Secret Rendezvousby Kobo Abe, Juliet Winters Carpenter (Translator)
This wild erotic roller coaster of a novel is one of the most outstanding - and entertaining - works by the great Japanese writer Kobo Abe. Secret Rendezvous chronicles a man's frantic search for his mysteriously vanished wife in a vast underground hospital. As we follow his increasingly bizarre adventures, we encounter a weird group of patients and staff, from the assistant director who resorts to a drastic surgical treatment for his impotence to the sex-crazed thirteen-year-old who suffers from a disease that dissolves her bones. It soon becomes apparent that in this hospital outlandish sex research, ubiquitous surveillance, and an astonishing array of crimes are just part of the routine. With its nightmarish comic vision of modern medicine and modern life, Secret Rendezvous is as distinctive as it is unsettling.
"A disconcertingly funny book . . . both original and edgily entertaining." —The New York Times Book Review
"Reads much as if it were the collaborative effort of Hieronymus Bosch, Franz Kafka, and Mel Brooks." Chicago Sun-Times
Read an Excerpt
From the acclaimed author of Woman in the Dunes comes Secret Rendezvous, the bizarrely erotic and comic adventures of a man searching for his missing wife in a mysteriously vast underground hospital.
From the moment that an ambulance appears in the middle of the night to take his wife, who protests that she is perfectly healthy, her bewildered husband realizes that things are not as they should be. His covert explorations reveal that the enormous hospital she was taken to is home to a network of constant surveillance, outlandish sex experiments, and an array of very odd and even violent characters. Within a few days, though no closer to finding his wife, the unnamed narrator finds himself appointed the hospital’s chief of security, reporting to a man who thinks he’s a horse. With its nightmarish vision of modern medicine and modern life, Secret Rendezvous is another masterpiece from Japan’s most gifted and original writer of serious fiction.
Meet the Author
Kobo Abe was born in Tokyo in 1924, grew up in Manchuria, and returned to Japan in his early twenties. In 1948 he received a medical degree from Tokyo Imperial University, but he never practiced medicine. Before his death in 1993, Abe was considered his country's foremost living novelist, and was also widely known as a dramatist. His novels have earned many literary awards and prizes, and have all been best sellers in Japan. They include The Woman in the Dunes, Kangaroo Notebook, The Ark Sakura, The Face of Another, The Box Man, and The Ruined Map.
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