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The Changeling

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The Changeling Cover

ISBN13: 9780802119360
ISBN10: 0802119360
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: None
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Review-A-Day

"Oe's achievement in The Changeling is to yoke a wide and occasionally surreal array of elements into a deep exploration of how two men with little in common remained lifelong confidants. Though Goro and Kogito lack vitality as characters — this is a book more concerned with the mechanics of friendship than with the people of whom a friendship is composed — Oe's cerebral, analytical prose is continually engrossing as it follows the ever-forking paths of their relationship." Scott Esposito, Los Angeles Times (read the entire Los Angeles Time review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In The Changeling, Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe takes readers from the forests of southern Japan to the washed-out streets of Berlin as he investigates the impact our real and imagined pasts have on our lives. Writer Kogito Choko is in his sixties when he rekindles a childhood friendship with his estranged brother-in-law, the renowned filmmaker Goro Hanawa. As part of their correspondence, Goro sends Kogito a trunk of tapes he has recorded of reflections about their friendship. But as Kogito is listening one night, he hears something odd. I'm going to head over to the Other Side now, Goro says, and then Kogito hears a loud thud. After a moment of silence, Goro's voice continues, But don't worry, I'm not going to stop communicating with you. Moments later, Kogito's wife rushes in; Goro has jumped to his death from the roof of a building. With that, Kogito begins a far-ranging search to understand what drove his brother-in-law to suicide. The quest takes him to Berlin, where he confronts ghosts from both his own past, and that of his lifelong, but departed, friend.

Review:

"In 1997, Juzo Itami, one of Japan's most successful film directors, jumped to his death in Tokyo. Nobel laureate Oe (Hiroshima Notes) was Itami's brother-in-law, and he transposes Itami's suicide, under a fictional disguise, into a dazzling and elaborate maze of memories and meditations centering on the suicide of film director Goro Hanawa. Goro has made a series of tapes for Kogito, his world-famous writer brother-in-law, as groundwork for a possible film, which Kogito listens to obsessively after Goro's suicide. To rid himself of Goro's ghost, Kogito travels to Berlin, but even there he runs into pieces of Goro's past. Eventually, the reader is led back to the two men's youthful involvement with a right-wing paramilitary group founded by Kogito's late father. What begins as a weekend spent at the group's camp turns into something sinister from which Goro emerges fundamentally changed. Oe's deft mix of high intellectual reflection and absurd slapstick scenarios is polished to a high gloss, giving this book a tone that may remind American readers of Saul Bellow's Humboldt's Gift." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe takes readers from the forests of southern Japan to the washed-out streets of Berlin as he investigates the impact real and imagined pasts have on present lives.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jonrg, May 5, 2010 (view all comments by jonrg)
I took my time with this book and was richly rewarded. I would recommend it to any reader who enjoys a writer with a sense of the possibilities of Time.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780802119360
Author:
Oe, Kenzaburo
Publisher:
Grove Press
Translator:
Boehm, Deborah Boliver
Author:
Boehm, Deborah
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover, Deckle Edge
Publication Date:
20100331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 23 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Changeling Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Grove Press - English 9780802119360 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In 1997, Juzo Itami, one of Japan's most successful film directors, jumped to his death in Tokyo. Nobel laureate Oe (Hiroshima Notes) was Itami's brother-in-law, and he transposes Itami's suicide, under a fictional disguise, into a dazzling and elaborate maze of memories and meditations centering on the suicide of film director Goro Hanawa. Goro has made a series of tapes for Kogito, his world-famous writer brother-in-law, as groundwork for a possible film, which Kogito listens to obsessively after Goro's suicide. To rid himself of Goro's ghost, Kogito travels to Berlin, but even there he runs into pieces of Goro's past. Eventually, the reader is led back to the two men's youthful involvement with a right-wing paramilitary group founded by Kogito's late father. What begins as a weekend spent at the group's camp turns into something sinister from which Goro emerges fundamentally changed. Oe's deft mix of high intellectual reflection and absurd slapstick scenarios is polished to a high gloss, giving this book a tone that may remind American readers of Saul Bellow's Humboldt's Gift." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Oe's achievement in The Changeling is to yoke a wide and occasionally surreal array of elements into a deep exploration of how two men with little in common remained lifelong confidants. Though Goro and Kogito lack vitality as characters — this is a book more concerned with the mechanics of friendship than with the people of whom a friendship is composed — Oe's cerebral, analytical prose is continually engrossing as it follows the ever-forking paths of their relationship." (read the entire Los Angeles Time review)
"Synopsis" by , Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe takes readers from the forests of southern Japan to the washed-out streets of Berlin as he investigates the impact real and imagined pasts have on present lives.
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