Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Woman in the Dunes
The Woman in the Dunes | K?b? Abe
The Woman in the Dunes, by celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe, combines the essence of myth, suspense and the existential novel. After missing the last bus home following a day trip to the seashore, an amateur entomologist is offered lodging for the night at the bottom of a vast sand pit. But when he attempts to leave the next morning, he quickly discovers that the locals have other plans. Held captive with seemingly no chance of escape, he is tasked with shoveling back the ever-advancing sand dunes that threaten to destroy the village. His only companion is an odd young woman. Together their fates become intertwined as they work side by side at this Sisyphean task. From the Trade Paperback edition.
LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
mollyrotondo
post image
Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I really liked this book about a man who gets enslaved in a sand pit with a woman who we had a lot of thoughts and ideas about at book club. Was the woman another slave or was she in on the scheme to enslave the man? A very thought provoking book and made me think a lot about social tiers and the drudgery of life that we are beaten into accepting until we think there‘s nothing more to life. I recommend this one.

review
Kaag
post image
Pickpick

The plot is very linear and simple to follow. It‘s filled with as many metaphors as there are references to sand... just kidding that‘s impossible. Sand is everywhere, as are metaphors, maybe metaphors within metaphors, I don‘t know 🤷🏻‍♂️ They seep in like sand seeps under the eaves, which seeps into the room, under the umbrella, onto the food, into the mouth, down to the belly and suddenly you‘re sprawling on the floor in a pool of sand vomit.

Kaag Read this only if you like metaphors and or are a sand junkie. Think of fantasy style world building but the world is sand. 2y
Angela40 Way too much sand . 2y
Kaag That‘s fair 2y
2 likes3 comments
blurb
MrBook
post image

Today‘s spotlight is on Kōbō Abe, pen name of Kimifusa Abe! He‘s often been compared to Franz Kafka and Alberto Moravia for his surreal and nightmarish takes on contemporary society. He was born in Tokyo in 1924 and died there in 1993 at 68. His childhood was spent in Manchuria. He was deeply into the arts, and married an artist & fellow playwright. He was expelled from the Japanese Communist Party. #AuthorPotpourri #TheMoreYouKnow

57 likes1 stack add
blurb
ChaoticMissAdventures
post image

"One day in August a man disappeared"

#firstlinefridays
@ShyBookOwl

review
Lindy
post image
Pickpick

This “existential fable” is a disturbing avant-garde exploration of freedom and captivity. It‘s loaded with symbolism, yet the writing is spare and precise. Dreamlike, sometimes nightmarish, and yet compelling because it‘s somehow believable too. Plus, I wanted to know if the insect collector would escape the pit of sand. The characters are mostly unnamed—shades of #Genji and Milkman. Illustrations are by the author‘s wife, Machi Abe. #translation

Lindy Thanks to @shawnmooney for the gift of this book. 😘 4y
39 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
Lindy
post image

In many ways—music references, for example—this novel reminds me of Murakami‘s writing. More Kafkaesque than Kafka on the Shore, actually.

quote
Lindy
post image

His fatigue spread out into a sluggish circle, like India ink dropped in water—it was a jellyfish, a scent bag, a diagram of an atomic nucleus. Some night bird had found a field mouse & was calling to its mate with a weird cry. An uneasy dog bayed deeply. High in the night sky there was a continuous, discordant sound of wind blowing at a different velocity. And on the ground the wind was a knife continually shaving off thin layers of sand.

Lindy Kōbō Abe can really set a mood. 4y
batsy I'm intrigued! 4y
Lindy @batsy If you are in the mood for bleak surrealism, I recommend this. 😊 4y
35 likes1 stack add3 comments
quote
Lindy
post image

Sexual desire, with a history of some hundred million years from the amoeba on up, is fortunately not easily worn out.

quote
Lindy
post image

In the old days you used to find a beauty spot and then have your postcards made. But now, it‘s common sense to have the cards made first… and afterwards think up a beautiful place. I have brought along two or three samples, if you‘d care to look them over.

