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Grotesque ❴PDF / Epub❵ ☀ Grotesque Author Natsuo Kirino – Thomashillier.co.uk Due prostitute di Tokyo, Yuriko e Kazue, sono state uccise, e la loro morte ha lasciato un mistero che va oltre la necessit di scoprire il loro assassino Chi erano queste due giovani donne, quali even Due prostitute di Tokyo, Yuriko e Kazue, sono state uccise, e la loro morte ha lasciato un mistero che va oltre la necessit di scoprire il loro assassino Chi erano queste due giovani donne, quali eventi hanno condotto la loro vita verso un destino tremendo La sorella maggiore di Yuriko racconta parte della storia tornando indietro nel tempo, quando le due ragazze uccise erano studentesse di una scuola prestigiosa dominata da una rigida gerarchia sociale Una figlia di madre giapponese e di padre svizzero, dotata di bellezza quasi sovrannaturale che le rende tutto facile, l altra deve invece lottare per ogni risultato, forte di una caparbia determinazione, mai del tutto consapevole della propria costante impopolarit Nel corso degli anni le loro esistenze si scontrano con le convenzioni sociali, perch entrambe scoprono che per essere davvero libere dovranno trasformarsi in donne grottesche , mostri di perversione ed eccessi, di irriducibile volont di indipendenza Entrambe sceglieranno di diventare prostitute, fino a ricongiungersi in una morte inaspettata A questo racconto si aggiunge quello di un contadino cinese immigrato in Giappone, cresciuto con la famiglia in condizioni di estrema povert , che viene accusato degli omicidi Ammetter di aver commesso il primo, di aver ucciso la bellissima Yuriko, ma non stato l artefice del secondo, seppure le due violenze siano cos simili e le coincidenze cos schiaccianti.


10 thoughts on “Grotesque

  1. James James says:

    Few books start with a crackerjack opening Lolita, Anna Karenina, The Journalist and the Murderer and Tale of Two Cities are the only other ones I know of This is the 5th And for a while she reuses the opening idea when other characters are introduced An innovative technique.That is, she s walking down the street, see s a man she s attracted to,and begins to wonder what a baby would look like if she had one with him.His eyes His mouth His chin His Do women all around the world think Few books start with a crackerjack opening Lolita, Anna Karenina, The Journalist and the Murderer and Tale of Two Cities are the only other ones I know of This is the 5th And for a while she reuses the opening idea when other characters are introduced An innovative technique.That is, she s walking down the street, see s a man she s attracted to,and begins to wonder what a baby would look like if she had one with him.His eyes His mouth His chin His Do women all around the world think like this I think this book went over the heads of most readers almost everything in the book is either a lie or a delusion For readers that willingly suspend disbelief , this can be a challenge Because the author gives multiple accounts of the major events in the book the reader can judge what the truth is Multiple unreliable narrators This book has the same major themes that her book OUT has 1 The curious phenomena that people are unable to see their own actions and character as clearly as other people can.2 The author doesn t like the class system in Japan where people born into the lucky sperm club can get into the good schools and have connections to get the good jobs.3 She doesn t like the status of women in Japan, and unlike the libbers in America who tried to make women look better than men, this author does the opposite she posits that current Japanese culture makes monsters out of women, and that the solution is freedom and equality Without change they can only expectmonsters Monsters that destroy themselves and others I think this is one of the few great books of our generation and future generations will consider it one of the great classics The first book I ve read where I wondered why the author didn t get a nobel prize for literature The main objection I have to the book is that the translation is poor So much american slang is used that I needed to remind myself it is a Japanese book about Japanese culture There is a note that the book was presented in Japan in a somewhat different form, but details about the differences are not given It would be nice to read it in the original Japanese


