Friday, September 28, 2018

Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino

by Natsuo Kirino
translated by Rebecca Copeland

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2008
Publisher: Vintage
Genre: Mystery, Horror, Japan
Paperback: 544
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Whenever I meet a man, I catch myself wondering what our child would look like if we were to make a baby.

Life at the prestigious Q High School for Girls in Tokyo exists on a precise social axis: a world of insiders and outsiders, of haves and have-nots. Beautiful Yuriko and her unpopular, unnamed sister exist in different spheres; the hopelessly awkward Kazue Sato floats around among them, trying to fit in.Years later, Yuriko and Kazue are dead — both have become prostitutes and both have been brutally murdered.

Natsuo Kirino, celebrated author of Out, seamlessly weaves together the stories of these women’s struggles within the conventions and restrictions of Japanese society. At once a psychological investigation of the pressures facing Japanese women and a classic work of noir fiction, Grotesque is a brilliantly twisted novel of ambition, desire, beauty, cruelty, and identity by one of our most electrifying writers.

My two-bits:

Unreliable narrators and unlikable characters serve to tell the state of affairs for the "ugly" realities in Japan especially in regards to women. The whole of it just drew me in.


* part of World Reads challenge - Japan pt 2 (here)

* part of R.I.P. 13 (here)


  1. Ooooo! I'll have to try and find this.

  2. Oh wow! That one would be a stunner on the senses. My heart is already sad for these two women and others like them.
    I saw the magic word 'noir' in there. :)


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