Freespirit Wow how gorgeous that is. 4y
Lindy @Freespirit Thanks! That‘s the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. 4y
Freespirit Japan is on my bucket list😍 4y
Lindy @Freespirit I loved Japan on my first visit (March 2019) and I plan to go back. 4y
48 likes4 comments
quote
Lindy
post image

Sex, of its nature, was not defined by a single, individual body but by the species. An individual, finished with his squalid act, must return at once to his former self. Only the happy ones return to contentment. Those who were sad return to despair. Those who were dying return to their deathbeds. How could he possibly be convinced that such trickery was passionate love?

quote
Lindy
post image

It goes on, terrifyingly repetitive. One could not do without repetition in life, like the beating of the heart, but it was also true that the beating of the heart was not all there was to life.

quote
Lindy
post image

You can‘t really judge a mosaic if you don‘t look at it from a distance. If you really get close to it you get lost in detail. You get away from one detail only to get caught in another. Perhaps what he had been seeing up until now was not the sand but grains of sand.

51 likes2 stack adds
quote
Lindy
post image

She blames me for being too argumentative. But I‘m not the one who‘s argumentative. It‘s just the truth.

merelybookish I tried to watch this movie once but couldn't do it. 😵 4y
Lindy @merelybookish It certainly is a weird story. 🤪 4y
49 likes2 comments
quote
Lindy
post image

…when you courted a girl, you always began, it seemed, with lectures on nutrition and taste… that is, before you got around to sex.

(Photo: donuts for White Day—March 14—in Japan; which is related to Valentines Day. Men buy gifts for women on White Day; it‘s the reverse on Valentines Day.)

quote
Lindy
post image

If there was no scenery to look at, of course it was only natural to want to see pictures of scenery at least. He had read in various books how landscape painting had developed in naturally spare country and how newspapers had come out of industrial areas where human relations were anonymous.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Have been wanting to get to this one! 4y
Lindy @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled It‘s strange and rather dreamlike. 4y
LeahBergen The book you saved from @shawnmooney ‘s “unhauling”! 👏🏻👏🏻 4y
shawnmooney @Lindy @LeahBergen Looks like you‘re enjoying it! 😍 4y
Lindy @LeahBergen @shawnmooney Yes, I‘m enjoying it, but it‘s a little depressing. 4y
37 likes1 stack add5 comments
blurb
TwoEs
post image

Excellent novel about the trappings of life. I saw the film first, then pursued the novel. Kōbō Abe is brillIant.

quote
shelf.righteous

"Yet the average woman was firmly convinced, it seemed, that she could not make a man recognize her worth unless every time she opened her legs she did so as if it were a scene in a soap opera. But this very pathetic and innocent illusion in fact made women the victims of a one-sided, spiritual rape."

blurb
DePaepe
post image

#tbr what I own already. Tbh I have way more tbr than what's on my list and is rather on my shelves. I've a habit of squirreling away books for the future. #usedbookaddiction

DePaepe Realized I forgot to add Quest by George Dibbern to the stack. Which is a shame as it was a hard book to come across. 4y
15 likes1 comment
blurb
SW-T
post image

#sundaysurvey @alisonrose

1. The Woman in the Dunes (only one that came to mind)
2. Both; depends on the book
3. Rooster
4. Yay!!!

alisonrose Thanks for playing!! 4y
7 likes1 comment
blurb
erzascarletbookgasm
post image

Have not read it, but this seems a strange novel, about a man imprisoned in a pit of sand, after he accepted the villagers‘ hospitality to stay overnight in their village. The book was adapted for a Cannes festival award-winning film in 1964.
#getmovin #sandstorm

Billypar Perfect choice for the prompt! I read it this year...I usually like the strange but I wasn't a fan of this one- just wasn't for me. 5y
EKonrad This one is really interesting...such a creative and eerie premise. 👍🏼 5y
erzascarletbookgasm @Billypar @EKonrad I‘ve read both your reviews. Interesting thoughts. This book sounds a bit Kafkaesque to me. Or is it a clever satire? 🤷‍♀️ 5y
EKonrad I would definitely say Kafkaesque. Didn‘t get a satire feel from it, but maybe that‘s just me. 5y
Billypar @erzascarletbookgasm Yeah, I'd say Kafkaesque is a better description than satire. It seemed to me more about the ridiculous aspects of domestic life or government, but not specific or realistic enough to be satire. 5y
78 likes5 comments
blurb
Billypar
post image

Congrats @Cathythoughts on the 30k milestone - I've definitely benefited from your Litfluence (without which, The Idiot would likely still be on my shelf, unread).
As for #onewordonebook , I'll go with 'dry' (in more ways than one 😴 🏜️).

