Customer Reviews


2 Reviews
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time worth spending
Although the theme of this book is intriguing - the religious cult in modern Japan - it is the style of writing which more enthralled me. Somersault is written poetically, gently with an addition of detail which, though not essential to the story-telling, serves to build a connection between the reader and the characters and context in a multitude of soft layers...
Published on 9 Jan. 2006 by ABint

versus
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly dreadful
Whether this is simply an awful book or whether its' failings are down to an appalling translation is open to question but without doubt this is the worst book by a Nobel literature prize-winner that I have ever read (and that includes having read Churchill, Kipling on his numerous off days, and some of Pearl S. Buck). The characters do not talk, they declaim; there are...
Published on 23 Jun. 2005 by C J Gray


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time worth spending, 9 Jan. 2006
By 
ABint (Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Somersault (Paperback)
Although the theme of this book is intriguing - the religious cult in modern Japan - it is the style of writing which more enthralled me. Somersault is written poetically, gently with an addition of detail which, though not essential to the story-telling, serves to build a connection between the reader and the characters and context in a multitude of soft layers. Kenzaburo Oe's style of story-telling, from describing the contents to a run-down store to the mechanics of sexual encounters between the characters, manages to make comfortable reading of potentially unfamiliar places, histories and themes.
A large amount of the story is related in dialogue between principal characters, which leaves the reader a lot of room for interpretation of its theme of the cult, its leaders and members and their motives. The author does not appear to make overt judgments of these, but hints at events and behaviours which may open the door to particular conclusions. Within the grand themes, there is a hint of the absurd and the banal found in all human behaviours.
I am not one for difficult or inaccessible books that I struggle to understand. I found this an easy and enjoyable read, requiring a little patience due to its length, but well worth the time spent. I look forward to reading more by this author
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly dreadful, 23 Jun. 2005
By 
C J Gray (Leicester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Somersault (Paperback)
Whether this is simply an awful book or whether its' failings are down to an appalling translation is open to question but without doubt this is the worst book by a Nobel literature prize-winner that I have ever read (and that includes having read Churchill, Kipling on his numerous off days, and some of Pearl S. Buck). The characters do not talk, they declaim; there are too many wooden examples of plot exposition (of the 'you must remember' type); unnecessary repititions of detail; and all in the most lumpenly unattractive American English (good American English is possible - Bellow and Hemingway (on a good day) being Nobel prize-winning examples of the art) that it is possible to imagine. This last point makes me wonder whether the fault is that of the translator - as I do not read Japanese I cannot go further. For a much better example of writing about cults try Robert Coover's 'The Origin of the Bruinists' from the 1960s.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Somersault
Somersault by Kenzaburo Oe (Hardcover - 10 July 2003)
Used & New from: £1.53
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews