15 January 2012

Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino

Grotesque -- 3.5 Stars

This is the first novel by this author that I have read and I was left feeling unsure about the book as a whole. Written in Japanese surrealist style, the novel follows one woman through her life and how she reacts to a world where she is merely average yet her younger sister is a monstrous beauty. The focus is on the time spent in high school and then middle age.

When her sister and a school mate are both murdered, the unnamed protagonist goes back through her memory and explores the past they all shared. There are two journals and one confession that we are given to read to gain further insight into this world of prostitution, murder and money. Spanning well over thirty years, this book has a lot of detail but it doesn't really go anywhere.

I do enjoy Japanese surrealism, but not this book. It was average in almost every way. The way the story kept flipping from one view to the next was uninspired. The protagonist is a malicious whiner, not a character I attach to or care about.

This is book number one in my list of novels left on my shelf for longer then one year.

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