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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  540 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Sonoko Kakiuchi is a cultured Osaka lady, unfortunately widowed young. But her story is unsettlingly at odds with her image. it is a tale of infatuation and deceit, of eliberate evil. Its theme is humiliation, its victim Sonoko's mild-mannered husband. At is centre - seductive, manipulating, enslaving - is one of Tanizaki's most extraordinary characters, the beautiful and...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 17th 1994 by Vintage Classics (first published 1928)
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Jul 29, 2011 Mariel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: prince humperdinck. he's a pervert
Recommended to Mariel by: the giant rats from the fire swamp
It's a staring contest. It's a tie and this is the make it or break it until the first person who looks away is the LOSER rematch (don't look at the star ratings or this will be like watching a recorded sports match days after all your friends are wearing beaten expressions or gloating that "they" won). I won the first round in 2007 (haha! suckers! I won!). Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters didn't pull one facial muscle. Something about a gilded coma of boredom. I sang that song from The Lion King....more
Eddie Watkins
A sexual thriller with deep cultural under- and overtones. The first impression is that Quicksand is masterfully plotted, like a cheap thriller, with chapter ending cliffhangers and steadily mounting (and increasingly implausible) plot twists; but instead of rendering the book a piece of gripping trash, the implausible plot twists transport the book into higher meaning(s) in its portrayal of culture clash, specifically the pull of "old Japan" in the modern world of modern desires.

It's a book of...more
Man oh man, this book taught me two things about Japanese literature:

1: There was a time, in Japan's history, where the counter-culture of anime and manga did not exist. It was a time when men were real men instead of bishonens, "moe" was a concept that was probably frowned upon because women were allowed to be real, sexually mature women, and if you lost your public reputation you were shit out of luck.

2: The reason why Japanese horror is so effective, whereas modern vampire fiction fails to sc...more
Brooke Hembree
This makes the third Tanizaki book that I've read, the first two being The Makioka Sisters and Naomi. If I had any doubts about reading the rest of his works, this convinced me. I read through the book fairly quickly because I wanted to see how the story would develop. It becomes clear very, very early on the Mitsuko isn't completely upfront with her motives and Sonoko is clearly telling the story in the most favorable way possible. As for Watanuki and Kotari, their motivations are always a bit...more
Gaudy Osaka lesbians panting and gurning at each other, like something from the kabuki, on beautiful Nara hillsides.

I liked Watanuki and his … problems. Why couldn't he have had a bit more to do? He simpered in the background and was all prissy when anyone spoke to him. I wanted a bit more.

Mitsuko's parents were totally rubbish, weren't they? I thought rich Japanese people would have been pissed off if their daughter's arranged marriage fell through due to rumours of hot lesbian fun-times. They...more
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
contorsioni giapponesi d'annata

Osaka, inizio del secolo scorso

Sonoko è una donna sposata, incline alle infatuazioni, suo marito un normale, paziente marito giapponese che fa finta di niente
Mitsuko è una ragazza molto affascinante che frequenta la stessa scuola di Sonoko, le due diventano intime e il marito di Sono si incomincia a preoccupare, a un certo punto ecco apparire anche Watanuki, presunto amante di Mitsuko, e qui la faccenda si complica non poco...

Tanizaki ha una vera passione per le st...more
Ok the cast: one bored housewife, one timid husband, one impotent young man, and one gorgeous young girl.

A quick recap... bored housewife falls in love with gorgeous young girl but then finds out that she is seeing an impotent young man while the bored housewife's timid husband gets suspicious over everybody seeing everybody so he gets seen too and everyone is lying and scheming and then tears, threats of suicide pacts and general goofiness abounds.

Tanizaki wrote this book in the 1920's about a...more
"I'd much rather be worshiped by someone of my own sex. It's natural for a man to look at a woman and think she's beautiful, but when I realized I can have another woman infatuated with me, I ask myself if I'm really that beautiful! It makes me blissfully happy!"


