Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino


byNatsuo Kirino

Kobo ebook | March 13, 2007

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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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Title:GrotesqueFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 13, 2007Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307267296

ISBN - 13:9780307267290

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Poignant read~ My best friend recommended this book to me back in high school and I read it without expecting just how much thinking it was going to ask of me. Grotesque explored many societal ordeals that Japan is probably still experiencing right now. It opened my eyes to a lot of questions I never thought I would ask myself about, well, myself and of society. Although I am not very gifted with writing reviews, I personally would recommend this book to anyone who's curious about situations where people make decisions that are not always rational or humane but in the end enables them to see themselves in a different light or enables them to look beyond everything that life has thrown at them. I've gotta admit that my memory is a bit hazy about the order of the storyline but the emotions that I've felt while reading this book are still quite vivid. It's because I felt my emotions undergo a roller-coaster ride that insist that you read this novel and even Kirino-sensei's other works.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous The second book of Kirino's that I read, and the one that officially turned me into a fan! Every woman can see shades of herself tossed around in the sea of the story as it unfolds. Prostitution, the work both women share as a way to escape their mundane lives above ground, is aptly referred to as “the water business”, presenting a metaphor that is so close to life itself that it stirs the guilt of envy within all of us. It is a reason to delve into this shady game that we can all understand for what it is: every person is in need of water to live, just as a prostitute is in need of sex to feel alive, and a woman struggling for freedom is in need of her power over a man to feel fulfilled. Japan's traditions are being modernized, and yet clung so tightly to that there is no room for give. The head that rises above gets hammered back down. Grotesque’s aim is to mock those traditionalists who continually deny the changes in the society, to present a challenge to them, to say people like these women exist below the surface where you can’t scratch at. Yet at the same time, it is a lesson. The higher you fly, the harder you fall.
Date published: 2008-07-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Thought-provoking & real..... If you have ever read 'Memoirs of Geisha' or read anything by Haruki Murakami, you will definitely enjoy reading this book! As well, This book has so many metaphors, ideas and themes scattered throughout, it's so hard to keep track of since all of them stuck a cord with me. So if you are looking for a book that is thought-provoking and real, this is for you! BUT I would like to point out that this is NOT a very happy book, where everything is neatly tied up at the end. After reading it I felt so depressed and drained. Maybe it was because of the ending (which was shocking!) or maybe it's because what the author wrote reflects how our world is really like. The books does not show both men and women in a good light. It shows both sexes in the worse situation you can imagine, in my opinion, and reveals the weaknesses in our morality and society. I don't know what it is about Japanese authors that makes their stories sp riveting. Maybe it's the style of their writing or maybe the help of their English translators? Who knows and who cares, because all the Japanese writers and stories that I have come across have written with such skill and brilliance! For example, the use of letters and journals, as well as the dialogue, were reminiscent of the movie Rashomon (and the short story 'In the Field'), where after hearing each of the individuals point of view, you don't know who's telling the truth anymore or if there is any single truth at all. Another example is how the main character of this novel is totally unnamed throughout this novel. The author uses various ways to conceal her name, usually stating her as 'Yukiro's older sister', 'daughter', 'granddaughter'...etc. I am very amazed at the skill of the accuracy to detail and patience that was involved in crafting the anonymity of the character. The lack of name also adds to the genre of the novel and gives the readers a feel that while this story is about a set of individuals, there are (unfortunately) many other anonymous' out there who have the same story to tell. This book is considered to be a 'mystery type' novel, which I, at first, did not understand since they already know who the murderer is near the beginning of the novel. But then as you continue to read on, you begin to realize that it's not your typical mystery book where someone is looking for a serial killer that is leaving clues/bodies behind..etc...., but a book about the mystery of humans beings. What I mean about this is that it describes the inner workings of the characters in the book (with diary entries and court proceedings), revealing the good and the bad of each individual, but mostly shows the effects of the dark and ugly side of our society . This is probably where the author gets the name of this novel from. : )
Date published: 2008-07-18