Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino

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 work of noir fiction that confirms Natsuo Kirino’s electrifying gifts.

How did I get the book? I bought it.

Genre: Mystery

Review: I absolutely loved OUT but Natsuo Kirino and still recommend it all the time. Reading her other books only reinforces this and after I finished Grotesque I wanted to re-read OUT again. If you haven’t read any of Natsuo Kirino books before then OUT is the one to start with.

Grotesque is a captivating read, though it is hard to pinpoint why at times, especially because it took a while to begin. The book is about expectations set by society and family. The fascination that people have about the two women who were murdered, dismissing one much more readily while captivated by Kazue because she was a professional office worker by day. Yuriko’s sister is a bitter and unreliable narrator, yet not any of the other narratives promise to be more truthful and at the end of the book it is up to the reader to decided on their own truth.

Review by: Luna

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