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Publisher's Summary

Nothing in Japanese literature prepares us for the stark, tension-filled, plot-driven realism of Natsuo Kirino's award-winning literary mystery Out.
This mesmerizing novel tells the story of a brutal murder in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works the night shift making boxed lunches strangles her abusive husband and then seeks the help of her coworkers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime. The coolly intelligent Masako emerges as the plot's ringleader but quickly discovers that this killing is merely the beginning, as it leads to a terrifying foray into the violent underbelly of Japanese society.
At once a masterpiece of literary suspense and pitch-black comedy of gender warfare, Out is also a moving evocation of the pressures and prejudices that drive women to extreme deeds and the friendships that bolster them in the aftermath.
©1997 Natsuo Kirino; English translation 2003 by Kodansha International Ltd. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Danni on 01-27-17

Save the Gone Girl comparisons

I get that Gone Girl is sort of the "it" mystery thriller book right now but I don't think that this one could compare to it. There are some similar themes but personally I think this is a different kind of story being told.

Out is a dark and humorous tale about 4 women who end up in a very sticky situation. I loved how different the characters were and how they interacted with one and other. The author portrayed very real relationships between co workers; the superficial, the sincere and the frenemies. I also liked how messy they were as criminals. More often than not, everything seems to just fall into place, but not for this messy bunch. I really paid attention to Kuniko's character. Her reckless behavior and selfish attitude constantly changed the direction of the story. While Kuniko was the most useless member of the team, she was indirectly responsible for a lot of what happened. Her relationship with Masako reminded me of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman from breaking bad. I felt sorry for everyone involved because it seems like they could only suffer and suffer some more; no matter how much money was involved. Kirino did a good job of showing the underbelly of a characters personality. They are all terrible and selfish people yet somehow I was on their side.

This gets 4 starts instead of 5 because I hated the last chapter. I felt like the particular character involved in the last chapter made a complete 180. While I understood what the author was trying to do, it felt like she developed some sort of Stockholm syndrome.

Also I really like Emily Woo Zeller. I noticed other reviewers said she was over acting but I like that about her performances because she commits to telling the story. She bought life to the characters.

Trigger warning for rape, domestic violence, murder and dismemberment.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Christopher on 06-24-16


I saw on the website that this book was for fans of "Gone Girl", so I used a credit. Here's some thoughts for those of you wanting to know if this was worth the listen.

1. This was the first Japanese book I've ever listened to. I think actually reading the names of the characters would be a little bit easier to keep track of them. I'm not very familiar with Japanese names and had a hard time at the beginning deciphering one name from another.
2. The narration was just okay. Not great, not that bad.... just okay. Some characters were better developed and easier to listen to than others. I've never listened this narrator before and thought she was a bit heavy handed in her portrayal of the older women giving them an unpleasant whining tone to them.
3. As described in the notes for this book it has some very very "pitch-black" humor. It is also somewhat graphic for those of you with a timid stomach. I personally like this but it's definitely not for everyone.
4. I'm not sure where I get what the "Gone Girl" comparison was all about other than each of these books are classified as Suspense/Mystery/Thriller. That's about as close as it comes other than it has a female protagonist.

Overall, it wasn't bad. I don't think I'll remember this book for very long though and definitely will not be listening to this again. If you are looking for a suspense novel, I've listened to worse. I enjoyed the change of scenery for me with it taking place in Japan.

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39 of 42 people found this review helpful

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