Out (Vintage East)
3 journalers for this copy...
In the Tokyo suburbs, four women work the draining graveyard shift at a boxed-lunch factory. Burdened with chores and heavy debts and isolated from husbands and children, they all secretly dream of a way out of their dead-end lives.
A young mother among them finally cracks and strangles her philandering, gambling husband, and her other three friends helped in disembling and disposing of the body.
The body parts are discovered, but the women have far more dangerous enemies - someone who discovers their secret... a gruesome thriller.
A gruesome and chill-to-the-bone thriller about what women can do out of desperation. I didn't expect the author to be a woman and one who had received the Grand Prix for Crime Fiction, Japan's top mystery award. This book is a scary read, esp the detailed description of the dismembering and its aftermath. (Just look at the cover pic showing a bathroom drainage washing away the blood...) It's like reading another Michael Palmer's or even Patricia Cornwell's. The author delves into the psychology of a violent crime by a group of determined, desperate but inexperienced housewives. Book also touches on the Japanese Yakuza.
This is a page-turner and a keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-chair book.
OUT was the author's first book to be translated into English & other languages. OUT was also nominated for the 2004 MWA Edgar Allan Poe Award in the Best Novel Category, which made Kirino the first Japanese writer to be nominated for this major literary award.
Stephen Snyder, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder is the translator. He is known for his excellent translations of contemporary Japanese fiction.
Now I'm adding Natsuo Kirino onto my fave authors list.
Book Ray Participants:
1. Romy86 - Australia
2. J4shaw - Australia
Update 23 Nov 2013 Book Ray ends here
Also, thank you for the note. I do love the strawberry shortcake notepaper - loved those when I was little!
I really enjoyed the descriptions of the four women. The mundane details of their job at the factory and messy personal lives made them feel very real and relatable and I loved the Japanese settings with the sleazy clubs and the hostess, thugs etc.
I really didn't like Kuniko a whole lot (I think that was the whole idea), what a piece of work. Yoshie, I found sympathetic. Yayoi was a little less accessible, but I liked her too. I think it's to the authors credit that they do remain sympathetic, even though they behave horrifically. You get a good sense of the desperation, particularly in Yoshie's case, that drive them to it.
Thanks again for including me, I really did enjoy this book.
Will send this onto j4shaw soon.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Arrived in my mailbox safe and sound.
Look forward to reading this, but it may take me a while as I have just selected my July reads.
Plan to take this over to the UK with me in September and pop in in the mail there to Blue_berry, rather than sending it Australian surface mail which I dont particularly trust.
*Edited Oct 2013 to add
I didn't end up reading this before travelling to the UK, and I forgot to pack it, so it has not yet been sent on to the next reader. I will be sure to update once again when it has been read and mailed on.