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Epub Natsuo Kirino ✓ ✓ Out アウト PDF/EPUB ☆

Natsuo Kirino's novel tells a story of random violence in the staid Tokyo suburbs as a young mother who works a night shift making boxed lunches brutally strangles her deadbeat husband and then seeks the help of her co workers to dispose of the body and cover up her crimeThe ringleader of this cover up Masako Katori emerges as the emotional heart of Out and as one of the shrewdest most clear eyed creations in recent fiction Masako's own search for a way out of the straitjacket of a dead end life leads her too to take drastic actionThe complex yet riveting narrative seamlessly combines a convincing glimpse into the grimy world of Japan's yakuza with a brilliant portrayal of the psychology of a violent crime and the ensuing game of cat and mouse between seasoned detectives and a group of determined but inexperienced criminals Kirino has mastered a Thelma and Louise kind of graveyard humor that illuminates her stunning evocation of the pressures and prejudices that drive women to extreme deeds and the friendship that bolsters them in the aftermath


10 thoughts on “Out アウト

  1. says:

    Let’s start with a few descriptors from the blurbs on the cover nervy perverse dark gruesome depressing daring disturbing brutal unsentimental scathing gutsy hair raising You get the picture After all that build up it seems like a come down to say that this is basically a story about four thirtyish lower class or lower middle class Japanese women who work night shift filling box lunches in a factory With the increasingly common globalized life style their lives and families are a lot like those in the USA The women have money problems of course and to varying degrees unloving husbands who have already left are abusive or are unfaithful One husband is burning the family savings on gambling and prostitutes Another husband is distant living in a separate room and hardly speaking to his wife; the high school aged son is now following the same pattern and has not said a word to his mother for than a year Daughters are useless; one steals money and another daughter appears only occasionally to dump off a child with grandma steal money and disappear again The plot begins when one of the women kills her husband The other three women agree to help her dispose of his body The plot builds from two directions the police are suspicious and start nosing around and the Japanese underworld the mafia like yakuzas take an interest and offer the women shall we say additional business opportunities In effect we have a black comedy that focuses on the ineualities of women in male dominated Japanese society which looks a lot like 1950’s American society The book was originally published in Japan in 1997 and translated in 2003 Women executives are paid less for work; women are humiliated and driven out if they complain or object; men do what they want and women are just supposed to take it One woman still takes care of her incapacitated mother in law changing diapers and bathing her even though her husband the invalid’s son has abandoned her Why? Because that is what the society expects her to do But women aren’t let off the hook by this female Japanese author Much of the time their mutual “friendship” seems like a reluctant foursome built around backbiting jealously blackmail and one upmanship In fact most of the time they hardly seem to like each other a situation that worsens as they get dragged in deeper by their misdeeds In addition to the socio economic class focus of the book we learn a lot about Chinese prostitutes and ethnic Japanese Brazilian laborers who are some of the very few immigrants groups that have been allowed into insular pun intended Japan one of the most ethnically isolated societies in the world This is uite a read filled with local color of 1990’s Japan if you don’t mind some graphic violence and sex


  2. says:

    This book surprised me I was not expecting to like love it so much It reminded me of A Simple Plan by Scott Smith wish he'd write books It shows how unintended conseuences can uickly spin out of control A woman is put in an untenable situation someone dies and she makes the best of a bad situation It's really uite creative I highly recommend this book to those who like dark noir with strong female characters David Putnam author of the Bruno Johnson series


  3. says:

