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Towers of Books Come Tumbling Down!

I love all kinds of books! For all my friends, I am known on GR as Alicja. I don't stick with a genre, that's boring. Instead you'll get reviews from the most random assortment of fiction and non-fiction works. It's probably due to my interests being as eclectic as my book tastes.


I'm a girlfriend-loving bisexual, science fiction geek, PC gamer, historical fiction devourer, hiker, atheist, history buff, opera lover, vegetarian, kayaker, metal and hard rock concert goer, science nerd, politics debater, world traveler, M/M romance fan, and I have the ability to transform from an adult-like hard-working professional into a screaming fangirl in five seconds flat.

Out by Natsuo Kirino

Out - Natsuo Kirino, Stephen Snyder

Rating: 4/5

Summary: A man abuses his wife, the mother of his children and a night factory worker. One day he takes it too far and she kills him. Her “friends” are called to help her get rid of the body and hide the crime. But a body never stays hidden forever, especially when they become careless about keeping the secret.

Review: I thought I knew dark, and then I read Out. I thought very little shocked me anymore but this book managed to do just that, over and over again; murder, dismemberment (in this case cutting up the body into little pieces), rape… and then more of the same. Kirino wound a tale of how four housewives became caught up in the criminal underground of Japan, presented without any glamour or embellishments that the popular culture in the U.S. seems to be so fond of. Her descriptions were vivid and creative (and seemed realistic but since I’ve never dismembered-just so that we’re clear- a body it is just a guess), I actually had to put the book down a few times because it made me feel nauseous.

However, within the gruesome details existed a plot that was hard to put down. Will the police investigation uncover the truth? Or is something even more terrible than prison lurking behind the shadows? It is a tale of female image and identity in Japan, it is a tale of sinking into the depths of darkness of one’s soul, and it is a tale of trying to find oneself. The English translation was pretty good although I bet it missed some things from the original Japanese (books tend to do that in translation).

I really loved the novel… until the ending. Oh, how I hated (and I don’t use that word often) the ending. I guess it makes sense in a Stockholm Syndrome kind of way but I still didn’t like it, and that is all I am going to say as not to spoil. However, others may like the ending; it was dark, like the rest of the novel, and unexpected.