  2. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    THE THREE LEVELS, OR, READING NOVELS IN TRANSLATIONManny Rayner, peerless reviewmeister of Goodreads, insists that you should learn the language and then read the novels all translation is ba a a ad I can t disagree and if I had a machine which could stop time, I would certainly follow this advice However, as I do not have such a device, I read the occasional translated novel and I come up with a variation of the problem here Note see discussion in messages below all about this interesting THE THREE LEVELS, OR, READING NOVELS IN TRANSLATIONManny Rayner, peerless reviewmeister of Goodreads, insists that you should learn the language and then read the novels all translation is ba a a ad I can t disagree and if I had a machine which could stop time, I would certainly follow this advice However, as I do not have such a device, I read the occasional translated novel and I come up with a variation of the problem here Note see discussion in messages below all about this interesting topic The language in Grotesque is very often ridiculously stilted, hackneyed, and sounds like a trashy potboiler from 1870 Here are a few favourite examplesWell, it looks like you re quite the victor I said, letting a hint of cynicism seep into my voice.My greatest joy in life is trying to improve my scores.If the Q gang were to see this they d have a field day It s the last straw I m cutting my ties with that man once and for all I don t reply to strangers who address me so impertinently When Kijima realised I was rebuffing him, a contemptuous smile crossed his lips.I d heard that a girl from Sichuan could go to any city in the world and be assured of a warm welcome.Yu Wei fought to bite back a sardonic laugh Yu Wei, my sister doesn t come cheap I gasped How reprehensible How could Yurio have been left in the hands of such a monster I was starving for mother s affection So I m really happy to be living with you, aunt.You can see the moustache twirling and hear the gasps of horror from the audience I kept expecting that one of the characters would be tied to a railroad track Now is this because A the first person narrators here think and write stiltedly, a deliberate style given to them by an author who wishes to reveal the paucity of their interior livesOrB the translator has taken perfectly modern Japanese prose and perhaps due to demonic possession has turned it into hackneyed, stilted EnglishOrC Natsuo Kirino can t write worth a damn I think readers of this translation can t tell, so we have to roll with it and make of it what the hell we can.IT S TELEVISIONMe and daughter Georgia are big fans of The Walking Dead and she has pointed out to me how all the characters are always dressed so stylishly, and I have pointed out how all the actors are so good looking, and she has said well, both of these things are because it s television. TV drama may try to createrealistic drama these days assuming that is that the dead can come back to life but they ll never hire bad looking actors and then dress them badly.Likewise when you get characters diaries and journals, as you do in this novel, they always lapse into the kind of dialogue and detail heavy prose which no one except novelists would ever be able to sit down and write The characters, whether they re 16 year old schoolgirls or grizzled professors, become novelists.That s becauseit s television WHAT IS THIS LONG BOOK ABOUT THEN It s NOT a thriller, the murderer of the two prostitutes is casually revealed quite quickly, there s zero suspense It slike an elaborate enraged meditation on rigid class bound Japanese society seen first through the prism of an elite high school Japanese Mean Girls but without the humour and then through the grisly, sordid lives of two of them who become hookers It s also about Looksism we re told how beautiful the younger sister is and how not the least attractive the older one is every third paragraph, it becomes most wearing, and Looksism is an ism which is of course true for the whole human race Which actors get called character actors The ugly ones So it s a kind of feminist howl of anger, too All the main characters hate each other, and one of them killed two of them, they re all miserably intertwined There is no fun to be had here except to hoot at the various hilariously jaw dropping zingers which these people say to each other and here are a few favourites I have to think about myself and all the people I m involved with now my family, Professor Kijima, all the people I killed.I have to say, and I know this may seem harsh, that you ve really changed You look like you ve got a few screws loose.Once she turned 18 she became such a stunning beauty she even outdid Farrah Fawcett.For a nymphomaniac like myself, I suppose there could be no jobsuitable than prostitution.She looked like some kind of swamp creature So even a creature as ugly as this can fall in love I probably shouldn t say this, but you ve been warped for as long as I can remember Oh and also, one character who narrates great wedges of this novel is obsessed with physiognomy, so every gosh darn time she meets someone we get variants of this His head was small, compact and nicely shaped His face had delicate lines, and his nose was high and thin, reminding me of the blade of a finely honed knife His lips were fleshy, the kind girls would surely find sexy and swoon over.MY CAT HATTERThis was a weird novel After every chapter, which is a lengthy quote from someone s diary or journal, another character will say oh you can t believe a word he says or I read those letters what a load of rubbish I asked my cat Hatter what he thought and he just said Cut the chat and open the door, I got people to see and he rushed off into the night I nearly ran him over the other day, by the way He streaked across the road just in front of my car Stupid idiot Now, flattening your own cat, that would be Grotesque This could be Hatter, the resemblance is eerie


