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“I really wanted to like this one...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Without the threat of punishment, there is no joy in flight."
This novel reminded me of Kafka's writings, the story is about a man who gets trapped in some sand dunes and his existentialist thoughts that stem from his experiences there. The futility of life, the power of hope, the will to survive, the act of having order and repetition in one's life, loneliness are some of the ideas that are explored in this novel. It is a tale perforated with sand.
"Loneliness was an unsatisfied thirst for illusion"”
“Very Kafka-esque; elements of magical realism combine with an unsettling atmosphere to create a metaphor for the universal desire to overcome the mundanity of life. Sarah and I chose to read this together - but I'm still waiting on her to finish it (she's in school and working, so has little free time). Tom read it when he found it in my pile of books, so I look forward to a lively discussion among the three of us sometime soon.”Elizabeth L wrote this review Saturday, September 29, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“So weird but so incredibly (creepily) atmospheric. I never thought someone could write about sand in such a varied, insightful and terrifying manner!”Trevor Kew wrote this review Thursday, August 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Jumpei Niki, a Tokyo based entomologist and educator, is in a poor seaside village collecting specimens of sand insects. As it is late in the day and as he has missed the last bus back to the city, some of the local villagers suggest that he spend the night there, they offering to find him a place to stay. That place is the home of a young woman, whose house is located at the bottom of a sand pit accessible only by ladder. He later learns that the woman's husband and child died in a sandstorm, their undiscovered bodies buried somewhere near the house. The next morning as he tries to leave, he finds that the ladder is gone - he realizing that the ladder he climbed down was a rope ladder which is anchored above the pit - meaning that he is trapped with the young woman as the walls of the pit are sand with no grip. He also realizes that this entrapment was the villagers and the young woman's plan for him to stay there permanently to be her helper in the never-ending task of digging out the sand, which if not done will swallow them alive. They are dependent upon the villagers to help remove the sand, but also for their rations including water. He learns that the sand is the young woman's life, and that she knows or wants no other life. Thus, it is no use either to blackmail or kill her as she is willing to live and die by this life, and as such he will surely die if she is dead. His life tasks become to figure out a way to escape while co-exist with the woman in what he considers their prison. As time goes on, he also learns that there are other tasks which will consume him. ”Wendy wrote this review Wednesday, January 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“First book that I enjoyed less than the movie. Still worth reading, though.”Roxana C wrote this review Thursday, November 3, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“good”Parlos wrote this review Thursday, July 21, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A thrilling and clever idea for a novel, however, I felt the writing style did nothing to keep up suspense. Although I appreciate the idea and themes and recognise their worth I was glad the length was kept short. Perhaps I need to acquaint myself with a variety of author's styles and techniques and return to this novel again. ”Grey Warden wrote this review Tuesday, June 7, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really wanted to like this one...”Joshua H wrote this review Saturday, May 28, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I was sooooo relived to finish it! It was so tiring and heavy...I just couldn't get it why they had to have their houses buried in the sands and why on earth didn't they just abandon that village??”Irina T wrote this review Tuesday, June 28, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No