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Out Hardcover – 1 May 2003
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"A potent cocktail of urban blight, perverse feminism and vigilante justice." -The New York Times Book Review"Kirino's tale is so dark, so gruesome and so depressing, it left this reader reeling. No gritty urban American tale of violence can match the horror of OUT." -USA Today"The scarily omniscient Kirino knows not only everybody's business but everybody's mind-her way with interior monologue is pungent and prismatic..." -The Village Voice"OUT remains a daring account of empowered Japanese women, and just too damn macabre to discount." -Flaunt"OUT offers an intriguing look at the darker sides of Japanese society while smashing stereotypes about Japanese women." -Washington Post Book World"Daring and disturbing, OUT is prepared to push the limits of this world-not only in violence and sex but also in human outlook." -The Los Angeles Times"OUT probes the more sordid corners of the criminal psyche." -The Houston Chronicle"A knuckle-clenching thriller." -Entertainment Weekly"OUT turns the whole subservient geisha image on its head." -JANE"Kirino, as is the case of the best mystery writers, combines a strong plot with a canny description of contemporary Japanese mores and culture to make this an unforgettable work... this is a novel that will be shared, and discussed, for some time to come." -Bookrerorter.com"Sensational." -Time Out New York"In Snyder's smoothly unobtrusive translation, all of Kirino's characters are touching and believable.... the gritty realism of everyday existence in the underbelly of Japan's consumer society comes across with pungent force." -Publishers Weekly"With volcanic urgency, Kirino's story erupts onto the page with a searing heat, flowing like lava to a remarkable finish... It's rare when a novel is so well rendered, so reaching in scope, and so thematically relevant that is transcends its type and demands a wider reading. OUT does that and more." -Barnes & Noble's Discover New Writers, Fall 2003"One of the year's most impactful works of mystery." -Borders.com"OUT descends beneath the genre's foundation to provide a remarkable series of insights into the forces that drive the charnel house of a postindustrial culture." -American Book Review..".a captivating portrayal of what an individual will do to find a reason for living...." -ForeWord"OUT is interesting for the way it invites questions of gender's relationship to violence." -Bitch"[OUT] brings the mystery thriller to new levels of intensity and realism, drawing readers into a nightmare of murder, suspicion, and fear.... [It] has great plot twists, intensity, and an ending that would make Hannibal Lecter smile." -Library Journal (Starred Review)"Dark, seductive and occasionally brutal, OUT explores the lower classes of Japanese society with a distinctive gallows humor." -Book.."..the most exciting crime novel of the year...the novel is darker, grittier, and more disquieting than nearly anything that's come along in recent years on either side of the Pacific Rim." -Orange"A gutsy, unflinching foray into the darkest, most dangerous recesses of the human soul. And the book's riveting, hair-raising final scenes, although definitely not for the faint-at-heart, serve as an unsettling reminder that the desperate desire for freedom has the potential to set any ordinary individual among us off down a very dark and lonely road." -Minneapolis Star-Tribune"An entrancing, perverse tale of murder." -The National Post (Toronto)"Dramatic as the plot is, it's the penetration of Kirino's insight into her characters and their capacity to keep surprising each other that linger longest in this grimly satisfying tale. Crime and Punishment meets A Simple Plan-yet in the end Kirino manages her banal heroines' descent into hell like no one you've ever read before." -Kirkus Reviews"Kirino doesn't rush the complex plot; she takes time to develop her characters and set up the crisis, with fantasies and realities about to collide." -Toronto Globe & Mail"One of the most popular authors in Japan-known as 'the reigning queen of crime fiction.'" -International Herald Tribune"Finally, a masterpiece in this genre... Whereas the lead characters in most crime fiction are outlaws, here is a novel that realistically shows how ordinary people can be drawn into committing brutal crimes." -Prize jury, Mystery Writers of Japan"OUT will remain in the memory of readers as The pick of the crop of Japanese mysteries. There is terrific energy in it, from start to finish." Mainichi Shimbun"There are few authors who are willing to probe deep into the innards of modern society and write about what they find there. This novel is proof that Ms. Kirino is one of them." Hokkaido Shimbun"Intricately constructed, like the assembly of a mosaic, stone by stone. Even the minor charactersa loan shark, a Brazilian Japaneseare vivid and memorable." Asahi Shimbun"Stark realism, lit up by flashes of unexpected humor and psychological insight." Nihon Keizai Shimbun"Ingenious." Shukan Asahi
A masterpiece from the queen of Japanese crime - an unflinching, fast-moving foray into the darkest recesses of society and the human soul. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
“Out” isn't crime in the sense of a murder mystery, we know who did what from early on, it's more about the life changing consequences of certain actions and a social commentary about working class women's experiences in Japan. With strong elements of horror it's an intense and highly satisfying read.
In the ensuing downward spiral of all the women they are joined by the man the police suspect for the murder, a wealthy but disturbed casino mogul, and a loan-shark with yakuza connections who discovers their secret. The novel's themes of murder, extortion, blackmail, rape and dismemberment create an absolute mess for the characters to find their way out of, and in the process they learn far more about themselves than they are comfortable with, especially their capacity for doing the undesirable.
Although there is no real suspense or a twisting plot, this dark mystery makes for compelling reading. Its main difference from and appeal over other crime novels is that it's told primarily from the point of view of the culprits rather than the victims or detectives. The characters, with all their personal demons and failings, are described without judgement or attachment in a cold, factual tone which adds nothing to warm the novel, but is surprisingly effective. Their actions inspire a mixture of sympathy and contempt, all the while making you wonder exactly how you would react in their situation. The worrying thing is that given the parameters, the actions, which in some cases are truly abominable, seem to make sense. The only person with whom it was impossible to identify was the casino owner whose darkest past feeds the brutal ending to the story. Several times in the novel he is referred to as a monster, and without a doubt, Kirino has created one.
Out provides a detailed look into the dark and dreary lives of otherwise ordinary people living in Tokyo, and is written with intelligence and an observant eye, but is ultimately a punch in the gut disguised as a lesson in human motivation and despair.
Set in the suberbs of Tokyo there are four women who work the night shifts at a boxed-lunch factory. All four have different reasons for needing to be there - money, only job available, to be alone; although the one thing they have in common is a need to escape (primarily from their own lives). This is the first meaning of the title 'Out'.
One of the women kills her husband, for a variety of reasons and amazingly Masako offers to help her. There is no reason for her to help, but she does. They actually dismember and dispose of him. Meanwhile we are introduced to a nightclub owner (Satake) who the police believe has committed the murder.
The story centres eventually around these two characters, who for me are the two appearing on the dust jacket. We follow their lives - every part of it, from their dreams, fears to their daily routines and more especially their enemies.
If you felt disturbed by reading 'American Psycho' then this may carry the same or worse feelings. It's cold from the outset. Initially this took me by surprise but then I realised it could be to reflect the genre or be traditional of this writing style. The characters are so convincingly described and the narrative is so powerful. It really is a chilling read. It is violent, disturbing and will seep into you when you least expect it.