i just finished reading out by kirino natsuo, about a group of women who work at the night shift at a boxed lunch factory in the outskirts of tokyo and what happens when one of them kills her husband. it's funny i even considered giving this book to my mom to read. it was sadistically violent and gory, with every gruesome action described in careful detail. kinda. the story was definitely involving and it propels rather quickly after the murder happens up until the end of the book. i'm not completely satisfied with the conclusion, but i guess it did sorta make sense within the logistical bounds of the book. what was really interesting was that the narrative perspective switched up regularly, so that you would see how things unfolded from the point of view of several of the characters. i think the number of people must have reached at least ten. unfortunately, not all the characters were drawn very well or completely, which i probably wouldn't have noticed as much had kirino not bothered to focus on them, in particular the hot brazilian guy (i dunno if he was that hot in the book, but i cast this guy (thanks made in brazil) in the movie i made in my head). speaking of the movie i was making in my head, i could see a really cool japanese-style indie movie made out of this book. something in a style between kurosawa kiyoshi and tsukamoto shinya. anyways, it was entertaining, tho some of the really gross stuff was a bit over-the-top, and it was also a pretty quick read for me for it being a 400-page book (i read slow).
so wait, what's that other cover? i'd read murakami ryuu's in the miso soup sometime last year (or was it the year before? i don't remember...), and i have to say out reminded me a lot of that book. both are about the seedy underbelly of japanese urban society, tho they definitely take different paths to describe what might be going on just under the surface. however, i liked out a lot more than i did in the miso soup. in the miso soup was almost pointless and the end was too obscure to the point that i didn't feel like the story ended at all. kirino actually mentions murakami in her book, so she's just begging for the comparison. i wonder why so? i figured people would have compared them anyway... at any rate, if you need something to occupy your time on a plane, out would definitely be a good pick, tho if you were on a flight to japan, you might want to pick another book.