Out by Natsuo Kirino

Posted July 14, 2021 by Silvia in Books / 10 Comments

Out by Natsuo KirinoOut by Natsuo Kirino
Series: Stand-alone
Published by Vintage on September 2, 2004
Genres: Crime, Psychological Thriller
Source: Purchased
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WARNING: This book contains sensitive material such as sexual content, abuse, and/or violence.

In the Tokyo suburbs four women work the draining graveyard shift at a boxed-lunch factory. Burdened with chores and heavy debts and isolated from husbands and children, they all secretly dream of a way out of their dead-end lives.
A young mother among them finally cracks and strangles her philandering, gambling husband then confesses her crime to Masako, the closest of her colleagues. For reasons of her own, Masako agrees to assist her friend and seeks the help of the other co-workers to dismember and dispose of the body. The body parts are discovered, the police start asking questions, but the women have far more dangerous enemies—a yakuza connected loan shark who discovers their secret and has a business proposition, and a ruthless nightclub owner the police are convinced is guilty of the murder. He has lost everything as a result of their crime and he is out for revenge.
OUT is a psychologically taut and unflinching foray into the darkest recesses of the human soul, an unsettling reminder that the desperate desire for freedom can make the most ordinary person do the unimaginable.

While many prefer a light read during summer, I just couldn’t resist a dark book such as this one. After all, with a blog name like mine, how can I not fall into temptation, right?

Out is honestly one of the best and darkest crime / psychological thrillers you can ever read. The writing brilliantly succeeds in making readers feel like they are in Tokyo, and it offers a look at Japanese society in the ’50s that let them perceive quite a harsh reality. Seeing everything through different POVs (females and males) helps analysing characters, their actions and motivations. But can you get them without going crazy yourself? Gruesome, violent, and unsettling. It’s practically impossible not to get chills running down your spine and not to be addicted to such a very disturbing story—even when you think you can’t take it anymore . . . It’s ok to take a break from the read and remind yourself you’re not a psycho.

If you’re up for a book that pushes you out of your comfort zone, I’d recommend this title. Japanese writers know how to deliver a brutally dark and disturbingly compelling story . . . one that you slowly savour while going OUT of your mind!


About Silvia

Through her creativity and blogging, Silvia has met people from different industries and collaborated with them on various projects over the years. Her strong passion for reading and her fascination for different cultures and languages have led her to develop a keen interest in the East-Asian continent. Off to see her? Follow the colourful book road . . . ♡

10 responses to “Out by Natsuo Kirino

    • We’re in good sync, Stephanie ? Gotta love psychological thrillers, and if you don’t mind descriptions that are pretty graphic, then you found a new title to add to your list!

  1. “brutally dark and disturbingly compelling story . . . one that you slowly savour while going OUT of your mind!”
    Now I’m totally curious! I’ll definitely give this one a try. Awesome review as always Silvia 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Vanessa! ? Dark reads are my faves, and this one was different from what I’ve read so far, which made the whole experience even greater. It’s not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure!

  2. I love the Tokyo setting of this! And this “seeks the help of the other co-workers to dismember and dispose of the body.” Ackk haha! I love the idea of exploring how good people can do a bad thing in order to escape a bad or hopeless situation!

  3. verushka

    Oh my, this sound brilliant — and intense, and dark and I think may just have to be in the right mood to read it (but I intend to!)

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