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3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  844 Ratings  ·  87 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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(showing 1-30 of 2,412)
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Aug 02, 2016 Jaidee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those that can survive feeling a little paranoid ;)
Recommended to Jaidee by: a Japnophile friend of mine
Shelves: five-stars-books

5 "pampered, bisexual, triangular, pentagonal, chaotic" stars.

I am amazed that this book was published in 1930. Upper class Japanese bisexual noir....who would have thought it?

The title is absolutely perfect for this was my experience of reading this engaging, insightful yet quietly repulsive novel. You see this books fools you into thinking that you are reading melodrama when in fact you are reading about five of the most despicable characters ever written about. These characters are small "d"
Jul 29, 2011 Mariel rated it it was ok  ·  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
Mar 31, 2016 Yann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

J'ai déjà lu plusieurs roman de Tanizaki, célèbre écrivain japonais du siècle dernier. Ils explorent les affres de la passion de manière crédible. Celui-ci ne déroge pas à la règle, mettant en scène quatre personnages principaux, empêtrés dans un engrenage d'évènements, un labyrinthe de mensonges, duperies et faux-semblants qui gagne en complexité et en intensité. Le rythme du roman soutient sans faille l'intérêt du lecteur. J'ai beaucoup aimé ce roman, tout comme les autres que j'ai pu lire de
Aug 15, 2009 Jacobmartin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Eddie Watkins
Oct 28, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-fiction
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
Alexandra Crisan Sarbu
Apr 13, 2014 Alexandra Crisan Sarbu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
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
May 17, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-red-circle
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
Oct 29, 2009 Mel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
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
May 06, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009, asian
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
Mar 23, 2016 Yanper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Συναρπαστικό μυθιστόρημα με μία ατμόσφαιρα από film noir. Ο συγγραφέας εξυφαίνει μία ιστορία γεμάτη αγάπη, ερωτικό πόθο, εξαπάτηση, ανθρώπινο πόνο και θάνατο. Ίσως αν ο συγγραφέας ήταν Δυτικός και η ιστορία εξελισσόταν στην Δύση να μην είχε το ίδιο αποτέλεσμα, αλλά θα πρέπει να λάβει κανείς υπ’ όψιν την ιδιαιτερότητα του ιαπωνικού πολιτισμού και τρόπου ζωής και τότε θα πάρει άλλο νόημα η ιστορία αυτή.
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
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
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
"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
Quicksand was apparently an early novel of Tanizaki's, and it lacks something as a result. For some reason, this novel of a kinky love triangle in prewar Japan-- as much as it sounds like that would be right up my alley (or this being Japan, in my chome)-- left me cold. The characters utterly failed to compel me, which is so tragic, given that in The Makioka Sisters, Tanizaki proved himself to be such a master of characterization. If you're curious about Tanizaki, read that, along with Naomi, or ...more
Dec 12, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es increíble. Cada capítulo (de tres a cinco páginas) le da un giro de tuerca a la historia. Además, Tanizaki empalmó varios narradores en él:

El autor (un autor implícito en la historia, que de hecho es novelista y escribe cosas como las que el lector tiene en las manos) redacta la historia que le contó la señora Kakiuchi, quien a su vez cuenta las apreciaciones de Mitsuko y lo que opina de ellas, generando un discurso metanarrativo que roba fragmentos a unos y a otros.

Con una estructura así de
Kring Lacson
"Mitsuko once told me: 'I’d much rather be worshiped by someone of my own sex. When I realize I can have another woman infatuated with me, I ask myself if I’m really that beautiful! It makes me blissfully happy!'

No doubt that was the kind of vanity that made her want to steal away my love for my husband, and yet I was sure Mitsuko’s own heart was drawn to Watanuki. Still, I felt I couldn’t stand being parted from her again… I kept pretending to be confident of her love.

Junichiro Tanizaki wrote
Jan 13, 2010 Hm rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
R.M. Miller
Apr 11, 2016 R.M. Miller rated it liked it
This is the second book by Tanizaki I’ve read, and although I did not enjoy it as much as his book Naomi, I still thought Quicksand was a very interesting book, with lots of delightful touches here and there.

However, there developed so many twists and turns that I reached the point, somewhere about just over half way through, where I lost sight of who was reporting whose deception of whom about what. Although I suspect this feeling of being lost in the characters’ machinations was precisely the
Joe Cummings
Feb 09, 2015 Joe Cummings rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quicksand is Howard Hibbett's 1994 translation of the 1947 novel Manji by Junichiro Tanizaki. This novel actually first appeared almost two decades earlier as a serial published from 1928 to 1930 with same title in Kaizo which was a general-interest magazine that started publication during the Taishō period. When you considered that its a very dark comedy of manners about lesbianism, obsession and romantic suicide, this is very remarkable novel indeed.

Although perhaps it's not surprising when
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
Krishna Avendaño
Nov 13, 2014 Krishna Avendaño rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arenas movedizas es un melodrama yuri de los años treinta donde una imouto seduce a su onee-chan y eventualmente destruye su vida—no exagero: el juego lésbico consiste en un principio en jugar a ser hermanas, lo que nos indica que ese tropo es bastante viejo en la narrativa japonesa—. Y claro, al ser una obra de Tanizaki no podían hacer falta los hombres patéticos que giran alrededor de las mujeres, un amante impotente y un marido imbécil, el primero para la hermana menor y el segundo para la ma ...more
Mar 04, 2011 Zach rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 26, 2014 David B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
D Fisher
Dec 13, 2014 D Fisher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tanizaki's obsession with destructive relationships is at its best in this novel. Mitsuko is a very dark and fascinating character, but Tanizaki doesn't go deep enough into her, though he couldn't since the story is told from Sonoko's POV. Her husband just goes along for the ride which is understandable and all leads to the inevitable ending. Did Sonoko deserve what she got? I wonder. Tanizaki gives you the feeling that she certainly couldn't help it, which can be said for many of us. I agree wi ...more
Sep 28, 2016 Ajdesasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, completely twisted, often times very funny tale about paranoia. Tanizaki's characters live in a world of lies, and I've rarely encountered a book better at making the reader as suspicious of everything as the characters are. Every relationship in the novel is defined in terms of who is the liar and who is the one being taken in. Eventually, all the characters, and I was too, begin to become completely paranoid and convinced they are the ones being lied to while everybody else knows ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Aug 19, 2012 Jayaprakash Satyamurthy rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 17, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended after reading some Yasunari Kawabata and I can see the similarity. Quicksand shines the spotlight on fragile characters placed in difficult circumstances. Pain and frustration, jealousy and betrayal are analyzed in depth with long passages of high tension dialog. There's more velocity in the narrative than Kawabata's novels. Everything seems to escalate rapidly and explode furiously and that style sacrifices some of the dreamlike space, the environmental context which makes Kawabata' ...more
May 25, 2012 Alwyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not enough detail as to how the Mrs K fell for the beauty.

The women are crazy. Book goes a little crazy too. I wonder if the writer has really met women like these.
Feb 06, 2013 Liviu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream, read_2013
An excellent tale of passion, deceit, twists and turns, botched suicide attempts, secrets and lies all in a very Japanese manner
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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 about Jun'ichirō Tanizaki...

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