  3. Jr Bacdayan Jr Bacdayan says:

    If you are coming into this book expecting a mystery novel then I m sorry to tell you that you are likely to be disappointed This book shows a different face to mystery,than the circumstantial kind, it offers something deeper, darker It probes beyond merely what happens and dives into the inner being of those involved in the horrifying set of events that unfold If I were to coin a name for this genre then I daresay this should be called existential mystery It transcends the whodunit an If you are coming into this book expecting a mystery novel then I m sorry to tell you that you are likely to be disappointed This book shows a different face to mystery,than the circumstantial kind, it offers something deeper, darker It probes beyond merely what happens and dives into the inner being of those involved in the horrifying set of events that unfold If I were to coin a name for this genre then I daresay this should be called existential mystery It transcends the whodunit and mystifies us with whoami It threatens the reader and taunts us with questions that we all dread, one men have asked for centuries why do women sell their bodies Is prostitution an act of courage or cowardice If everyone is claiming to tell the truth yet have conflicting stories, who do I believe in What kind of truth are we searching for Is there even such a thing Told in different narratives by multiple characters in a non linear progression, the truth may never be clear but the path of those who seek it is never dull Yuriko and Kazue, both alumni of the prestigious Q high school, end up as dead prostitutes in Tokyo In the span of a year both killed by the same man, the impoverished Chinese immigrant Zhang One was the Helen of Troy incarnate, a stunningly beautiful girl with an excessive sexual drive, the other a model daughter, a hardworking intelligent student who lived to please her strict father How does one arrive from point A to point B What prompted them to prostitution when they come from such an elite setting What has to happen to a woman for her to choose that kind of life Prostitution is the central theme of this deeply layered novel, but it doesn t limit itself to the comfortable confines of black and white simplicity It engenders a chimeric sort of problem rooted in different backdrops from the confined society of privilege, to the highly competitive corporate structure, the multicultural home, a superbly impoverished upbringing, and of course a very patriarchal parentage The query of character is given many facets from the stunning nymphomaniac, the vengeful monster, the bullied little sister, and the sacrificial aunt All play different roles and have different driving forces that started them off the path that led to this precarious occupation, but is anything holding the disparate pieces together What is the unifying thread in this entangled web of carnal debauchery Women have only one reason for turning into prostitution It s hatred for others, for the rest of the world No doubt this is incredibly sad, but men have the capacity for countering such feelings in a woman Still, if sex is the only way to dissolve these feelings, then men and women really are pathetic This passage confounds me I do not know what to make of it It could mean that women prostitute themselves in order to feel less hatred for the world when she is in the arms of a man, or it could be interpreted as a joyful celebration of her triumphant revenge against a society that tells her that she should be something else yet she proudly defies whenever she sells her body Both could be true, both can co exist together Would it matter if one holds a degree of truth higher than the other Probably not, I do not even know if degrees of truth can be different But I think what we can all agree on is that prostitution stems from hatred of society, of men, of poverty, of self It could all be true And the last few bits about how pathetic we are, we men and women who play games of hatred and love totally blind yet assuming airs It is a tiresome affair no matter where you look at it Different viewpoints and narratives all clash and come together, equally negating and supporting the perspectives of those who came before it, and squashing those to come after it Each embellishing their own lives and stories with tinges of self justification and portrayals of their ideals, every narrative with emotional depth, all with self righteousness and doses of self hatred What then is the truth Is there a truth relative to each point of view Are they all beacons of truth revealing the hidden self they have masked for no one else to see or are they all telling lies covering our eyes with reconstructed mists of wishful thinking This novel never once takes a moralist view, which I find comforting It reads I was flesh and blood just an everyday, ordinary person rife with intolerance, resentment, and jealousy Rather it hints at criticism towards our flawed patriarchal society that conditions women to sell their bodies Prostitutes are not a problem, the problem lies with the kind of environment we live in which still sees women as commodity and lets them see the benefits of such an action because that is the best choice they can make given their situations Who are we to judge Was I with Zhang I strained my eyes to see This brilliant parting line considers the latent patriarchal tendencies inculcated in every male Every man will promise to the woman he is with that he will be good, that he will do nothing but love her, yet deep inside lies the potential for violence and tendency to thirst for dominance and control which, if awakened, will slowly strangle the life and vitality out of the woman, like forceful hands around her throat, until death consumes her wilted body Every man is a dormant Zhang, a potential manipulative exploiting murderer of the woman in his arms Can we blame women for wanting to gain a little money when they partake in an affair that is quite dangerous for them I cannot I only wish to suppress my tendency to embrace this conditioned role that generations of patriarchal men before me have played I know I am Zhang, yet I strain my heart not to be


