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Grotesque

de Natsuo Kirino

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1,1703612,590 (3.47)72
Two prostitutes have been murdered in Tokyo. Yuriko had been working as a prostitute all her adult life, starting while still at school, where her stunning beauty compensated for what she lacked in intellect and commanded attention from older men. Kazue worked for a blue-chip company and had good career prospects, but was unpopular with colleagues and felt isolated. She chose to walk the streets at night where she hoped to get noticed. Twenty years previously both women were educated at an elite school for young ladies, and both exhibited exceptional promise prior to their brutal , unnecessary deaths. How and why did this tragedy occur? With narration from Yuriko's embittered, unattractive sister and through the girls' journals and diaries Kirino allows their shocking story to unfurl. As with Out, Grotesque gets under the skin, and Kirino's analysis of the female psyche grips the reader. The extreme need to succeed, and the vicious desire to be accepted in the bewildering environment of modern life is explored here with acute and chilling insight. Grotesque is a masterful and haunting achievement.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porGaveboeken, biblioteca privada, no2camels, gigapoctopus, FleetSparrow, TairaNagasawa, maguorui, huub137, germ_cell, Macjohnny
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Inglês (32)  Holandês (2)  Italiano (2)  Todos os idiomas (36)
Mostrando 1-5 de 36 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Sabendo que esse livro foi traduzido pra português da versão em inglês, que já não tem uma boa reputação, eu comecei a ler com um pé atrás e já achando que não ia gostar. O livro demora umas 100 e poucas páginas para ficar realmente interessante.
No momento que a personagem principal entra pro ensino médio, eu simplesmente não consegui largar o livro! Tinha algo intrigante sobre como ela contava sobre seu passado com tanto ódio. Quando chega no diário da Yuriko, fica ainda melhor. Eu não conseguia parar de ler querendo descobrir mais sobre a vida pessoal daquela garota.
Esse livro tem várias narradores não confiáveis e ver como cada um enxerga a si mesmo e os outros narradores foi muito bom.

Enfim, acho que essa review fala tudo sobre como abordar/interpretar esse livro, e eu estou ansiosa para ler os outros livros da Natsuo Kirino.
Só fico desapontada que o final foi modificado pela editora que traduziu pro inglês, então a versão em português também é "censurada". Adoraria ler o final original. ( )
  protoplasm | Dec 18, 2020 |
It took me almost a year to finish this book. It was a struggle to get "into" the story, at first. Some novels (as well as nonfiction) can grab you in the first few pages, or even after the first 20. This book took nearly 100 to get me really going. But, it was worth the slog.

This is not a mystery or crime novel, though those two items might inform the plot from time to time. Grotesque is more of a social study of Japanese culture: business, school, home and familial responsibilities. It follows in Kirino's tradition of strong, feminist writing and adds more class issues this time around.

The relationships of the characters at the Q School and the interactions between Yuriko and Kazue during their prostitution work may be difficult to read but there's a lot going on.

The end of the novel, in the Knopf (USA) translation, seemed way too choppy. I base that on how detailed the book was up until the final chapter. The novel contained 8 chapters and was 467 pages long (hardcover). The final chapter was a paltry eight pages and felt forced and skeletal. What I found out online is that a pretty important subplot/storyline was excised by the publisher. It was CENSORED! They claimed the topic (underage male prostitution) would be too sensitive a topic for an American audience, so they simply cut out a chainsaw and hacked the end of the story. As several astute commentators have noted, it's a double standard as underage female prostitution played a major role in the novel and remained intact throughout. This is why it's always best to try to read a novel in the original, if at all possible. It's not something I can do for all novels, but in this case, it would have been worth it.

This book is different than her first novel translated into English: Out. I read Out first and was a little upset at first when working thorugh Grotesque. However, having finished it, I can hold up both books as well worth the time required to read them. I'm so excited that her next English translation, Real World, is already on my bookshelf waiting for me! ( )
  drew_asson | Dec 3, 2020 |
One of the more disturbing novels I've read about beauty, class, misogyny, and heterosexuality. It's bleak and pretty relentless in that sense; it can wear you down. ( )
  subabat | Mar 19, 2018 |
I’ve been meaning to read more Japanese fiction, but nothing quite prepared me for Natsuo Kirino’s twisted tale of female bitterness. It has made a great impact. Brutal and crude, it’s told in a detached manner that verges on the soulless. It’s also a sobering story of three young women fighting for empowerment and recognition in a world where the only accepted currency is beauty. The tale is grotesque; the setting is bleak; there isn’t a single sympathetic character in the whole damn book and yet, despite all of this, Kirino manages to create something completely gripping.

For the rest of the review please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2016/11/06/grotesque-natsuo-kirino/ ( )
1 vote TheIdleWoman | Nov 6, 2016 |
The book is well written, but that may be one of the few good things I have to say about Grotesque. This novel would seem to be a critique of Japanese culture - particularly the subordinate state of women in Japan; it would also seem to be about self-loathing; it could also be about the harmful consequences of cross-cultural interaction. The book could work on any of these levels, but ultimately it fails.

The story is about three principal characters and a handful of supporting characters. The three principals - the extremely beautiful Yuriko, the attractive but ultimately plain Kazue, and the narrator (Mitsuru), Yuriko's older, plain, dumpy sister - seem to be intended to illustrate how Japan's rigidly stratified, highly competitive, and ultimately overwhelmingly sexist society destroys women, and does so from the inside - by making women loathe themselves.

The problem with the book, and why it ultimately fails, is that the book is, from beginning to end, fatalistic to a depressing extent. You cannot read one page of this book without feeling depressed. The characters are filled with hatred for others, loathing for themselves, and the pursuit of self-destruction.

By the end, one is so overwhelmed by the oppressive negativity of the book that I had to start wondering about the psychological state of the author, Ms. Kirino, herself. Would it be possible to indulge oneself in such a bottomless pit of hatred and disgust unless one was, oneself, of a "grotesque" nature? Is this a case of Ms. Kirino glancing in a mirror?

This is a disturbing book, and all the more so because it is a compelling book. The reader wants to read on, even though each page is an indulgence in hate. By the time you finish this book you will hate yourself for having bothered to read it; you will reflect on the misery and tragedy of the lives depicted in it, and the fact that there is not one positive note to be taken away from the whole lot.

The book clearly lives up to its title. ( )
  jpporter | Oct 24, 2015 |
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Copeland, Rebecca L.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Two prostitutes have been murdered in Tokyo. Yuriko had been working as a prostitute all her adult life, starting while still at school, where her stunning beauty compensated for what she lacked in intellect and commanded attention from older men. Kazue worked for a blue-chip company and had good career prospects, but was unpopular with colleagues and felt isolated. She chose to walk the streets at night where she hoped to get noticed. Twenty years previously both women were educated at an elite school for young ladies, and both exhibited exceptional promise prior to their brutal , unnecessary deaths. How and why did this tragedy occur? With narration from Yuriko's embittered, unattractive sister and through the girls' journals and diaries Kirino allows their shocking story to unfurl. As with Out, Grotesque gets under the skin, and Kirino's analysis of the female psyche grips the reader. The extreme need to succeed, and the vicious desire to be accepted in the bewildering environment of modern life is explored here with acute and chilling insight. Grotesque is a masterful and haunting achievement.

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