Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Premature Book Review: Real World

Another by Natsuo Kirino. This one I am reading currently.

Kirino here brings us another story of teen angst gone terribly wrong. The story pretty much opens with the big bang; a high school boy, known as "Worm," has killed his mother. The girl next door and three of her friends get involved with Worm in various ways, essentially harboring him from justice while examining their own parental issues.

The story is narrated through a series of journal entries, and is similar in many ways to The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). Kirino is very good at putting on a teen voice without patronizing. Older teens are the more likely target for the book, but I find it very engaging. The characters' problems all stem from their parents' and society's pressure to excel, while not really giving a good direction. You must attend a prestigious university, but what will that get you? It has a very Generation X feel in this regard, where students are expected to put forth great effort into something they have no passion about.

The Japanese elements are not overly strong here. Those unfamiliar with Japanese literature, or culture, will not be confused. The story is fairly universal, save for the matricide of course.

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