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Grotesque

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2007

    Grotesque

    Two prostitutes are murdered. So far so standard for crime fiction. But fans of Japan's queen of crime, Natsuo Kirino, know better. It turns out that the two women were friends at an elite prep school for girls. What follows is not so much a crime thriller as a psychological dissection of women trapped in chauvinistic, almost feudal, society. The stort is narrated, Rashomon-like, from four different points of view. This device feels a bit clunky at first, but the strength of Kirino's characterisations soon draws you in. She is a smart writer who understands the fragility of such first-person narratives, and she uses the unreliable narrators cannily to suggest that even the distortions in their stories indicate some truths about the greater whole. Among them, these four characters paint a bleak picture of Japan's underbelly. The easy consumerism that drives the booming Japanese economy finds a darker expression in the desperation of a schoolgirl who embroiders her socks with a Ralph Lauren logo in a futile effort to fit in with richer classmates. i Grotesque /i feels not so much like your average thriller as a grim Dostoevsky-esque dive into the demons that haunt Japanese women. Not for the faint-hearted but a thoroughly satisfying read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2007

    Nothing like a good book!

    When I saw this book was on the New York Literary Society's Recommended Reading List, I decided to check it out. When the book arrived, I went through it in a couple of days. I'm happy to see there are still good writers out there. There's nothing like a good book.

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    Posted December 25, 2011

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    Posted December 23, 2010

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    Posted July 18, 2011

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