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The Box Man

Abe, Kobo

Published by Knopf, 1974
ISBN 10: 0394491068 / ISBN 13: 9780394491066
/ Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket / Hardcover
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Box Man

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 1974

Binding: hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket

Edition: 1st Edition.


New York. 1974. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 30. 185 pages. December 1974. hardcover. Cover: Original jacket mezzotint by K.B. Hwang. 0394491068. keywords: March 7. inventory # 761. FROM THE PUBLISHER - 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. . Bookseller Inventory # 761

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Synopsis: The Box Man tells that in the metropolis, there was a new type of homeless people who lived in the moving boxes and saw the world from a hole in the box; they wandered in the metropolis, and did everything in the box which isolated them from the rest of the world and the box was their world; out of instinctive disgust and prank psychology for the box man, the protagonist of the story shot a box man outside the window with an air gun, and then came to check whether the box man was still alive. And at that moment, the protagonist was controlled by a certain power and he went into the box, unwilling to come out since then.

Review: The nature of identity itself is the ostensible subject of this bizarrely fascinating existential novel from the great Japanese fiction writer and dramatist Kobo Abe. In the story, a man decides to give up the self that he has been all his life to attain a state of blissful anonymity. He leaves his world behind and moves onto the streets of Tokyo. He puts a large box over his head, cuts a hole for his eyes. It is as strange as it sounds, but Abe's light touch and narrative innovation makes it compelling.

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