Look Inside. 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. 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. Natsuo Kirino, born in , quickly established a reputation in her country as one of a rare breed of mystery writers whose work goes well beyond the conventional crime novel.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino. Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino ,.
Rebecca Copeland Translator. Tokyo prostitutes Yuriko and Kazue have been brutally murdered, their deaths leaving a wake of unanswered questions about who they were, who their murderer is, and how their lives came to this end.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published March 13th by Knopf first published More Details Original Title. Izumi Kyoka Prize Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Grotesque , please sign up. I've reached page with the revelation that I didn't care about the back story of the characters so skipped to somewhere in the s and started reading the court case and discovered I seriously didn't care, so my question is should I bother continuing with it and most importantly, does it improve?
Cedric The answer to this question is always the same. Just stop reading and move on to something else. Why would you read something you "seriously don't car …more The answer to this question is always the same.
Why would you read something you "seriously don't care about"? There are tons of fascinating books out there. Go find one. Are there any situations with graphic accounts of sexual assault? I have to ask this, jus like going to a restaurant and asking if there is shellfish in the kitchen allergy. Falyn There are a few sex scenes, mostly they are awkward and uncomfortable. There are a few maybe two that I can recall scenes that are violent.
I have d …more There are a few sex scenes, mostly they are awkward and uncomfortable. I have definitely read more graphic scenes but they may still be upsetting depending on the reader. See all 6 questions about Grotesque…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Grotesque. Apr 05, James rated it it was amazing. This is the 5th. And for a while she reuses the opening idea when other characters are introduced.
An innovative technique. That is, she's walking down the street, see's a man she's attracted to, and begins to wonder what a baby would look like if she had one with him. His eyes? His mouth? His chin? Do women all around the world think like this? I think this book went over the heads of most readers; almost everything in the book is either a lie or a delusion.
For readers that "willingly suspend disbelief", this can be a challenge. Because the author gives multiple accounts of the major events in the book the reader can judge what the truth is. Multiple unreliable narrators. This book has the same major themes that her book OUT has: 1. The curious phenomena that people are unable to see their own actions and character as clearly as other people can. The author doesn't like the class system in Japan where people born into the lucky sperm club can get into the good schools and have connections to get the good jobs.
She doesn't like the status of women in Japan, and unlike the libbers in America who tried to make women look better than men, this author does the opposite: she posits that current Japanese culture makes "monsters" out of women, and that the solution is freedom and equality.
Without change they can only expect more monsters. Monsters that destroy themselves and others. I think this is one of the few great books of our generation and future generations will consider it one of the great classics. The first book I've read where I wondered why the author didn't get a nobel prize for literature. The main objection I have to the book is that the translation is poor.
So much american slang is used that I needed to remind myself it is a Japanese book about Japanese culture.
There is a note that the book was presented in Japan in a somewhat different form, but details about the differences are not given. It would be nice to read it in the original Japanese. View all 6 comments. However, as I do not have such a device, I read the occasional translated novel and I come up with a variation of the problem here. My greatest joy in life is trying to improve my scores. Yu Wei fought to bite back a sardonic laugh. How reprehensible!
How could Yurio have been left in the hands of such a monster? You can see the moustache-twirling and hear the gasps of horror from the audience. I kept expecting that one of the characters would be tied to a railroad track. The ugly ones. So it's a kind of feminist howl of anger, too. There is no fun to be had here — except to hoot at the various hilariously jaw-dropping zingers which these people say to each other - and here are a few favourites!!
Once she turned 18 she became such a stunning beauty she even outdid Farrah Fawcett. For a nymphomaniac like myself, I suppose there could be no job more suitable than prostitution.
She looked like some kind of swamp creature. So even a creature as ugly as this can fall in love? Oh and also, one character who narrates great wedges of this novel is obsessed with physiognomy, so every gosh-darn time she meets someone we get variants of this: His head was small, compact and nicely-shaped.
His face had delicate lines, and his nose was high and thin, reminding me of the blade of a finely honed knife. His lips were fleshy, the kind girls would surely find sexy and swoon over. I nearly ran him over the other day, by the way. He streaked across the road just in front of my car. Stupid idiot. Now, flattening your own cat, that would be Grotesque. This could be Hatter, the resemblance is eerie View all 23 comments. This book shows a different face to mystery, more than the circumstantial kind, it offers something deeper, darker.
It probes beyond merely what happens and dives into the inner being of those involved in the horrifying set of events that unfold. If I were to coin a name for this genre then I daresay this should be called existential mystery.
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'Grotesque' cuts too close to the bone
Grotesque is ostensibly a crime novel by Japanese writer Natsuo Kirino , most famous for her novel Out. It was published in English in , translated by Rebecca Copeland. Publisher Knopf censored the American translation, removing a section involving underage male prostitution, as it was considered too taboo for U. The book is written in the first person for all parts and follows a woman whose sister and old school friend have been murdered.
Memoirs of a Geisha’s Sister
Natsuo Kirino started out as a romance novelist before turning to crime fiction, which seems to suit her rather better. She has written 4 story collections and 16 novels, of which this is the second to be translated into English. The crime part is straightforward enough: two middle-aged prostitutes have been found strangled in apartments in central Tokyo. The detectives barely figure.
'It really is a complete fabrication'
With its abrupt title and provocative cover image, Natsuo Kirino's Grotesque promises all the conspicuous gruesomeness we have come to expect of contemporary Japanese narratives. Caught in its pages are a schoolgirl prostitute, two incestuous love affairs, one suicide and a pair of sexual murders: exactly the kind of extreme elements with which the author's better-known countrymen - the novelist Ryu Murakami and the filmmaker Takashi Miike among them - have already achieved enduring popularity abroad. Yet Kirino is no mere copycat. When Out, her first novel to be translated into English, was published here in having already won a literary prize at home it was acclaimed for its delicate balance of violence and satire.