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Zone of Emptiness
 
by
Hiroshi Noma
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Zone of Emptiness

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  4 reviews
317 pages
Published 1952 by World Publishing Company
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3.70  · 
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 ·  10 ratings  ·  4 reviews


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Jacob van Berkel
Set in an Osaka army barrack during the final stages of a losing war: a place where food rations are low, corruption is high, physical abuse common, and where mobilization, almost certainly, means death. A place where it's each man for himself. 'A place', one of the two protagonists muses, 'where the air that is needed to be human is sucked out from.' It's a vacuum of humanity, a Zone of Emptiness (ahaah!) one might say.

On the human level, this book is about a friendship between the protagonist
...more
Victoria Chávez
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book-- I love that we get to intimately know the main characters as the book progresses but as another review mentions, the storyline indeed consists of a lot of people looking for other people. Overall I think it's pretty well written and translated (I had the English version) and recommend it even if you've never been interested in history or war because it hits other very interesting themes such as love, family, values, morality, and friendship.
William Kirkland
Zone of Emptiness by the Japanese novelist Hiroshi Noma, when it was published in 1952 after years of military censorship, was both shocking to Japanese readers, and widely praised. Like e e cummings’ 1922 The Enormous Room, it is a war novel with no scenes of war. Like From Here to Eternity (1951), much of the narrative is about prison and army cruelty, arbitrary orders and men going against the grain.

Published as Shinkū chitai, it was translated into French as Zone de vide by Henreitte de Bois
...more
Stephen Douglas Rowland
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel was only printed once in English, in 1956, but is not impossible to find, and I do recommend you find it, as it's a haunting and potent postwar elegy. Although not cited as an influence, I was often reminded of Dostoevsky.
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