Monday, August 04, 2008

Real World

I was really impressed with Natsuo Kirino's Out, so much so that it was one of my Top Ten reads a couple of years ago. Kirino's characterization was marvelous, and her sense of time and place made me feel as if I really were in Japan as I turned the pages. As a result, I was very pleased this morning to read that her latest novel Real World is available in the US. Here's a blurb about Real World:

In a crowded residential suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer and endless “cram school” sessions meant to ensure entry into good colleges. There’s Toshi, the dependable one; Terauchi, the great student; Yuzan, the sad one, grieving over the death of her mother—and trying to hide her sexual orientation from her friends; and Kirarin, the sweet one, whose late nights and reckless behavior remain a secret from those around her. When Toshi’s next-door neighbor is found brutally murdered, the girls suspect the killer is the neighbor’s son, a high school boy they nickname Worm. But when he flees, taking Toshi’s bike and cell phone with him, the four girls get caught up in a tempest of dangers—dangers they never could have even imagined—that rises from within them as well as from the world around them.
To me, this definitely sounds like another winner, and I know I have a visit to Japan in store for me!


  1. The Real World does sound good! I just ordered a copy of Out to read for the Japanese Literature challenge so I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I was also thinking of reading The Tatoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi, have you heard of that? If you are interested in Japanese literature at all, the challenge just started and it is only three books in six months so not too time consuming. This tells about the challenge and then there is a separate review site.

  2. Out is not for someone who gets a queasy stomach easily (thought I might give you a word of warning). I have a copy of The Tattoo Murder Case, but couldn't get into it. I don't know if it was due to the book or my mood, so I'll give it another go sometime in the future. If I bog down again, that'll be all she wrote. Thanks for the info on the Japanese Lit challenge--and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. I could've sworn that I answered this yesterday--the blogosphere ate my post! Wah! I think I should mention that Out is not for the squeamish, but it's still an excellent book. I have a copy of The Tattoo Murder Case and started reading it a couple of years ago, but I couldn't get into it. I couldn't tell if it was due to my mood at the time, so I sat it aside. I'll pick it up again sometime and give it another go.

    Although the Japanese reading challenge sounds interesting, I'm such a contrary reader that I've avoided all reading challenges. The only challenge I ever set for myself is to learn and enjoy. :-)


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