Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Review The Face of Another by Kobo Abe

Book Review – The Face of Another by Kobo Abe






Author: Kobo Abe

Translated by: E.Dale Saunders

Publisher: Charles. E. Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan 1967

ISBN: 4-8053-0120-1

Pages: 237



A mask that creates another world



© Copyright. Peter Hanami, 2016. All rights reserved,



A detailed novel that shares the pain of a man whose face becomes disfigured due to a work accident and the steps he takes to heal the enormous physical and emotional scars that impact his relationships, work and self esteem. Classic Kobo Abe in that he has a clearly defined topic and pours 200 percent focus into it to place himself in the role. The book is from the narrators perspective , so we get inside the head of the man as he processes a wide range of new circumstances after the accident.

We also learn of the difficulties he faces having a disfigured face and the shame it brings when strangers ignore him and the change in people’s reactions to him, including his wife.

The man skillfully sets out to rebuild his life by making a lifelike mask that will cover his face and scars in the hope that he can reconnect with his old life including his relationships. That he can go out in public and be normal again. He takes great pains to make a mask and draws on his scientific knowledge to research, plan and build it. In the process he desperately wants to win his wife back.The mask once worn brings out a range of new personality traits that the man becomes afraid of, a kind of alter ego and he must challenge the mask to regain control.

Classic Kobo Abe, detail, introspection and a deep focus on his characters.







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