Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Real World" by Natsuo Kirino

This 208 page novel is about five Tokyo teenagers.  Worm is a boy who murdered his mother and fled.  Four girls know about it because he stole one of their cell phones and is calling the girls on its memory.  They don't turn him in and instead talk to him and help him while he is on the run.  It's not a mystery, but more of a coming of age story of modern Tokyo teenagers who have a lot of societal pressures.  Each of them in their self-absorbed way is rebelling against their expected roles in society as super students, future office ladies, or future wives/mothers.  It's a chilling read as we watch Worm flee and we see the repercussions of how these girls help and hinder Worm.  It reminds me of the movie "River's Edge" about teens who do nothing even though they know of a murder.  The end is not very satisfying, but one of the girls seems to evolve at the end.  It was entertaining and disturbing.

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