Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Grotesque Paperback – February 12, 2008
Doubt (Caroline Auden)
Newbie lawyer Caroline Auden risks her life to expose a biotech giant’s deadly secrets. Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Kirino helps us aficionados of crime fiction imagine the kind of novels James M. Cain might have written if he had been a Japanese feminist. . . . Emotionally harrowing.”
—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air (NPR)
“A layered exploration of the human psyche, of the conflict inherent in need and desire, shame and humiliation. . . . A powerful study of people humbled at the altar of superficial values.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Kirino provides an energized thrill ride as she also examines the sometimes-stifling stranglehold of Japan’s social hierarchy, especially for women.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Top Customer Reviews
At its core, GROTESQUE is a simple tale of the brutal murders of two middle-aged prostitutes, occurring slightly less than a year apart, and the man accused of killing them both. However, rather than spend most of her 467 pages on the crime or its investigation (Zhang, the accused, freely admits to murdering Yuriko), Ms. Kirino creates a complex web of characters while recounting the school-age experiences of both victims as seen through one of the victim's sisters and as recounted by journals kept by both dead women. The story passes back and forth from the present (the killer's trial) to the victims' high school days in the high pressure and high conformist Japanese school system, while a parallel thread tracks the killler's passage from poor farm villager in China to Chinese immigrant laborer in Tokyo.
The unifying character in GROTESQUE is Ms. Hirata, unattractive older sister to the almost preternaturally beautiful Yuriko Hirata.Read more ›
Two of the "nails" trying to avoid being "hammered down" in this odd but fascinating novel are prostitutes. Another is the pathologically jealous older sister of one of the prostitutes, and one is an illegal Chinese national who murdered one or both of the prostitutes--not the typical cast of characters for a novel written by a Japanese author and published for an English-speaking audience. Revealing aspects of Japanese society usually kept hidden, the novel is told by characters who feel they have little to lose, and it is dark, often raw, and sometimes sexually explicit.
The four characters tell their own stories, leading up to the murders of the two prostitutes and their immediate aftermath--the trial of the murderer. An unnamed speaker, the studious sister of "diabolically beautiful" prostitute Yuriko Hirata, describes her own efforts to succeed in school. Her inability to form friendships, her pathological hatred for her sister, and her resentment of students whose success at the school is far greater than her own, make her a frustrating and unlikable main character.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This author is one of my favorites. While "Out" is the most masterful, this novel on a lesser scale still captures the undercurrent of basic human needs and the trouble it... Read morePublished 3 months ago by reader
We live in times of culture diversity promotion, yet what this movement translates into practice is in fact reinforcement of superficiality, stereotyping and an expectation of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Avantel
The worst novel by a "major writer" that I've read for years: multiple unreliable first-person narrators, all of them highly unsympathetic; no suspense, no... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Symmachus
This book was sublime.
Every character speaks for themselves which leaves the reader to sift through the lies and the bias so you can make your on conclusion on whom is being... Read more
What an interesting read with a lot of different unique perspectives. His book was quite the roller coaster and even now I still don't know who or what to believe.Published 8 months ago
I attended an elite girls school and this book reminds me of my childhood. The school scenes are accurate. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Scarlet Risque
Written from multiple POVs - and featuring a clutch of unreliable narrators - 'Grotesque' is another Kirino foray into the dark underbelly of modern Japanese culture. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Diogenes