  4. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    My lascivious blood leaves me no choice but to lust for men No matter how common I become, how ugly, how old, as long as there is life in my body I will go on wanting men That s just my fate Even if men are no longer amazed when they see me, even if they no longer desire me, even if they belittle me, I have to sleep with them No, I want to sleep with them It s the retribution for a divinity that no one can sustain forever I suppose you could say my power was littlethan sin Yuriko My lascivious blood leaves me no choice but to lust for men No matter how common I become, how ugly, how old, as long as there is life in my body I will go on wanting men That s just my fate Even if men are no longer amazed when they see me, even if they no longer desire me, even if they belittle me, I have to sleep with them No, I want to sleep with them It s the retribution for a divinity that no one can sustain forever I suppose you could say my power was littlethan sin Yuriko was born grotesquely, monstrously beautiful It is unsettling to be around someone so excruciatingly gorgeous Someone so ethereal that they suck all the oxygen out of a room and every head turns to watch them as if a unicorn has just pranced through the door We believe that being born beautiful is a ticket to a lifetime of happiness, but being universally alluring and beguiling brings difficulties that are sometimes worse than being born painfully plain For instance, even as a pre teen, grown men become prancing puppies around her Yuriko s mother and father are mystified by her They are proud of her, but also unsure of exactly how someone so lovely was spawned by their copulation Yuriko is so beautiful that people struggle to believe that she is her mother s daughter To make matters worse, her sister loathes her She speaks of her in terms usually used to describe diabolical creatures For most of the book, the sister provides an unreliable narrative about not only Yuriko but the other people around her We are never given her name, but as we get to know her, we start to understand that her personality has been warped by jealousy, deep seated anger, and bitterness She is a destructive force in Yuriko s life, but we also see that her gift for dreadful manipulations is a skill she shines on all who surround her We also follow the life of Kazue, a frequently stiff armed friend of the narrator and a girl who worships Yuriko by doing everything she can to be as much like her as it is possible for someone who is not born with the gift of ethereal beauty She is destined for failure, and the narrator has no small part ensuring that her insecurities are properly cultivated to assure her eventual destruction Yuriko, with all her promise, becomes a plaything of men Her fall down the ladder is not quick, but a rung at a time, until she finally lands on a street corner selling her body for a handful of coins Kazue also becomes a prostitute She is a graduate of university and uses that as an enticement for men who fantasize about having sex with a woman of her social standing She sees prostitution as merely an opportunity of capitalismBy day a businesswoman by night a whore I was capable of using both my brains and my body to make money HaShe wins We are also introduced to a Chinese man named Zhang, who becomes a free floating electron bouncing between the atoms of Kazue and Yuriko He was also born very handsome and carries his own bitterness at being abandoned by his sister, who becomes a prostitute His love hate for his sister leaves rattling rocks in his head that make him a ticking time bomb of derangement Our narrator goes on about her pathetic, unhappy life completely unaware of her influence on the outcomes of others As Kazue says to Zhang at one point, please be good to me, which could have just as easily been Yuriko saying that Everyone needs someone to be good to them, and unfortunately, most people never find someone who will provide that emotional safe harbor for them Sperm, spit a woman receives what men excrete Natsuo Kirino puts us on a train with rattling boxcars and loosely bolted seats and pries up a few rails in front of the chugging engine to make sure we eventually crash We know happiness for these characters has flown away, never to return again, and yet I have to keep reading It isn t about knowing the outcome I have people frequently ask metell me how it ends, but the ending is not the sum of the book Sometimes the ending is the least important part As readers, we have to choose to get on that rust bucket of a train, even if the windows are broken and the pale conductor looks like he crawled out of a sarcophagus The journey is discovering the nuances and the intrigue hidden in the shadows Who are these people, really And why must they continue down a path with no way to return Why are people consumed by envy Why do we continue to let destructive forces into our lives A strange, unsettling book If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at and an Instagram account


