Out: A Novel

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Nothing in the sometimes hazy history of Japanese literature prepares us for the stark, tension-filled, plot-driven realism of Natsuo Kirino's award-winning mystery OUT.

Out: A Novel

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  • Out: A Novel


A work that took the Japanese literary scene by storm and continues to haunt the popular consciousness as a recently released major motion picture. Kirino's novel tells a story of random violence in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works a night shift making boxed lunches brutally strangles her deadbeat husband and then seeks the help of her co-workers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime. The ringleader of this cover-up, Masako Katori, emerges as the emotional heart of OUT and as one of the shrewdest, most clear-eyed creations in recent fiction. Masako's own search for a way Out of the straitjacket of a dead-end life leads her, too, to take drastic action. The complex yet riveting narrative seamlessly combines a convincing glimpse into the grimy world of Japan's yakuza with a brilliant portrayal of the psychology of a violent crime and the ensuing game of cat-and-mouse between seasoned detectives and a group of determined but inexperienced criminals. Kirino has mastered a Thelma and Louise kind of graveyard humor that illuminates her stunning evocation of the pressures and prejudices that drive women to extreme deeds and the friendship that bolsters them in the aftermath. Staff Review: I cannot describe how much I loved this book. It is the best thriller that I have ever read. The story begins when a young mother strangles her husband. She looks to friends that she works with to help her cover it up. This causes a chain of events that takes the women into the dark underbelly of Japan. While the story beings with the women there are so many other vivid characters, and despite the fact that they all do awful things I could identify with them as well. It all begins to tie together around the middle and then the book becomes impossible to put down. -Lauren Eichelberger, Atomic Books Blog

Additional Information

Author Natsuo Kirino
Publisher Vintage Books
Page Count 400pp
Publication Size 5.25 x 8
Publication Notes softcover
Publication Date 2005
ISBN 978-1400078370

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