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After reading Kirinos first translated novel "Out" I couldn't wait to get stuck into "Grotesque"!
I am a huge fan of everything Japanese, especially the dark side of Japanese culture and this novel addresses this perfectly. If you like what are refered to as "cult" novels you will enjoy this book. This isn't a light read. Its dark, disturbing and makes you question your own morality. If your a fan of Haruki Murakami's work then I think you will enjoy "Grotesque" also.
This novel comes under the "crime" category but the actual crimes commited (the murders of 2 prostitues) are merely the catalyst which allows the main character to tell her story. If your looking for gorey details of violent crimes and the like then your in the wrong place. This story isn't about finding the killer (we know all along who he is) and seeing him brought to justice. This is about morality (or lack of it) and obession.
The main character is the sister of one of the murdered prostitutes and is a bitter, twisted, jealous, hateful person and it is delicious to read her complete lack of self awareness, absolute lack of concern for a single other human being and her scathing and twisted views on those who affect her life. And the best bit? The character isn't blown out of proportion. Despite her hideous qualities you still fall for her. You can listen to her commentry on those around her for hours. You can relate to her. And that freaks you out!
Just when you think this novel can't get any darker...... characters start to admit to thinks you knew all along... things that the author had hinted at time and time again but you refused to believe.... no... he wouldn't, she couldn't...... but they DID!
I could ramble on for hours about all the wonderfully dysfunctional characters in this book but I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone. Basically this novel celebrates the notion that the people we share or life with can royaly fcuk us up!! It's marvelous!
I also highly recommend the authors other translated novel "Out".... this has more gore in it and it just as twisted if you like that sort of thing!