    The night air trembles with a malevolent intensity Something hangs heavy in the humid breeze the stomach churning smell of deep fried tempura prawns sealed inside boxed lunches mingled with something putrid perhaps the stench of rotting dismembered human limbs hidden away in trash cans The insufferable July heat accelerates decomposition causes beads of sweat to cling to Masako's neck persistently as she waits in the taut darkness of the deserted parking lot for 3 of her colleagues women who are entangled in the knots of a terrible secret Women who have been brought together to resist common enemies the cruel realities of a hostile world which thwarts their attempts at self determination at every turn The reality of the abusive wayward husband The reality of the back breaking night shift at the boxed lunch factory that whittles away at their will to live The reality of the chokehold of harsh domesticity that places exacting demands on them while sparing the men of the house Fear dwells in the furthest nooks and corners of Masako's subconscious fear of the anonymous faceless attacker who has been assaulting women in the uiet Tokyo suburb lately Fear of not doing enough to hold together a slowly disintegrating family Fear of venturing so close to the edge of madness that oblivion may seem a welcome prospect in place of retaining memories Fear of breaking freeAnd yet Masako musters up a stony indifference makes unwavering courage and resourcefulness her weapons of choice Even in the face of monstrous evil that spreads its tentacles from the yakuza governed seedy underbelly of the night for the purpose of macabre revenge she does not blink Masako does not believe in surrender as a choice She wants out and she will secure an escape route She stared at the stark white area on her finger in the November sunlight There was something pathetic about this band of pale skin the mark from a ring that hadn't been removed in eight years It was the mark of loss But it was also the mark of liberation a sign that everything was finally over 'Out' is genuinely unsettling in the sense it fleshes out a nightmarish scenario with nary an inhibition It forces us out of our comfort zones repeatedly and without mercy To legitimize the aforementioned claims let me mention it features scenes of graphic violence against women and a psychotic rapist murderer Not a cartoonish villain who cackles with maniacal laughter while sodomizing his victims and cutting them up into little pieces but a or less rational individual whose human impulses have been distorted beyond recognition All his convoluted thought processes are so lucidly explicated that one cannot help fathoming a perverse kind of logic in them And this is the aspect that sent shivers down my spine the fact that I came close to feeling empathy for a rapist like the woman who survived his attacks 'Out' does not attempt to slay any proverbial demons but coaxes us to look them in the eye and recognize the possibility that all acts of patriarchal oppression are underpinned by some coherent rationale no matter how one sided and brutal While he was inside he'd been haunted by the memory of torturing her to death but what troubled him wasn't guilt so much as the desire to do it all over again Ironically though when he finally got out he was completely impotent It wasn't until some years later that he realised the intensity of the moment when he'd killed her had somewhow shut him off from the mundane experience To a great extent misogyny constitutes the thematic backbone of this fast paced novel given that it lists the manifold ways in which a patriarchal social order limits a woman's access to personal liberties righteously punishing her for any defiance Aside from Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye this is the only book I've read which masterfully avoids a ham fisted treatment of a rape scene and stops short of reducing both victim and perpetrator to the status of dehumanized participants in a horrendous actAll said and done I have a feeling this review will either generate some interest in prospective readers or turn them off so completely that even the name Natsuo Kirino will only inspire revulsion I certainly hope the former sentiment prevails with most


  4. says:

