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Somersault

Oe, Kenzaburo and Philip Gabriel

259 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0802117384 / ISBN 13: 9780802117380
Published by Grove Press, New York, 2003
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Bryn Mawr Bookstore (Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

570pp.First Edition. White boards with 1/4 red cloth spine with author name and title in metallic red lettering. Black endpapers. Half-title page has afixed label of author's name in white lettering and title in red lettering with author's signature in Japanese and English with white bird design on red background and titlle in black lettering.Front right corner slightly bumped. Red dj with author, title and publishers icon in white lettering on spine with white and grey bird design. Front dj has title in red lettering on vanilla background with author name in white lettering on red background. Grey-white design of falling bird. Not price-clipped. No previous owner name. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 007382

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Somersault

Publisher: Grove Press, New York

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Flatsigned by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Ten years after recanting their teachings and abandoning their zealous and violent congregation, two men known only as the Patron and Guide of Humankind seek to overcome a radical faction while leading peaceful followers toward a new future.

Review:

Writing a novel after having won a Nobel Prize for Literature must be even more daunting than trying to follow a brilliant, bestselling debut. In Somersault (the title refers to an abrupt, public renunciation of the past), Kenzaburo Oe has himself leapt in a new direction, rolling away from the slim, semi-autobiographical novel that garnered the 1994 Nobel Prize (A Personal Matter) and toward this lengthy, involved account of a Japanese religious movement. Although it opens with the perky and almost picaresque accidental deflowering of a young ballerina with an architectural model, Somersault is no laugh riot. Oe's slow, deliberate pace sets the tone for an unusual exploration of faith, spiritual searching, group dynamics, and exploitation. His lavish, sometimes indiscriminate use of detail can be maddening, but it also lends itself to his sobering subject matter, as well as to some of the most beautiful, realistic sex scenes a reader is likely to encounter. --Regina Marler

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