  5. NYLSpublishing NYLSpublishing says:

    Recently, in a coffee shop near my home, I overheard one teenage boy intimating to another that if he were to ever marry it would not be to an American woman but a Japanese one because, they re pretty, submissive, and just plain happy to be women Noting thatthan a few eyelids batted at this exclamation, I wondered how these American teenagers happened upon their conclusions Kirino s Grotesque is a tale of two sisters growing up in Japan Yuriko, the youngest of the pair, lacks the me Recently, in a coffee shop near my home, I overheard one teenage boy intimating to another that if he were to ever marry it would not be to an American woman but a Japanese one because, they re pretty, submissive, and just plain happy to be women Noting thatthan a few eyelids batted at this exclamation, I wondered how these American teenagers happened upon their conclusions Kirino s Grotesque is a tale of two sisters growing up in Japan Yuriko, the youngest of the pair, lacks the mental acumen enjoyed by her older sister However, in magnificent contrast to her elder sibling, Yuriko possesses a physical beauty so profound and holistically perfect she s considered by many to be unnatural Sibling rivalry comes to a head when a biology instructor at the prestigious Q High School for Young Women the same school the elder sister immersed herself in study in order to pass its entrance exams pulls strings to have Yuriko admitted so he may observe what happens when a mutant member of a species is introduced into a population Needless to say, this expands sibling conflict and upsets the tenuous balance between the insiders those who are beautiful, wealthy, popular, and cool and everyone else the outsiders This, of course, is what transpires on the novel s surface Beneath, the message is much grimmer Grotesque is an intriguing work In it Kirino casts a wary eye on what could be ostensibly viewed as the fundamental cause of many of the ailments found in Japanese society today the intensification of individuation resulting from being trapped within the same social community In this work characters with promising futures select paths which lead to their demise Yuriko and Kazue, two female protagonists who attended the elite Q School, embrace prostitution throughout their lives Kazue feels empowered by the sense of freedom she derives from selling her body to men and remarks to this in her journals Mitsuru, another character which graduates the Q School system and continues on to become a physician, joins a cult and is incarcerated after the group engages in numerous terrorist acts The desire to feel something anything seems to be the motivating force behind the destructive decisions these three characters make It should be noted that neither of these three were ever actually insiders though Yuriko and Mitsuru were granted temporary passes Is Kirino suggesting something by this Perhaps Perhaps not In attempting to explain the strange synergy that exists between social pecking order, individual identity, and one s place in the Japanese corporate hierarchy, Kazue puts it best when her customer terminates their relationship due to his pending retirement She asks, If a man has a retirement age in the corporate world, then should he also retire from buying prostitutes Grotesque is a work which invites discussion Readers seeking to peek into the envelope that contains Japanese social consciousness may very well findthan they bargained for in Kirino s hand It s about time Also, gratuitous formula sex is conspicuously absent from this book Again, it s about time Kirino s placement on the list of consequential modern authors is secure Joel Glenn, Book Critic The NYLS Book Review, Ltd All Rights Reserved