    There's just something about Japan that produces the grittiest darkest scariest most realistic horror psychological thriller and suspense The seedy underbelly of Japanese society is perhaps so successfully portrayed because so little has been embellished And with the dark empty surburban streets so much is possible so much can go unnoticed In Natsuo Kirino's wonderful crime novel Out a sharp social commentary on Japan's patriarchal society and the situation for women and foreigners is tangled up with loan sharks gambling the yakuza and murderMasako works in a bento boxed lunch factory on the night shift with her workmates Yoshi Kuniko and Yayoi Together they make a team to get the best spots on the conveyor belt and because they're housewives with responsibilities during the day they're or less each other's only friends Each has problems Masako and her husband barely interact any and her son hasn't spoken to her in a year; Yoshie is widowed and takes care of her daughter and her bed ridden mother in law in a tiny house that's ready to be knocked down; Kuniko's husband has left her and taken all their money and she's over her head in debt because she's constantly buying new clothes to impress people; and Yayoi's husband has spent all their savings on gambling and a beautiful Chinese hostess called Anna Their lives are circumscribed and lonely and there seems to be no way out for any of themThen one night Yayoi's husband Kenji comes home and in a fit of cold rage she strangles him In desperation she calls cool sharp Masako who calmly handles the situation by enlisting Yoshi to help her cut up the body in her bathroom and then get rid of the bags of body parts in the rubbish collection sites around the area Kuniko always with an eye out for a way to make money gets drawn into the mess as well which turns out to be their downfall Unreliable and delusional Kuniko does a poor job of disposing of her bags and the body is soon discovered and identified Things seem to be working out though when the police arrest their main suspect a casino owner and pimp with a scary past Satake who punched Kenji and threw him down the stairs after warning him to stay away from Anna his number one girl Satake innocent of the murder suspects Kenji's wife and he isn't the only one who figures out what really happened As things start to unravel Masako becomes the focus and the sense that someone is watching her that a trap is tightening around her threatens her calm composure and orderly existenceThis isn't a whodunit crime novel nor a formulaic one This is original literary crime that would not adapt well to any other setting but Japan Tokyo in particular where the novel is set Having lived in the country for three years I found myself living there again while reading this book the descriptions the characters their reactions and motivations it was all so very real so believable The weather for instance hot and humid and wet in summer the smell and the sweat it all came back so clearly The attitudes too and the urban landscape rice fields in between factories run down houses suished along allies bicycles and umbrellas and the rubbish collection spotsOne of the wonderful things about this book is the way it is written Despite one or two obvious metaphors the prose has a tight tense yet steady patient rhythm creating suspense along the way by never hurrying The chapters alternate in point of view narration between the main characters with their personalities coming through strongly despite the fact that the tone doesn't change I want to find an example and really I don't have to look far She could hear a horn tooting somewhere nearby the sound tofu trucks use to advertise their wares and through the open windows around her the sound of dishes rattling and televisions blaring It was the hour when the women of the city bustled around their kitchens Masako thought of her own neat empty kitchen and her bathroom where the deed had been done It occurred to her that lately she felt at home in a dry scoured bathroom than a busy homey kitchen p146 He had been a model of self control had worked so hard to keep his dark side sealed away But he knew that even a hint of what he'd done would terrify other people Still only he and the woman herself knew the truth about what had happened and no one else could understand what he'd been up to It had been Satake's misfortune to taste the forbidden fruit when he was twenty six and he'd been cut off from the normal world ever since p179As far as the social commentary aspect goes it's a biting unglamorous look at Japanese society and also a revealing study of the plight of the impoverished exhausted women like Yoshi the greedy superficial consumers like Kuniko the intelligent hard working but discriminated and underpaid office girls like Masako had been; and the victimised housewives like Yayoi The lengths these women go to for some money for escape for freedom have devestating conseuences for all of them The play between genders is also explored or rather held up for review it may come across as old hat but don't forget this is Japan which is still confined by many traditions that see women and foreigners subjugated and restricted to the role of second class citizen Despite the deeply flawed characters and the things they do Masako emerges as a strong heroine and even the male characters I felt some sympathy for The blurb describes it as having a pitch black comedy of gender warfare and that's definitely an intrinsic part of this novel Sometimes though it was just too hard to find the irony amusingThere's a lot I could say about this book but really I just want to stress how much I loved it I came across only one typo an is instead of it which is almost unheard of And if you're put off by the Japanese names here's a uick lesson Japanese when converted into Romaji our alphabet is very easy to pronounce Each letter translates into five vowels an n sound and consonant vowel pairings So Masako is pronounced Ma sa ko Easy Yayoi is pronounced Ya yo i i as in easy but a short sound Satake is pronounced Sa ta ke ke as in kettle Kazuo is pronounce Ka zu o or kaz u o Shinjuko is pronounced Shin ju ku See easy There's a great rhythm to it like those clapping games Unless there's a double vowel vowels and pairings are pronounced with short sounds generally There's no r or v in Japanese so these letters are given an l and b pronounciation Tsu is the most difficult sound for foreigners to make and we don't have an euivalentWhile I'm at it it may be helpful to get the money conversion 1000 yen is roughly about 10 10000 yen is 100 and so on Just imagine a decimile point or remove a zero something like that So when Yayoi pays Yoshi and Kuniko 500000 yen for their part in getting rid of her husband that's about 5000 and when she talks about getting 50 million yen insurance money she is getting about 500000 Hope my maths is holding up here


  5. says:

    What a disappointing ending At first I was absolutely entralled by the characters and their various relationships The first 34ths of the book are filled with so much texture it felt like I was running my hands through a fabric store Most intriguing are the female female relationships ranging from trust to need to fear How I hated Kuniko How I rooted for MasakoAnd then this whole SM dark and violent erotic stuff comes out which threw the entire book in downward spiral away from nuance and substance to blatant sex and desire I thought Masako was stronger than the Stockholm syndrome I forced myself to finish and can say that while I did enjoy reading about underground Tokyo why would anyone waste their time reading about it when they can watch a movie that is effortless and as simple?


  6. says:

    Women have it tough all over the world but now I know they have it tough in Japan too If this book is to be believed Japanese women are surrounded by chauvinistic sadistic a holes cruelly remote ghosts or losers who spend all their money with a nasty smirk Or they are jerks in the making sullen teenagers who can go a year without saying a single word to their mothers conveying hate through their angry eyes At best they're cowardly bumbling social pariahs or dead Also these poor Japanese women are done by middle age Our protagonist a strong intelligent lady of 43 is repeatedly described as being too old for men to notice for being spry for her age One unhinged character keeps wondering how in the world he could be attracted to someone SO OLD WTF Japanese men? W the actual F? And WTF Kirino san?I enjoyed the dark bleak storyline which involves nightshifts at a creepy boxed lunch factory The plot involves human dismemberment lots of it The last body chop brought with it a particularly fun twist I also was intrigued by the sense that everyone in Japan is being observed that this high density living elicits watchful eyes and a distinct lack of privacy that makes play acting a constant necessity Thanks to nosy neighbours and prying strangers nothing remains secret for long People speak in stilted unnatural dialogue that is polite to the point of being funny either that or there was something lost in this translationThen the ending happened and I pretty much hated every second of it I felt like the author was really getting her rocks off with this ridiculous and horrible rape fetish ending She had so much fun writing it the first time she had to repeat the whole torture porn scene AGAIN take two from the other person's perspective It made me so grumpy I can't be bothered to figure out what she was trying to say about men and women I don't think it can be anything important


