The Ark Sakura (Vintage International) (Paperback) - Common
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This Kafkaesque novel is an ambitious work about the lives of outcasts in modern Japan and such troubling themes as ecological destruction, old age, violence, and nuclear war ("New York Times Book Review").
I turned around, and looked all about me; still everything was transparent. The whole town was dead, in an energetic, lifelike way. I decided not to think anymore about who could or would survive. A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kōbō Abe was born in Tokyo and grew up in Mukden, Manchuria, during World War II. In 1948, he received a medical degree from Tokyo Imperial University, but he has never practiced medicine. Abe is considered his country’s foremost living novelist. His books have earned
Right then he was crossing the street, and he slipped and fell in the truck’s path. What do you think happened? After the truck rolled on by, he got up and walked away, not a scratch on him. He’s invulnerable.” “He is, huh?” I said, thinking, Another six months and he’ll be a goner. I started to say the words but caught myself in time. She didn’t react. Didn’t it seem ironic to her that a man with only six months to live should have such great reflexes that he was “invulnerable”? I was the
got it.” This was the sort of problem I liked. I thought I could give a better answer than she had, anyway. “All you’d have to do is carry in something that weighed a little over a pound, and leave it there.” “Too lacking in originality.” He disposed of my idea like that. “They’d already anticipated that little tactic. When you got up to go, you pushed a switch to signal you were through, and if at that time the weight for the area around the desk in a three-foot radius wasn’t zero, a red
“Does the eupcaccia bear repeating?” I asked. “Ah—so now you’ve made up your mind it’s a fake.” “Just eat your sandwich, please. What did you have for breakfast?” “What does it matter?” “I always have sweet potatoes, or pancakes, with coffee. I make my own pancakes.” “I can’t make a good pancake.” “Neither can I.” “Haven’t eaten breakfast in a good ten years.” “Was that thunder?” “Who cares?” He bit off a piece of his sandwich as if tearing into the world’s betrayal. I couldn’t
behind a tree hands out death sentences to passing travelers and cuts them down on the spot. That’s the way it is even in the world of children—how much more so, then, among quintessential castoffs, who in a sense are condemned men (and women) granted a temporary stay of execution. Besides, the sentences we give out can only be executed by the condemned people themselves.” Leaning back against the flushing lever, which now did nothing but wobble ineffectually, I rubbed the sides of my knee,