Kōbō Abe: 方舟さくら丸 (The Ark Sakura)

The latest addition to my website is Kōbō Abe‘s 方舟さくら丸 (The Ark Sakura). A man we know only as Mole lives in a huge underground abandoned quarry, preparing himself for the inevitable nuclear Armageddon. He is well stocked with food, weapons and other necessities but has not found anyone suitable to share his fate. At a bazaar he buys a clockbug and soon becomes friendly with the seller However two previous customers – shills (sakara in Japanese) – have tricked him into giving them access to his hideout so he and the insect seller hurry back to find them there. The book continues with how the four endeavour to adapt to living together and how they cope with other groups who, to Mole’s surprise, know more about the caverns than he thought, including his hated, brutal father.

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