Satu kesan yang aku dapat habis baca novel ini... menyeramkan. Sangat-sangat-sangat-sangat-amat menyeramkan *bergidik*. They should put tag horror di sini. Rasanya novel ini kayak lirik lagu, "Madu di tangan kananm...more
Quicksand by Junichiro Tanizaki (translated from Japanese by Howard Hibbert in 1993, first published 1928)

Forget the leading ladies in "Melrose Place", "Desperate Housewives", or the female villains in the latest Korean soap opera. None of them are half as devious, manipulative, seductive, or beautiful as Mitsuko in Quicksand. (It should be noted that those Mitsuko's good qualities.)

Sonoko and Mitsuko meet at an art class. Mitsuko is posing, covered only in a sheet , as the Kannon Bodhisattva fo...more
Gertrude & Victoria
Tanizaki Junichiro's Quicksand is a work of sensuality and intrigue. You slowly feel yourself sinking as you are tempted, and led further and further astray, into a world of indecency and decadence that scandalizes, even beyond death.

Tanizaki draws a beautiful portrait of two women entangled in erotic passion, Sonoko and Mitsuko, that enthralls the more perverse side of man; it is satisfyingly corrupt. This is a work of a pure feminine love between a lady of good social position and a young art...more
I feel like I missed something while reading this book. I thought the characters were so ridiculous. But I finished it because it was about a lesbian love affair and there just aren't enough books about those around. Kidding aside, I think maybe I need to know a bit more about Japanese culture and writing to appreciate this. The book is described as having similarities to Nabokov. I can see that in the confusion between reality and imagination, but the writing itself - the language and use of de...more
Like his earlier novel Naomi and his later novellas The Reed Cutter & Captain Shigemoto's Mother this book is about obsession. In "Naomi" a salaryman is obsessed by the spirited Naomi, a girl who represents the West. In the later novellas, the object of the obsession is an unavailable ideal.

This novel describes the life of two upper class Osaka women of the 1920's. Sonoko, the wife of a lawyer, is obsessed with the 23 year old unmarried beauty, Mitsuko. A third person, Watanuki, is also desp...more
i picked this up in hopes that it would be frenzied and feverish (tanizaki, after all, is the "japanese henry miller," though i feel he's missing miller's anarchic sense here - and part of that may be a cultural thing), but after about 90 solid pages it just sort of settles into a literary soap opera. i'd like to read some more tanizaki to see if it's just the bent of this particular book that didn't make the impression of him i wanted.
David B
Sonoko, a bored housewife in 1920s Osaka and the first-person narrator of this story, has a passionate affair with the beautiful Mitsuko. At first, this seems like a fairly straightforward account of forbidden passion, but then we discover the existence of Mitsuko's male lover, Watanuki. At this point, the figure of Mitsuko becomes increasingly enigmatic as the reader attempts to discern which of her actions are motivated by passion and which are calculated to keep herself enshrined as an object...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This is my second Soseki novel and boy, does he delve deep into the most twisted and dark regions of human love, obsession and sexuality. A nightmarish novel about lust, intrigue and corruption.
An excellent tale of passion, deceit, twists and turns, botched suicide attempts, secrets and lies all in a very Japanese manner
interesting premise and the good thing is most everybody dies...or is ruined.
Emily Hughes
Quick read with a dark unexpected ending, but overall have been disappointed- especially after finishing Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters. Found myself getting bored and irritated through the gossipy repetitions. The translation may be the case though, as I enjoyed the last two Tanizaki books translated by Seidensticker. This copy translated by Howard Hibbett didn't have the subtlety, and I found the characters to be simpering and overall melodramatic- though this is partly because the main charac...more
Herschell Taghap
Deliciously uncomfortable.
Alexandra Crisan Sarbu
First of all I have to warn you as readers, if you are going to read this book you have to forget about your ethical issues, if you can not transfer yourself in an impartial point of view you are not going to like this book. Personally I loved the novel, it was something surprising: the story, the characters, the very unusual trio, later another person is implied. It is not an every day love story, not a common erotic novel, it is about people that are always in between paths: live as you want o...more
I found reading Junichiro Tanizaki’s novel “Quicksand” a bit disappointing as compared to his “Some Prefer Nettles” since I enjoyed reading its early chapters but I did not in the middle till the end. Essentially, the plot focuses on a kind of love triangle arguably mischievous, sensual and semi-erotic related to Mrs. Sonoko Kakiuchi (as “I” through the story), Mitsuko and Watanuki whose significant role first appears in Chapter 11. Some complex problems inevitably ensue and there are a few poin...more
Chris Cabrera
Tanizaki seemed to work on crafting a more intricate, and often times really confusing, web of deceit for the characters to entangle themselves in rather than making any kind of interesting narrative or backdrop for it.

