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Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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1 Burnside Mystery- A to Z

Real World

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Real World Cover

ISBN13: 9780307267573
ISBN10: 0307267571
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A stunning new work of the feminist noir that Natsuo Kirino defined and made her own in her novels Out and Grotesque.

In a crowded residential suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer and endless cram school sessions meant to ensure entry into good colleges. There's Toshi, the dependable one; Terauchi, the great student; Yuzan, the sad one, grieving over the death of her mother — and trying to hide her sexual orientation from her friends; and Kirarin, the sweet one, whose late nights and reckless behavior remain a secret from those around her. When Toshi's next-door neighbor is found brutally murdered, the girls suspect the killer is the neighbor's son, a high school boy they nickname Worm. But when he flees, taking Toshi's bike and cell phone with him, the four girls get caught up in a tempest of dangers — dangers they never could have even imagined — that rises from within them as well as from the world around them.

Psychologically intricate and astute, dark and unflinching, Real World is a searing, eye-opening portrait of teenage life in Japan unlike any we have seen before.

Review:

"Between the groans of a smog alert siren at the outset of this gripping noir from Kirino (Out), Tokyo high school student Toshi Yamanaka hears what sounds like glass shattering next door. Might a burglar be at work? Later, after learning that a female neighbor has been bludgeoned to death, Toshi suspects that she was an earwitness to the woman's murder and that the killer was the victim's son, a mysterious boy Toshi's age, nicknamed Worm by Toshi and her friends. When Worm vanishes, Toshi, who also suspects he stole her cellphone, finds herself hoping that he'll reach out to her, for reasons she doesn't fully understand. Winner of the Mystery Writers of Japan Award, Kirino uses her considerable narrative gifts to evoke the tedium, pressure and angst her teenage characters suffer. Some readers, though, may find the proceedings just too grim for their taste. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] disquieting and suspenseful novel." The New Yorker

Review:

"Kirino unflinchingly describes the contemporary social conditions of teenagers from their point of view....Highly recommended." Library Journal

About the Author

Natsuo Kirino, born in 1951, is the author of eighteen novels, four short-story collections, and an essay collection. She is the recipient of six of Japan's premier literary awards, including the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Out and the Izumi Kyoka Prize for Literature for Grotesque. Her work has been translated into nineteen languages, and several of her books have been turned into movies. Out was the first of her novels to appear in English and was nominated for an Edgar Award. She lives in Tokyo.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

julieb43, May 8, 2009 (view all comments by julieb43)
This was quite different from what I remember reading as an adolescent. I initially didn't think I would finish the novel as the four teenage protagonists, as well as the murderous next-door-neighbour, were so nonchalant about being involved in a murder. They react as if it were a game--this was highly disturbing.

And yet, the novel is very well-written and involving from a psychological viewpoint. It's interesting to discover what each girl is thinking and feeling. And the chapters narrated by the murderer are chilling.

Kirino presents a world-view comprised of alienation and identity crises brought on by increased pressure to succeed. These teenagers live in Japan but they could be from anywhere.
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Gary Wood, August 23, 2008 (view all comments by Gary Wood)
You will have already read deep into Natsuo Kirino’s potent new novel REAL WORLD when you meet Terauchi. As one of four young women on the eve of their adult lives, as grown-ups, with responsibilities and burdens, Terauchi is the more intellectual and philosophical of the four, but no more mature, or prepared for the awesome changes that will engulf their final Summer together.

REAL WORLD is written in a 1st person narrative, with each of the main characters having their own chapter (or two) in which to tell their story.

In Terauchi’s chapter, Chapter 6, she expounds upon her constant desire to tell people this, "There really are things that are irreparable". She explains in a somewhat muddled, but no less compelling manner as to what this means, and why she sometimes finds herself so consumed by the thought, and unable to hold it in any longer, she just blurts it out for no good reason.

"Something that's really irreparable is more like this: a horribly frightening feeling that keeps building up inside until your heart is devoured. People who carry around the burden of something that can't be undone will one day be destroyed."

"There really are things that are irreparable", at first reading will strike many as an interesting diversion away from the more compelling aspects of the story, namely matricide. But, ultimately Terauchi’s philosophizing will come to be a very poignant mantra, and coda.

Terauchi states that she could never just blurt out such a thing to Yuzan or Kirarin. In a brilliant passage, Terauchi describes the vacant nature of her two less than intellectually curious friends:

"It’d be like a lighthouse, where the spotlight rotates and, for an instant, illuminates something. But, once the light moves on, everything melts back into the dark."


REAL WORLD is a hypnotic thriller that carries you dreamily along, carelessly dropping in and out of the minds of these five sympathetic and challenging characters. There’s an inescapable fatalism to the structure of the novel, as we are forced to sit with each character within the chapter, and as you near the end of the book, a gnawing anxiousness seeps in, as you begin to worry about whether this story will have a satisfying climax, and how will Ms. Natsuo do it. Will there be closure? Who will have the last word?

There is closure, and there is a very satisfying climax
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
merceline, July 20, 2008 (view all comments by merceline)
Another excellent book! Some people said it was depressing, but I think they're missing the point. I highly recommend this as well as Out and Grotesque.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307267573
Author:
Kirino, Natsuo
Publisher:
Knopf
Translator:
Gabriel, Philip
Author:
Gabriel, Philip
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Teenagers - Japan
Subject:
Friendship -- Japan.
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Copyright:
Edition Description:
American
Publication Date:
20080715
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.60x5.96x.93 in. .82 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

Real World Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307267573 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Between the groans of a smog alert siren at the outset of this gripping noir from Kirino (Out), Tokyo high school student Toshi Yamanaka hears what sounds like glass shattering next door. Might a burglar be at work? Later, after learning that a female neighbor has been bludgeoned to death, Toshi suspects that she was an earwitness to the woman's murder and that the killer was the victim's son, a mysterious boy Toshi's age, nicknamed Worm by Toshi and her friends. When Worm vanishes, Toshi, who also suspects he stole her cellphone, finds herself hoping that he'll reach out to her, for reasons she doesn't fully understand. Winner of the Mystery Writers of Japan Award, Kirino uses her considerable narrative gifts to evoke the tedium, pressure and angst her teenage characters suffer. Some readers, though, may find the proceedings just too grim for their taste. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] disquieting and suspenseful novel."
"Review" by , "Kirino unflinchingly describes the contemporary social conditions of teenagers from their point of view....Highly recommended."
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