Synopses & Reviews
Of all the great Japanese novelists, Kobe Abe was indubitably the most versatile. With The Ruined Map
, he crafted a mesmerizing literary crime novel that combines the narrative suspense of Chandler with the psychological depth of Dostoevsky.
Mr. Nemuro, a respected salesman, disappeared over half a year ago, but only now does his alluring yet alcoholic wife hire a private eye. The nameless detective has but two clues: a photo and a matchbook. With these he embarks upon an ever more puzzling pursuit that leads him into the depths of Tokyo's dangerous underworld, where he begins to lose the boundaries of his own identity. Surreal, fast-paced, and hauntingly dreamlike, Abes masterly novel delves into the unknowable mysteries of the human mind.
Translated from the Japanese by E. Dale Saunders.
About the Author
Kobo Abe was born in Tokyo in 1924, grew up in Manchuria, and returned to Japan in his early twenties. In 1948 he received a medical degree from Tokyo Imperial University, but he never practiced medicine. Before his death in 1993, Abe was considered his country's foremost living novelist, and was also widely known as a dramatist. His novels have earned many literary awards and prizes, and have all been best sellers in Japan. They include The Woman in the Dunes, Kangaroo Notebook, The Ark Sakura, The Face of Another, The Box Man, and The Ruined Map.