  6. Supreeth Supreeth says:

    Well, there s too much of self loathing, jealousy and depression, you d either want to throw the damn book away or, you know, stay awake till three in the morning reading it Would you want to torment yourself with bitter Japanese women ranting If that s the case, read this book, there can t be a better book for that purpose I guess female noir might just be my new favourite genre Natsuo Kirino is an angry woman, she hates the patriarchal Japanese society,so she writes about what sort of evil Well, there s too much of self loathing, jealousy and depression, you d either want to throw the damn book away or, you know, stay awake till three in the morning reading it Would you want to torment yourself with bitter Japanese women ranting If that s the case, read this book, there can t be a better book for that purpose I guess female noir might just be my new favourite genre Natsuo Kirino is an angry woman, she hates the patriarchal Japanese society,so she writes about what sort of evil monsters women can become instead of men are pigs If you ve read Out you already know that In Real World she writes about teenagers, Out has disappointed middle class women in their forties, this one has both of them, bunch of teenagers growing up, only to become self loathing prostitutesAm I a big fat nothing Am I a big fat nothingTo be honest, I didn t really care about the plot, of course there s a plot, but that s not what it s about Well, translation Nah, that isn t any better The modern Japanese has been turned into something way too worn outshite oh yeah typical oh boy , you sort of forget that you re reading a Japanese book Translation seems too non original Moreover, it looks like everyone s writing journals and diaries, well how else would you listen to murder victims This is one of those times i wish i knew Japanese and not just the word Arigato.Most of the book has this nymphophobic, half Japanese unnamed narrator talking to you,Whenever I meet a man, I catch myself wondering what our child would look like if we were to make a baby It s practically second nature to me nowOne hell of a first line.Narrator s sister, a nymphomaniac, prostitute in making, breathtakingly beautiful, is everything her sister isn t except the fact that she s also a half there s too much of envy, jealousy and the question of pointlessness of everything Some of the characters are too nihilistic that they d just become prostitutes cause , you know, I m not getting any attention at my workplace.Natsuo Kirino includes the foreigner characters in her books, a reason to readof her This one has a Chinese migrant a bit of insight to poverty ridden Chinese lives, migration, the Japanese treatment towards Gaijins, etcetra Basically this part wasinteresting than High school girls doing malignant shit.Despite the bad writing there wasn t a single boring chapter if it wasn t for the translation which went south, this would ve been a perfect Noir If you re really looking for an insight into Japanese culture, pick this up Not to forget these important words, CREEPY, DISTURBING, SUICIDAL, APATHETIC, GROSS, CYNICAL. you get the ideaThere s nothing in this world that s off limits But people who get duped wouldn t understand


