become, and how one can develop a taste for baser predatory desires. The characterization is excellent, with a great ammount of background given to the central characters and a sense of connection established between them and their situations.
A huge ammount of credit must be given to Stephen Snyder, the translator. As a student of the Japanese language, I am aware of how different the sentence structure and expression of this novel would have been in its native language.
By far the most disturbing novel I have ever read, treat Out less as a novel and more as a ticket. A ticket to the darkest recesses of the human cycle, and a one way ticket from whence there is no return!