  7. says:

    Reviewing good books has always been difficult for me Not because I don't know what to say but because I don't want to say too much Part of the wonder of reading for me is discovery and I want you to be able to discover this book for yourselves Predictable books are the worst and for the most part I do not read synopses I decide what to read based on friend reviewsrecommendations and yes the absolutely risky business of buying media based on pretty packaging I dug the cover of this one and the ever awesome Barks five starred it so I bought a used paperback on Sometimes when fishing you reel in treasure instead of fish This is one of those times A book of this length would normally take me two or three days to read I read Out's 400 pages in 10 days savoring every sentence Alas this review is going to suck Because I cannot tell you a single thing I liked about Natsuo Kirino's Out Everything would be a spoiler I'd much rather you go in blind Suffice it to say this is a strikingly bleak novel about four women who seem at first to be caricatures instead of characters the ugly one the old one the pretty one and the experienced one But I assure you these ladies' lives and personalities are far deeper than what you see on the surface The brutality herein is balanced by pitch black humor and the ending is thought provoking Bring your thinking capsIn summation I want everyone to read this even if the book will not be for everyone Mainly because I want to hear what you folks think about the book as a whole I consider it a darkly beautiful disturbing piece of fiction It won't make you feel any better about humanity but it will make you consider how close everyone is to the edge All those are compliments coming from me Highly recommendedFinal Judgment A bleak beauty


  8. says:

    Out is so gritty and grotesue so violent that I was revolted many times but there is such truth amidst grim reality here especially in how women are treated in society I noticed that one of the other reviewers wrote about how this reminded him of the 1950s in the US but wage suppression and ineuality is still going in good old 2018 in the US Women in Japan where the book is set are supposed to do all the housework their outside job and take care of all the members of the household oh wait that's just like the US Sorry about the rant This story's 4 main female characters are firmly fleshed out I felt like I knew them Kirino does a fine job of characterization dialogue and scene setting This is the underbelly of Japan in the 1990s but like I said it could be any country We've all got the maniacal misogynistic bosses distant husbands and children obnoxious in laws psychopathic rapists and various other creeps who make up this motley crew I felt sorry for the women especially Yoshie who had a disabled mother in law 2 ungrateful daughters a dead husband no money a crappy job and a teeny tiny house to take care of them inThis book is only for the stout hearted as there are descriptions of 2 beyond brutal rapes and dismemberment of corpses It keeps you hopping and I never ever guessed how it would end and like other readers I didn't care for the ending and disagree with it wholeheartedly


  9. says:

    You know how sometimes you answer a phone call and suddenly your life is changed forever What's up? Are you taking the night off?No I just don't know what to doAbout what? She sounded genuinely concerned Has something happened?It has She might as well get it over with I've killed himThree Tokyo factory workers get sucked into the proverbial web of lies and deceit when they help a fellow employee dispose of the body of her murdered husband The author goes into a disturbing amount of detail here One wonders how she knows so much about chopping up a body Then again like her characters women who are used to butchering all manner of critters meat is meat One of the ladies even exclaims exactly like a broiler There is a certain black humor at play here which is good as the Kirino takes us to some dark dark places As expected the story becomes much convoluted involving the police loan sharks AND yakuza The characters are complex and vividly drawn making the tale even compelling Everything is at stake for these women so it's almost certain that jealousy greed and human nature will expose their misdeeds She seems to think we're guiltier than she is even though she's the one who killed her husband If you've got a ballsy bookclub that doesn't mind some gruesome violence this book would be great fodder for one helluva discussion


  10. says:

    A literary page turner as timely as when it first came out this biting critiue of Japan's social and economic underclass begins when three female co workers are forced to confront the act of a friend against her abusive husband but evolves into a blistering exposé on those whose stories are never told the unseen night shift factory workers who make Japan's endless supply of box lunches; women who are swamped in credit card debt but cannot live off their looks youth or father's paychecks as parasite singles; aging parents who instead of being looked after by their children are left to support their grandchildren and still look after their in laws long after their spouses are gone; and alienated Brazilian immigrants who never attain the rights and respect of citizens Kirino presents nuanced characters forced to make difficult choices but she does so with immense empathy and humanity making us see there are no clear labels to put on her characters like good evil victim or criminalThis work is a gem It amazes me I had it in my bookcase for a full year before realizing what it offered though Frank had seen its potential immediately It never even pestered me for attention It just waited its turn politely What a well behaved thriller You'd almost think it was innocent