  7. Ria Ria says:

    something inside me has begun to crumble I would go anywhere and at almost any priceThis is just a big ball of sadness.There are 3 narrators Yuriko, her unnamed sister and their former classmate Kazue I feel really bad for Kazue Her life was just depressing Yuriko s sister is a bitter and jealous cuntYou idiot Your IQ must not even top fiftyI love Yuriko After a while homegirl was just waiting to dieDeath awaitsThe sex industry is tough Prostitutionsomething inside me has begun to crumble I would go anywhere and at almost any priceThis is just a big ball of sadness.There are 3 narrators Yuriko, her unnamed sister and their former classmate Kazue I feel really bad for Kazue Her life was just depressing Yuriko s sister is a bitter and jealous cuntYou idiot Your IQ must not even top fiftyI love Yuriko After a while homegirl was just waiting to dieDeath awaitsThe sex industry is tough Prostitution is a difficult job.So there is this guy in here and he is like well I m a homosexual everything i m reading this month contains lgbt characters i didn t plan this Happy pride month I guess.I don t know why it took me so long to buy this but oh well Honestllyyy i don t wanna tell you much Just read it but know this isof a character study and a commentary and less of a crime horror mystery The translation issue Publisher Knopf censored the American translation, removing a section involving underage male prostitution, as it was considered too taboo for U S audiences Thanks Wikipedia Now I m kinda pissed I fucking hate censorship I read some reviews on Goodreads and a lot of people mentioned the changes in the translation so I decided to go look into it It s so fucking annoying Here is the link my link text to an analysis of the book I found if you are interested.The original ending sounds so much better and I m pissed they made a lot of changes and cut out things but don t get me wrong, I still loved the ending It s pretty much the same This will spoil the ending so read it, don t read it, I m not your mom view spoiler The eighth and last section, where Watashi describes her reaction to reading the different letters, memoirs and diaries as well as her conversations with Mitsuru and her and Yurio s decision to work as street prostitutes, have been radically shortened and edited One can question whether there is a certain degree of censorship involved in the editing of the English translation, as important scenes involving male prostitution have been completely removed, resulting in the ending being substantially changed hide spoiler


  8. Ova - Excuse My Reading Ova - Excuse My Reading says:

    I think I liked this novel as it offers a look to modern Japan I love reading crime novels from other countries and would definitely want to read Kirino again.I ve read a Turkish translation and I was happy with the result, seeing some other reviews here the English translation being choppy I wanted to congratulate the Turkish translator.


  9. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    4.5 5 The pain of being treated like a mere object And a sense that this pain would turn into pleasure. I ve noticed an expansion in my reading standards of late that is old enough to have partway integrated itself into instinct, young enough for the instincts themselves to seem of peculiar make It all boils down to a sense that, alright, since so much is passed over for the sake of beauteous prose, how about the same be held to when it comes to uncommon ideological groundwork An author s w 4.5 5 The pain of being treated like a mere object And a sense that this pain would turn into pleasure. I ve noticed an expansion in my reading standards of late that is old enough to have partway integrated itself into instinct, young enough for the instincts themselves to seem of peculiar make It all boils down to a sense that, alright, since so much is passed over for the sake of beauteous prose, how about the same be held to when it comes to uncommon ideological groundwork An author s writing may flow over my comprehension as smoothly as silk over lubricated skin, but pleasure s a thing of friction and reading s my Mnemosyne, so understanding s not worth much if nothing s left to contemplate.Boy meets girl, boy wants girl, girl falls in love, girl dies in a fire so that the boy may be thrust into full frontal character development via manpain spectaculair, but how about sex work How about corporatized masculinity How about the mixes and all their monstrous and rapeable glory How about we instead traverse the lifelines of chick lit beyond that undefined age range of early teens to the liminal space of menopause and delve into the prepubescent rape Into the dead under a bridge at the age of 39 Into the sex objects that for whatever reason are now being introduced to the world of Self and Self Worth and expected to strive at four, at fourteen, at the internal hierarchy of growth till a woman s too old to be worth very much I know, the gender dichotomy s old hat and really not as ingrained as the present Eurotopia would like to believe, but there s still a Lolita in the halls of the classics There s still a Fantine in the struts of the stage There are still spinsters in the halls and beauty in the incest and girlfriends in the refrigerators and grudges straining upside down and backwards down the stairs of haunted houses from the looks of The Tale of Genji, their lineage has been a long one.Part of why I m making a distinction between the ease in which the prose conveys itself to my sensibilities and the concepts I parse in between is the whole mess that s involved whenever translation rears its head No, I don t know Japanese, so yes I missed all the puns and rhymes and whatever other language play Kirino was sub consciously plying Yes, I m also not Japanese, so now there s culture clash blending its way into the already tricky business of translating languages with disparate ontological roots The book was published in a different form in 2003, translated four years later, read eight years after that, and I can t say at all whether the contemporary time has enabled my comprehension or sucked it dry with history too recent to be learned from All I can say is, the bloodbound hierarchy s very familiar The fascination white people have for Japan and vice versa, all to an extremely abusive degree on their respective diaspora, is very familiar Late capitalism s going to be very familiar for who knows how long, rape culture plus globalization is resulting in this whole family tree of genome clusters and distinctively mutated fuckery, and that training to highly educated perfection with society s respect on the one hand and the highly disguised need to exist on the other Loud and clear, especially when everyone s their own individual and all want to be on top.All I m trying to say is that, in fiction, you usually don t view the oncoming gang rape from all perspectives and follow each and every one of those stalks back to their socially indoctrinated roots of respectability politics It may be used quite often by any old creative director who thinks their narrative needs a boost, but contextualized Contrasted Trained, experienced, and acclimatized Nah It s rare enough that you can t really say only the classics would tackle it well, or only the pop fiction would stoop to those levels A woman who does not know herself has no choice other than to live with other people s evaluations But no one can adapt perfectly to public opinion And herein lies the source of their destruction. To be honest, I know better than to trust a narrative involving sex workers that wasn t actually written a member of that particular trade However, Kirino being Kirino, I don t have to trust her to learn something worth knowing


