The Box Man: A Novel

( 1 )

Overview

Kobo Abe, the internationally acclaimed author of Woman in the Dunes, combines wildly imaginative fantasies and naturalistic prose to create narratives reminiscent of the work of Kafka and Beckett.

In this eerie and evocative masterpiece, the nameless protagonist gives up his identity and the trappings of a normal life to live in a large cardboard box he wears over his head. Wandering the streets of Tokyo and scribbling madly on the interior walls of his box, he describes the ...

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The Box Man: A Novel

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Overview

Kobo Abe, the internationally acclaimed author of Woman in the Dunes, combines wildly imaginative fantasies and naturalistic prose to create narratives reminiscent of the work of Kafka and Beckett.

In this eerie and evocative masterpiece, the nameless protagonist gives up his identity and the trappings of a normal life to live in a large cardboard box he wears over his head. Wandering the streets of Tokyo and scribbling madly on the interior walls of his box, he describes the world outside as he sees or perhaps imagines it, a tenuous reality that seems to include a mysterious rifleman determined to shoot him, a seductive young nurse, and a doctor who wants to become a box man himself. The Box Man is a marvel of sheer originality and a bizarrely fascinating fable about the very nature of identity.

Translated from the Japanese by E. Dale Saunders.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A spellbinder from beginnning to end, an edgy masterpiece.”–Chicago Sun-Times

“A stunning addition to the literature of eccentricity…an ontological thriller.”–The New York Times

“Brilliant…. Like Kafka’s, Abe’s work reveals an astonishing ability to create dreamlike events."–Chicago Tribune

New York Times
Japan's most important,gifted and original writer of serious fiction...Abe writes with singing, poetic, almost proletarian exuberance.
The New York Times
Japan's most important,gifted and original writer of serious fiction...Abe writes with singing, poetic, almost proletarian exuberance.
Chicago Tribune
Brilliant... Like Kafka's, Ab's work reveals an astonishing ability to create dreamlike events. And like Kafka, Ab writes with simplicity and precision, a style so deceptive that only the most attentive reader will be aware of the existential abyss opening beneath the seemingly spare surface of the novels... And it is filled with beautifully descriptive writing.
Chicago Sun-Times
A spellbinder from beginning to end, an edgy masterpiece.
The New York Times
A stunning addition to the literature of eccentricity, those bitter, crying voices of Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener and Dostoevsky's Underground Man ... funny, sad and destructive, an ontological thriller.
New York Times Magazine
Japan's most important, gifted and original writer of serious fiction... Ab writes with singing, poetic, and almost proletarian exuberance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375726514
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 401,143
  • Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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 receiveved 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 bestsellers in Japan. They include The Woman in the Dunes, Kangaroo Notebook, The Ark Sakura, The Face of Another, The Box Man, and Secret Rendezvous.

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Customer Reviews

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