The cleverly scheming character of Mitsuko reminded me of Naomi from Tanizaki's other novel of the same name. However, unlike that novel the resolution to her lies and scandals came out at the end-and did not take the entire novel to explain like in Quicksand. While I eased into...more
For me, this book wasn't particularly anything except maybe dated. It really had few surprises in that most of the book was clear from the first pages; since the character is described as a young widow, we know that her husband will die and the lesbian relationship is also dealt with early on, as well as the fate of the lover, so that's no surprise either. The most typically-Japanese part of the novel is the lack of real motivation for the character's actions so instead of being told why the cha...more
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David Bonesteel
Sonoko, a bored housewife in 1920s Osaka and the first-person narrator of this story, has a passionate affair with the beautiful Mitsuko. At first, this seems like a fairly straightforward account of forbidden passion, but then we discover the existence of Mitsuko's male lover, Watanuki. At this point, the figure of Mitsuko becomes increasingly enigmatic as the reader attempts to discern which of her actions are motivated by passion and which are calculated to keep herself enshrined as an object...more
Gijs Grob
Roman over een steeds ingewikkelder wordende vierhoeksverhouding tussen Sonoko Kachiuki, haar man, de femme fatale Mitsuko en haar manipulatieve vriendje Watanuki.

De roman wordt verteld door Sonoko zelf aan de auteur en zij blijkt een even achterdochtig als naïef persoon te zijn, zodat het voor de lezer raden is wat er nu echt gebeurd is en wat niet. De gebeurtenissen verstrikken zich in netten van leugens en in vervaging van droom en werkelijkheid. Jammergenoeg is het personage van Sonoko ook e...more
the first half is a real corker, but then the melodramatic descent becomes a tad much at times. it seems like he's done everything here better in another work: the positively bizarre - but completely understandable and not at all absurd - sexual power dynamics were already fully fleshed out in Naomi; waning spousal interest, "infidelity", the prospect of divorce, and the social repurcussions on the characters thereof were then done amazingly in Some Prefer Nettles; and the startlingly contempora...more
Tjibbe Wubbels
It's hard to believe this book was written in 1928. But I guess strong women, unequal marriages, lesbian lovers, eroticism, seducing, humiliating and manipulating are as old as the world...or at least humanity...or, for the more biblically inclined, Eve's apple plucking incident.

After finishing it, the book still leaves me doubting who was influencing whom and how precisely. That makes a classic as far as I'm concerned.

Then why four stars again and not five? Well, I can not really place the turn...more
Steve Woods
This is an aptly named book. At first the simple style is beguiling but it draws the reader (at least it did me)into a cpmlex web of driven desire, deception and manipulation. The stroy is set in early 20th century Japan and the strict socital rules governing conduct and perception of acceptability bear strongly on the story and the actions of the main characters. It feels like (though not true I think) that being "Japanese" somehow just intensifies the dynamic and sets the level of twisted perv...more
R. August
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Jun'ichiro Tanizaki (谷崎 潤一郎) was a Japanese author, one of the major writers of modern Japanese literature, and perhaps the most popular Japanese novelist after Natsume Sōseki.

Some of his works present a rather shocking world of sexuality and destructive erotic obsessions; others, less sensational, subtly portray the dynamics of family life in the context of the rapid changes in 20th-century Japa...more
More about Jun'ichirō Tanizaki...
The Makioka Sisters In Praise of Shadows Naomi Some Prefer Nettles The Key

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