  10. Yulia Yulia says:

    3.75 The other reviews can reveal what this book is about What I wanted to share is the extreme responses this book incited in my boyfriend and me He alternately found himself loving the narrator, Yuriko s sister, for her brutal honesty and hating her for her malice and psychological bullying of Kazue Meanwhile, I found myself rooting the narrator on as she spoke the cruel truth about the pitiful hopelessness of Kazue s meritocratic dreams, but a moment later I wondered if that made me a bu 3.75 The other reviews can reveal what this book is about What I wanted to share is the extreme responses this book incited in my boyfriend and me He alternately found himself loving the narrator, Yuriko s sister, for her brutal honesty and hating her for her malice and psychological bullying of Kazue Meanwhile, I found myself rooting the narrator on as she spoke the cruel truth about the pitiful hopelessness of Kazue s meritocratic dreams, but a moment later I wondered if that made me a bully myself or as bitter and heartless as the narrator Perhaps it reminded me too much of what I had seen growing up to shock me.Then, there was the simultaneous hilarity and pain of Kazue s cluelessness Was she a tragic figure, blind, or both I admired Kirino for inspiring me to feel so much for her characters, even for Yuriko, who is certainly not the ditsy airhead her older sister wants us to believe she is I also found it hard to believe she was as ghastly as she considered herself in her 30s is it just because women past 25 in Japan are regarded as Christmas cake, as a friend from Japan says.My attention was quite strained by Zhang s tale of Chinese hardship it seemed the wrong book to educate the reader about how difficult it is for immigrants in Japan , but I immediately forgave Kirino when Yuriko s older sister admitted herself Zhang s account was tedious and could be skipped I d recommend others to skim it as well.Again, my patience was tested by Kazue s journal I just kept on thinking, aren t you ready to die yet But I see this was intentional on Kirino s part, to make the reader struggle between our or my wanting Kazue to just give up on life and our feeling ashamed for our coldness and complicity in her bullying It also made my boyfriend and me think concurrently of the people we loved in our own lives who were heading towards the same fate as Kazue and Yuriko, not through prostitution but through drugs.What did disappoint me in the end was the last chapter, which seemed a cop out If only an editor had suggested it was unconvincing and encouraged her that an alternative, thoughshocking, would bein line with the narrator s character, but that is wishful thinking on my part When I give this book to others, which I will, I will make sure to discuss with them, when they ve finished, what they thought of the ending.This book could have been edited down a hundred pages back when it was written in Japanese , but for what it did offer, I have no regrets for its consuming my attention entirely and will always look forward to further translations of Kirino s books This book may not be the masterpiece Out was, but for anyone who has gone to an elite school on scholarship, striven to remain a petite zero, wanted to excel while recognizing how off the mark our values of judgment are, or wondered just how much her body could be worth, reading Grotesque is just as powerful an experience as reading Out was


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