What I’m reading

I never finished reading White Noise, by Don Dellilo. I could have but just didn’t. I didn’t really lose interest, just patience. I liked it. It was interesting. But there were other things that I wanted to read and it was taking too long to finish Whie Noise. I know when I’m done with a book. Sometimes I’ll persist to the end, but not this time. Sorry.

I’m still reading Slackonomics, and I’m still really digging it. Not only is it intelligent, but it’s funny too. That’s sexy.

I started reading a new novel, Real World, by Natsuo Kirino.

Dig that cover. Very cool.

Kirino is a Japanese author and she’s had two other novels translated into English. She’s writes a kind of noir that focuses on Japanese women. Real World is specifically about teenage girls:

In a suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, four teenage girls become suspicious of a neighbor’s teenage son when his father is found brutally murdered and the young man disappears, unaware that all four of them will become caught up in the crime. (description from library catalog record)

Here’s the product description from Amazon.com, which dubs it feminist noir:

A stunning new work of the feminist noir that Natsuo Kirino defined and made her own in her novels Out and Grotesque.

In a crowded residential suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer and endless “cram school” sessions meant to ensure entry into good colleges. There’s Toshi, the dependable one; Terauchi, the great student; Yuzan, the sad one, grieving over the death of her mother—and trying to hide her sexual orientation from her friends; and Kirarin, the sweet one, whose late nights and reckless behavior remain a secret from those around her. When Toshi’s next-door neighbor is found brutally murdered, the girls suspect the killer is the neighbor’s son, a high school boy they nickname Worm. But when he flees, taking Toshi’s bike and cell phone with him, the four girls get caught up in a tempest of dangers—dangers they never could have even imagined—that rises from within them as well as from the world around them.

Psychologically intricate and astute, dark and unflinching, Real World is a searing, eye-opening portrait of teenage life in Japan unlike any we have seen before.

I am familiar with her previous novels, but have not read them. I like noir and I like stories about teenagers so I thought I’d give Real World a try. So far I’m digging it. It has a kind of Brett Easton Ellis kind of quality to it. There’s a brutal murder of a woman and the narrator in the first part seem alternately terrified by and indifferent to it.


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