Haruki Murakami might be the one with a novel called Kafka on the Shore, but with ‘The Woman in the Dunes,’ Abe beat him to everything but. Dazzlingly original, Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes is one of the premier Japanese novels in the twentieth century, and this Penguin. The Woman in the Dunes, by celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe, combines the essence of myth, suspense and the existential novel. After missing.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Woman in the Dunesby celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe, combines the essence of yhe, 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 loca The Woman in the Dunesby celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe, combines the essence of myth, suspense and the existential novel.

But when he attempts to leave the next morning, he tne 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. Paperbackpages. Published by Vintage first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Woman in the Dunesplease sign up.

Do you think I would like this book? Morgan There is a movie based on this book.

Late to the Party: Kōbō Abe’s ‘The Woman In the Dunes’

I was asking myself the same question actually. I’d say if you’re not sure, watch the movie first. I think the …more There is a movie based on this book. I think the movie was really well done, but it’s an acquired taste. Is this book better than Secret Ave

The Woman in the Dunes – Wikipedia

Is the atmosphere similar? It was the first and only book I have ever read from this author and it sort of scared me and creeped me out. It was too nightmareish for my taste, which is unusual because I quite like surreal stuff. I guess I found all those sexually ih characters too disgusting Boz Reacher This one’s pretty sexy too.

See all 3 questions about The Woman in the Dunes…. Lists with This Book. This book is horrifically claustrophobic and eerie.

How much of our lives consist of frantically trying to stay afloat? Life can be as fruitless as a man trapped under sand dunes digging to live Do we work to live or live to work? If you think being held hostage in sand is fantastical, what do you think your life is, anyway? This book wears you down. It gets into your skin, your hair, under your fingernails.


Jobo sand is everywhere. The wind, the salt air, their eyes always wat This book is horrifically claustrophobic and eerie. The wind, the salt air, their eyes always watching. You never breathe in all the way. You can’t see the horizon through the grains scratching the insides of your eyelids.

There’s a man and sand. A lot of sand. And it’s all delusional, suffocating and brilliant He was like an animal who finally sees that the crack in the fence it was trying to escape through is in reality merely the entrance to its cage —like a fish who at last realizes, after bumping its nose numberless time, that the glass of the goldfish bowl is a wall.

View all 10 comments. View all 8 comments. It kobp the Yomiuri Prize for literature, and an English translation and a film adaptation appeared in InJumpei Niki, a school teacher from Tokyo, visits a fishing village to collect insects.

The Woman in the Dunes

After missing the last bus, he is led, by the villagers, in an act of apparent hospitality, to a house in the dunes that can be reached only by rope ladder. The next morning the ladder is gone and he finds he is ae to keep the house clear of sand with the woman living there, with whom he is also to produce children.

He eventually gives up trying to escape when he comes to realize returning to his old life would give him no more liberty. After seven years, he is proclaimed officially dead. When we mix surrealistic Kafkaesque climate with existential questions about sense of human being then we get something like The woman in the dunes.

Tale about a man obsessed or maybe possessed with sand who during the trip to the sea is trapped in the dunes in a cave inhabited by a lonely woman.

Initially desperately tries to escape but the magnetic strength of the woman, her desperate fight with sand makes that what previously seemed to be a trap now becomes a sense of his life.

The first wh When we mix surrealistic Kafkaesque climate with existential questions about sense of human being then we get something like The woman in the dunes. The first what comes to your mind is like: It’s like The Trial by Kafka. The same anonymous hero, entangled in an absurd situation, condemned and imprisoned for unspecified faults. Prose is dunnes, atmosphere stifling and nightmarish.

This story is captured by the sand. In fact, sand rules everyone and everything, sand never rested.

Reading you can almost hear rustle of the sand as if it was pouring from the book. View all 18 comments. Nov 02, Will Byrnes rated it liked it.


This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It is he and not the bug who is captured. The village is beset by relentless sand. Their homes have already been buried so deep that it takes full time effort by residents to remove incoming sand un the holes in which their houses are now nearly buried to keep from being destroyed. Jumpei is placed in the home of a widow to help wlman.

The story tells of his imprisonment and his attempts to escape. There is much detail here about sand, but the true intent here is an examination of life. What is the true role of man? Do we control our fate? If so, how much? A bond grows between the man and woman, and becomes sexual. Finally, he is faced with a choice, when freedom is offered, to stay or go.

There is one scene that is quite chilling, in which taunting village elders at the top of his hole tease him that they will set him free if he dknes only have sex with the woman in their view. God playing with his human toys? I appreciated the intellectual drive woamn the novel, but I never felt much of a visceral tie to wo,an characters. The absurdity of the story prevented that for me. View all 6 comments.

In Kobo Abe’s fantasy world qbe The Woman in the Dunesan amateur entomologist on vacation finds himself in a remote coastal village built amid deeply undulating dunes. There, he is tricked by a lonely widow and her neighboring villagers, trapped in deep pits shored by sand drift walls, to be charged with the task of shoveling back the ever-sliding banks, persistent and never-ending in its threat to entomb them. Sand moves aroun 4.

Sand moves around like this all year long. Its flow is its life. It absolutely never stops— anywhere. Whether in water or air, it moves about free and unrestricted. So, usually, ordinary living things are unable to endure life in it.

In addition, its themes adopt surrealistic, dreamlike, metamorphosing features reminiscent of the works of Kafka, slowly shifting and deforming like the dunes themselves.

Things with form were empty when placed beside sand. Xunes only certain factor was its movement; sand was the antithesis of all form. Abe’s works are generically concerned with the human state of balance, whose fragility becomes evident in a life of pointlessness and insufferable futility.

In The Woman in the DunesAbe presents the grotesque sadness borne from a man’s oppressive, fruitless daily life; the image of a degraded human being who is isolated, trapped in the monotony of routine, unable to escape a meaningless existence.