Out Paperback by Natsuo Kirino

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Helllllo, it feels forever since I’ve written here. I know you don’t have to explain an absence but it’s always nice to, I guess. A couple of weeks ago now my Grandfather passed away. It was a really, really sad time and I kind of just didn’t feel like writing, at all and didn’t even really think about the blog. I waited a week or so, and then this morning I really missed it – I missed writing and chatting and making content and seeing nice comments and things, and I’m so proud of my blog. SO, I’m back with a review and I’m sorry for disappearing on you all.

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.

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MAASSSSIIVE BLURB there so I’m just going to jump right in; everything about this book is bleak. We join the story meeting four women who are the anti-heroines of our tale. Each of them work the grave-yard shift in a boxed-lunch factory, spending their nights mindlessly packing boxes and spending the days trying to cope with the struggles of their lives. Each has a different struggle to battle with; a bed bound mother-in-law, a teenage son who doesn’t talk, and money wobbles. However, when one of the women snaps and kills her husband, the rest club together to help her dispose of the body and it all descends into chaos.  As they try to keep the killing a secret, the woman are joined by a man who is a suspect for the murder; a deeply disturbed casino mogul who is damaged irrevocably by being a suspect.

So, the nitty-gritty; the writing is incredibly powerful – T lent me this book and he said that he struggled with it because it is quite densely written. There’s a lot description and it is heady. It pulls in and spits you out after  a tale of murder, extortion, black-mail, rape and dismemberment. Each of the characters, especially the women are incredibly well-built up. Masako is stern, and confusing; she has a really determined personality that pushes the plot forward. Each of the woman has really contrasting personality traits which helps to make the events even more dark and creepy.

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I loved the story and the plot and although there isn’t a huge amount of plot twisting and turning it is a really dark and mysterious book. Additionally it’s told from the perspective of the culprits it’s very different from a lot of mystery or crimes books I’ve read in the past. It’s difficult to explain but the characters are told in almost a cold, but not-judgmental way; it’s a cold novel which makes it even more effective in being really goddamn creepy. All the way through I was struggling with who too feel sympathy for; each of the women is dealing with real life problems and yet, others are getting hurt. Everything seems almost normal and justified; it’s an odd feeling.

Overaaaaall this is an utterly stunning book; creepy and dark it’s wonderfully written and it written with such skill and deftness. The characters are beautifully crafted and the ending is brilliant. If you’re looking for something that will make you think, will make you want to read everything by the author in one go then this may be for you!




9 thoughts on “Out Paperback by Natsuo Kirino

  1. sjhigbee says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your grandfather and hope you soon get to a stage where you can remember happy times you had with him without too much pain.

  2. Cezane & Michelle says:

    I’ve cover across this book before through someone else recommending it but didn’t know if I should invest in it. Thank you for writing such a detailed review of it, this is exactly what I needed ^^ – Michelle

    • littlebookblog says:


      It’s a guest post I’m really glad you enjoyed the post.

      I love audio books and I’m currently learning to meditate so thought this would be perfect for a Friday morning 😀 xx

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