Cathythoughts Thanks @Billypar , you just made it into 🎩. The draw is this morning! . Love your pic, thanks for entering into the spirit with the hat 😊you‘re a pet ! 5y
23 likes1 comment
review
Billypar
post image
Panpan

Started out intriguing and I was prepared for a strange, dreamy, surreal story. It was all of those things but I didn't find the world portrayed very interesting once the main character is trapped (most of the novel). I was bored, and the implied absurdist message about society seemed labored. I've also never seen so many similes per page, flung carelessly like a child's scattered toys, like coins dropped from a purse...(you get the idea 😋).

merelybookish I enjoyed your review. And the similes! 🤣😂 5y
Izai.Amorim Lost in translation? 5y
Billypar @Izai.Amorim I think that could be part of it- some of the description and poetic portions were a little clunky and probably a casualty of translation. But I think the overall plot arc and symbolic aspects just weren't for me. 5y
28 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
EKonrad
post image
Pickpick

Haunting, weird, and wonderful. Loved this story about a man taken hostage by a woman living in an underground home made out of sand. Eerie magical realism element that‘s impossible to hate. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

blurb
Billypar
post image

Very excited to sign up for my first non-photo reading challenge courtesy of @GatheringBooks for 2018, taking a Literary Voyage Around the World as a Literary Hitchhiker (25-40 countries). This challenge is exactly what I need- really want to broaden my reading horizons, but it's one that can be adapted for a slower reader like myself. Already started on my list- looking forward to the trip! 📖 🌍🛩 #LitWorld2018GB

Cathythoughts Congratulations 🎉Bon voyage 👍👍👍 5y
kalinichta Hmm, I may have to join you on this one. 5y
GatheringBooks wonderful! glad to hear you‘re taking the trip with us! woohoo! 5y
See All 9 Comments
GatheringBooks do make sure you share your blog post/ or even just a link to this litsy announcement post to our link-up page! here it is http://bit.ly/LitWorld2018GB 5y
Liz_M I love the photo, what is it? Also, an around the world reading challenge?! Off to investigate. 5y
Billypar @Liz_M My fiancee found this set of postcards with watercolor paintings of different city scenes from around the world, and we put them on our wall. The challenge is perfect for me since you can customize your goal (mine is the smallest one 😳). I'm looking forward to it- sounds like a fun one. 5y
Liz_M Nice! Also the tagged book is weirdly mesmerizing. 5y
Billypar @Liz_M It looks that way! I started making a list of books from different countries that I might try and this sounded too interesting not to include. 5y
27 likes9 comments
review
zsuzsanna_reads
post image
Panpan

A man is trapped among sand dunes in a nightmarish situation. So much symbolism, it completely overpowered the (rather repugnant) plot. Not my cup of tea.

Image: still from the film of the book.

Abailliekaras @zsuzsanna_reads I agree. It has stuck with me though, I must say! 😬 5y
zsuzsanna_reads @Abailliekaras me too! But in a bad way. 😔 5y
32 likes2 comments
review
Abailliekaras
post image
Mehso-so

This was too nightmarish for me, with the protagonist trapped in a woman's house at the bottom of a sand dune. There is a Kafkan injustice in the sense that the whole village has conspired to keep him prisoner. It is interesting & poetic, with descriptions of thirst & being trapped by sand all too vivid. I admired it but could not enjoy!

blurb
Abailliekaras
post image

A man is held captive in a woman's house to help dig out the sand dunes that the house is buried in. I'm not enjoying the nightmarish quality of this and the amount of sand (in his food, hair, clothes). But the writing is very good...

blurb
Abailliekaras
post image

The windy impossibility of reading The Woman in the Dunes at the beach...

Cinfhen Pretty day 💙💙💙I love the beach 🏖 6y
42 likes1 comment
blurb
frankie
post image

Decided to start the year with a book that I've been trying to read the year before but then the exam session kicked in so I had to drop it. It's terrifying so far, claustrophobic. I'm in love with the illustrations scattered through it though.

blurb
anggunpw
post image

A disquieting tale of an amateur entomologist who journeys to a remote seaside village to search for insects. He disappears, without a trace and seven years later is declared legally dead. But he is alive and has been taken prisoner by the desperate villagers, who need him to help save their small village.

4 likes1 stack add
blurb
meltedsquirrel
post image

selection of #diversereads from my shelf. #booktober day 8