Hell

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Overview

Fifty-seven-year-old Takeshi has just been involved in a traffic accident. When he wakes up, he is in a strange bar and is no longer crippled as he has been for most of his life, but able to walk without crutches in his everyday business suit. Looking around, he sees a number of familiar faces—Izumi, a colleague who had died in a plane crash five years before; his childhood friend Yuzo, who had become a yakuza and had been killed by a rival gang member; and Sasaki, who had frozen to death as a homeless vagrant. ...

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Hell

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Overview

Fifty-seven-year-old Takeshi has just been involved in a traffic accident. When he wakes up, he is in a strange bar and is no longer crippled as he has been for most of his life, but able to walk without crutches in his everyday business suit. Looking around, he sees a number of familiar faces—Izumi, a colleague who had died in a plane crash five years before; his childhood friend Yuzo, who had become a yakuza and had been killed by a rival gang member; and Sasaki, who had frozen to death as a homeless vagrant. This is Hell—a place where three days last as long as 10 years on earth, and people are able to see events in both the future and the past. Yuzo can now see the yakuza that killed him as he harasses a friend of his. The actress Mayumi and the writer Torigai are chased by the paparazzi into an elevator that drops to floor 666 beneath ground level. The vivid depiction of afterlife portrayed in Hell admits the traditional horrors, but subjects them to Tsutsui’s unique powers of enchantment—witty, amusing, and praised for its poetic style and the wizard-like light touch of the author’s shifting focus.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The nice thing about Tsutsui is that history and modernity combine effortlessly, as do drab reality and fantasy."  —The Daily Telegraph

"For all the deadpan simplicity of his prose, there is something rich and strange going on here . . . Imagine a manic JG Ballard, but one with an even darker past to work out . . . Another writer who springs to mind by way of comparison is Kurt Vonnegut . . . you won't have read anything quite like this. It's astonishing that no other publisher has seen fit to translate him into English. We've been missing out."  —Guardian

"The hell in Japanese writer Yasutaka Tsutsui's surrealist novella is not the conventional fire and brimstone version. In fact this hell is not very dissimilar to the world that the inhabitants have just left."  —Financial Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846880377
  • Publisher: Alma Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Yasutaka Tsutsui has won several literary prizes and was made a Chevalier Order of Arts and Literature by the French government. His books include Salmonella Men on Planet Porno.

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