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Comment: 1961 Hardcover Second Printing Text in English ; Japanese. 183 p. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
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The key Hardcover – 1961


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Secker & Warburg (1961)
  • ASIN: B0000CL3L3
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 13.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,937,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'A story about sex and marriage that is as explicit as any novel on the theme since Lady Chatterley's Lover' -- Time --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'A story about sex and marriage that is as explicit as any novel on the theme since Lady Chatterley's Lover' Time --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
The old husband keeps a diary. He writes about his physical and emotional relationship with his wife, and would really like his wife to read it whenever he is away because that seems to be the only way he can communicate certain things to her. At least that's what he writes in his diary.
The younger and more energetic wife keeps a diary. She writes about her physical and emotional relationship with her husband. She does not want her husband to know that she keeps a diary, and certainly she does not want him to read it because she writes certain things she rather not let her husband know about. At least that's what she writes in her diary.
The Key is a short novel about a couple who have reached a certain point in their marriage where they have to try radically new things in order to feel that they love each other. It is written in the format of diary entries, a format which in Tanizaki's hands is used to craft a beautifully written novel. When I reviewed Ben Elton's Inconceivable I said that this format can be very powerful if used well. Tanizaki proved this point in this novel over 40 years ago.
This novel is unpredictable and full of twists and turns and kept me wondering what's going to happen next. Since both husband and wife know that their partner may be reading their diary, it is hard to tell how honest they are in their writing. Both funny and tragic, it is great fun to read.
The Key is a well written novel about individuals and relationships. I recommend it to all of you.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ian Shine VINE VOICE on 9 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: The diary extracts of a middle-aged man and his slightly younger wife. They secretly read each other's diaries, using them to make up for their lack of face-to-face communication, possibly brought on by reticence, although the book leaves several other possibilities open to speculation.
Written beautifully, 'The Key' is a pleasure to read from the first page to the last. Can be read on numerous levels, although anyone with an interest in psychoanalysis will probably find more than your average reader.
Taniazaki's most stunning achievement with this book is the way he takes a complex web of relationships, a lot of bizzare sexual and mental traits, ill health and death, and wraps them all into one reader-friendly ball.
Even as things seem to come to some sort of resolution in the last 30 pages, the smallest of threads are left dangling by Tanizaki, who leaves it up to the reader whether to paw them like a cat or leave them alone.
Although a concrete conclusion is suggested, many other conclusions remain equally valid. I won't say more here for fear of ruining the book.
One thing I will say is that, while one of the central themes of the novel is sex, it is not particularly explicit. 'The Key' seemed to be more about a middle-aged couple's relationship in general (and their relationship with their daughter), rather than specifically about their sex life (but then maybe sex is 'The Key' to the door of love?). Yes, there is a lot of sex, but the author does not flim-flam all over it in the way that Anais Nin does. If you are a bit prissy, I wouldn't imagine that you would be massively offended by this; if you want erotica, you'll probably feel pretty unsatisfied after this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By grr on 9 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
The Key is an erotic masterpiece by Tanizaki. Erotic but not explicit.

It is written in diary form, detailing the daily lives and thoughts of a husband and his younger wife....Also it speaks of their desires, loves and lusts. When the wife Ikuko discovers her husbands dairy she finds the "key" to his soul and what exactly he thinks of her. Then the psychological games begin....does he know she reads his diary? That he loves her so much? That he gets so jealous? Who is being honest? There are so many complex relationships and odd sexual fetishes in this slim novel, it gives you a lot to mull over. Even the end could be read in different ways, as you are never quite sure with all the mind games being played. So many lies, or is it the truth?

This is a great Japanese author at his finest, Worthwhile looking at his other novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By anon-london on 24 May 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. I thought it was well crafted, well paced and smart. It has you making assumptions and re-evaluating assumptions in the same breath. I would reccomend this as it's a very decent book.
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