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The Woman in the Dunes, by celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe, combines the essence of myth, suspense and the existential novel.
After missing the last bus home following a day trip to the seashore, an amateur entomologist is offered lodging for the night at the bottom of a vast sand pit. But when he attempts to leave the next morning, he quickly discovers that the locals have other plans. Held captive with seemingly no chance of escape, he is tasked with shoveling back the ever-advancing sand dunes that threaten to destroy the village. His only companion is an odd young woman. Together their fates become intertwined as they work side by side at this Sisyphean task.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Woman in the Dunes
Average rating
3.5 / 5
November 1st, 2014
This bizarre novel recounts the story of an entomologist who is held prisoner with a woman in a house at the base of a sand pit. You almost can feel the dry, abrasive atmosphere and experience the claustrophobia. However, the allegorical nature of this book kept me very aware I was reading. I didn’t get lost in the story.
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