March 2010


Now for another crime thriller. The book is Out and it is Natsuo Kirino's gory story about four ordinary Japanese women and their link to a horrid murder. This is one of those books that really won over its readers, as can be seen from the fact that it was quickly adapted into a movie. Funnily enough, I don't think the movie did that well.

The story is dark and gory and definitely not for everyone. The four characters at the center of the plot are Japanese women from various walks of life. Each of them come from different backgrounds and seem to represent the different types of women out there – the single mom, the newly dumped young woman with bad debt, the bitter middle aged woman and the unhappy woman with an abusive husband. What's their common link? They all work in a dull factory setting and are caught up in this humdrum little life.

The Makioka Sisters

Yet another novel that is an interesting look at Japanese past. The Makioka Sisters, written by Junichiro Tanizaki, is a story set in the time of the second World War and it follows the life of four sisters. Well, unlike some novels that draw in a bit too much of the time period, this one talks more about personal lives of one particular family.

The story itself is meant to compare and contrast the changing ideals and social trends of its time. Interestingly enough, it was also written in this specific period, meaning that the author was in tune with a lot of the sentiment of his time. On the one hand, this book is about the way a family's comfortable life is disrupted as they face financial problems.