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Grotesque

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Grotesque Cover

ISBN13: 9781400044948
ISBN10: 1400044944
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Natsuo Kirino made a spectacular fiction debut on these shores with the publication of Edgar Award-nominated Out ("Daring and disturbing....Prepared to push the limits of this world....Remarkable" — Los Angeles Times). Unanimously lauded for her unique, psychologically complex, darkly compelling vision and voice, she garnered a multitude of enthusiastic fans eager for more.

In her riveting new novel Grotesque, Kirino once again depicts a barely known Japan. This is the story of three Japanese women and the interconnectedness of beauty and cruelty, sex and violence, ugliness and ambition in their lives.

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. As their stories unfurl in an ingeniously layered narrative, coolly mediated by Yuriko's older sister, we are taken back to their time in a prestigious girls' high school — where a strict social hierarchy decided their fates — and follow them through the years as they struggle against rigid societal conventions.

Shedding light on the most hidden precincts of Japanese society today, Grotesque is both a psychological investigation into the female psyche and a classic work of noir fiction. It is a stunning novel, a book that confirms Natsuo Kirino’s electrifying gifts.

Review:

"Readers with a taste for ambiguity and oddball characters will enjoy this twisted novel of suspense from Japanese author Kirino (Out). The Apartment Serial Murders case, which involved the brutal killings of two Tokyo prostitutes, has gripped the country, leading to the arrest of a Chinese immigrant, Zhang Zhe-zhong, for the crimes. Strangely, Zhang freely admits to murdering the first victim, Yuriko Hirata, but denies the near-identical slaying 10 months later of Kazue Sato. The events leading to the killings are related from a variety of perspectives — that of Yuriko's unnamed older sister, bitterly jealous of her sibling's good looks; of each victim; and of the accused. Unusual connections — for example, Kazue was a classmate of the older sister — cast doubt on the veracity of individual narrators. This mesmerizing tale of betrayal reveals some sobering truths about Japan's social hierarchy. 4-city author tour. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"No one writes like Natsuo Kirino — few could rise to her level of intelligence, passion and honesty. I admire her tremendously." Mary Gaitskill

Review:

"The overall effect, while both ambitious and, yes, grotesque, is ultimately less satisfying than the author's previous work." Library Journals

Review:

"[A] vengefully mesmerizing obituary written in the voice of a woman who is often a total stranger to the women she envies....Kirino presents our narrator as an example so terrific as to merit an award for the discovery of a completely new species." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Grotesque is the kind of edgy and brooding breakout book that is likely to win Ms. Kirino the recognition and loyal following overseas that she has long enjoyed at home." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Grotesque succeeds as a layered exploration of the human psyche, of the conflict inherent in need and desire, shame and humiliation." Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Author

Natsuo Kirino, born in 1951, is the author of sixteen 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, the Izumi Kyoka Prize for Literature for Grotesque, and the Naoki Prize for Soft Cheeks. Her work has been published in nineteen languages worldwide; several of her books have also 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:

redrubynail, January 5, 2009 (view all comments by redrubynail)
This is one of the two best books I've ever read, Tokyo by Mo Hayder being the other. I am currently reading Out, with high expectations. I can't wait until more Natsuo Kirino books will be released in English.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
crowyhead, September 15, 2008 (view all comments by crowyhead)
Two prostitutes are murdered, within months of each other. Both went to a prestigious Japanese girl's high school. One, Yuriko, was preternaturally beautiful. The other, Kazue, was not beautiful but she was smart and striving. What was the connection between these two women? What drove them to become street walkers?
The story of Yuriko and Kazue is mainly told by Yuriko's older sister, an embittered woman who decided when she was young that Yuriko was grotesquely beautiful, a monster.

This is a fascinating, slow-moving novel. It has more to do with the intricacies of family and the competition between women than it does with murder, and it is told through a series of wildly unreliable narrators. It's comprised of the story as told by Yuriko's sister, journal entries from Yuriko and Kazue, even the murderer's life story in his own words, and no one's story quite matches up. The reader is left to wonder and to try to piece together the story behind the story.

It's not for everyone, and I think many readers would be left a little cold by it, but it's a fascinating narrative and very difficult to put down.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Katy N., September 26, 2007 (view all comments by Katy N.)
Sex, murder, class struggle. This novel is based on all of these things and I defy you not to find yourself in here. I enjoyed this story as much as Kirino's novel Out.
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(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400044948
Author:
Kirino, Natsuo
Publisher:
Knopf
Translator:
Copeland, Rebecca
Translator:
Copeland, Rebecca L.
Author:
Copeland, Rebecca
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Psychological
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070313
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9.46x6.62x1.38 in. 1.76 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
» Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

Grotesque Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9781400044948 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Readers with a taste for ambiguity and oddball characters will enjoy this twisted novel of suspense from Japanese author Kirino (Out). The Apartment Serial Murders case, which involved the brutal killings of two Tokyo prostitutes, has gripped the country, leading to the arrest of a Chinese immigrant, Zhang Zhe-zhong, for the crimes. Strangely, Zhang freely admits to murdering the first victim, Yuriko Hirata, but denies the near-identical slaying 10 months later of Kazue Sato. The events leading to the killings are related from a variety of perspectives — that of Yuriko's unnamed older sister, bitterly jealous of her sibling's good looks; of each victim; and of the accused. Unusual connections — for example, Kazue was a classmate of the older sister — cast doubt on the veracity of individual narrators. This mesmerizing tale of betrayal reveals some sobering truths about Japan's social hierarchy. 4-city author tour. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "No one writes like Natsuo Kirino — few could rise to her level of intelligence, passion and honesty. I admire her tremendously."
"Review" by , "The overall effect, while both ambitious and, yes, grotesque, is ultimately less satisfying than the author's previous work."
"Review" by , "[A] vengefully mesmerizing obituary written in the voice of a woman who is often a total stranger to the women she envies....Kirino presents our narrator as an example so terrific as to merit an award for the discovery of a completely new species."
"Review" by , "Grotesque is the kind of edgy and brooding breakout book that is likely to win Ms. Kirino the recognition and loyal following overseas that she has long enjoyed at home."
"Review" by , "Grotesque succeeds as a layered exploration of the human psyche, of the conflict inherent in need and desire, shame and humiliation."
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