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6 Reviews
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sturdy, dirty cardboard box. . .
If you liked Samuel Beckett's book "Watt", then you'll love 'The Box Man'. 'The Box Man' is a psychotic tale of disassociation in a world that echoes that of the medical nightmares in William S. Burrough's 'Blade Runner: A Movie'.
You really don't want to know more about 'The Box Man' at this moment, deciding what is going on is one of the main...
Published on 5 Jun. 1999

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's in a box but air?
My God what a tough book! I can’t remember when I last struggled with a piece of literature so much. Characters? Narrative? Plot? Forget about it – The Box Man is truly startling and frustrating story about identity.
Just when you think you know what is going on Abe sweeps the rug out from underneath your feet. Whole scenes are dismissed as imaginary and...
Published on 17 Mar. 2003 by Amazon Customer


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sturdy, dirty cardboard box. . ., 5 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Box Man (Paperback)
If you liked Samuel Beckett's book "Watt", then you'll love 'The Box Man'. 'The Box Man' is a psychotic tale of disassociation in a world that echoes that of the medical nightmares in William S. Burrough's 'Blade Runner: A Movie'.
You really don't want to know more about 'The Box Man' at this moment, deciding what is going on is one of the main pleasures of reading the book, Abe's wacked style is another.
I'd never read any of Kobo Abe's work before and found 'The Box Man' fascinatingly disturbed. If you want it weird, get this book. I'm definitely going to read more of his works.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's in a box but air?, 17 Mar. 2003
This review is from: The Box Man (Vintage International) (Paperback)
My God what a tough book! I can’t remember when I last struggled with a piece of literature so much. Characters? Narrative? Plot? Forget about it – The Box Man is truly startling and frustrating story about identity.
Just when you think you know what is going on Abe sweeps the rug out from underneath your feet. Whole scenes are dismissed as imaginary and the identity The Box Man shifts and eludes. This made my head spin – but it did make me think, something that can’t be said for a majority of books.
A man walking around with a box over himself and his obsession with a nurse with nudist-tendencies is about as stable a explanation to the plot as I can give you. Abe has given us a book full of answers, but with no questions. I believe it is up to the reader to draw their own conclusions on what really happens.
Do you fancy a challenge? A big challenge? Then this is the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. Worth reading? Absolutely., 24 Feb. 2010
By 
S. A. Rose (Cornwall, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Box Man (Vintage International) (Paperback)
What a crazy, crazy read. If you ever want a book that takes you out of your comfort zone, this is it.
It's incredibly hard to rate a book such as this that defies any kind of convention, although this is one of the reasons I have rated this book so highly.
The truly skillful aspect of the writing is the way the author combines literary devices (some of the metaphors could only have been conjured up after a binge session of some kind of medieval cough syrup) in a seemingly random way but that somehow work to create a novel that keeps you thinking about it whenever you aren't reading it. If you are a member of the human race, don't expect to get your head around this without the use of the mind of Kobo Abe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars board with life..., 6 Nov. 2010
By 
Sporus (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Box Man (Vintage International) (Paperback)
You must have had that feeling. The one where you just want to crawl into a book and escape; to abandon the disappointing knot of relationships that have tangled with your life and to disown your very skin; to enjoy the world, sure, but to be as detached from it as a man on the moon with a telescope.

Of course, the more you succeed in this detachment the more confused you'll get about time... even about your identity.
And you'll have to let at least SOME reality back in. Principally food... and sex... and cigarettes... and sex.

Kobo Abe's narrator climbs into a box instead of a book. Time blurs, identity fractures: and since he's telling you about the box in the same book that you've crawled into, it all gets pretty messy.

Abe is often compared to Kafka. But a remark like: "My failure is no cause for regret. Because I have not particularly gone on living for the conclusion", seems more like Robert Musil (no small achievement in itself). It is notable, though, that while sexual lust is only part of a larger philosophical problem in Kafka; it's a little more dominant with Musil - and in 'The Box Man' it turns out to be seminal.

A vagrant in a box (ie someone who likes to hide himself) becomes infatuated with a woman who gets a power-kick from nude modeling (ie from exposing herself). That's cute. But Abe's concluding spiral into an analysis of voyeurism (while it offers an alarming insight into why women might like wearing the burka!) is both a contraction of the book's initial promise and unconvincing to boot.

Lightly sprinkled with grainy photos, anomalous captions, discrete newspaper reports, and dishonest avowals of honesty, 'The Box Man' feels spoiled by what was (in 1973) a prevailing convention for experimentation. It's good but it's not 'The Woman in the Dunes'. Herman Melville would have made a much better job of it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars weird but memorable, 31 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Box Man (Vintage International) (Paperback)
I read this as it was the book choice of the month for the Japan Society book club in London. Don't think I would have picked it up otherwise. It was extremely weird. Having said that, my son read and really enjoyed it .. so just not my sort of book I guess.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Box Man (Vintage International) (Paperback)
Everything was perfect as described in the offer :D
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The Box Man (Vintage International)
The Box Man (Vintage International) by Kobo Abe (Paperback - 10 July 2001)
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