Thumbs down for The Woman In The Dunes by Kobo Abe. Literature.
Oh God I hated this book. I thought that I hated Battle Royale (see my review); as it turned out, I don’t. That was badly written, but a positive joyride compared to this book. The Woman in the Dunes was well-written, sometimes very beautifully so, but I have not one existential bone in my body and therefore it was downright excruciating to read. Plot: man made slave in giant hole in sand. Features woman, plus much sand. And do you think it has a happy ending? Uh huh. (So you might like it. But you’ve been warned.)
“He sat down on the shovel and lit a cigarette. The flame caught at last with the third match. 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 and 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. He wiped away the perspiration, blew his nose with his fingers, and brushed the sand from his head. The ripples of sand at his feet suddenly looked like motionless crests of waves.”
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