Somersault

Somersault

3.22 (258 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The first new novel Oe has published since winning the Nobel Prize, Somersault is a magnificent story of the charisma of leaders, the danger of zealotry, and the mystery of faith. A decade before the story opens, two men referred to as the Patron and Guide of mankind were leaders of an influential religious movement. When a radical faction of their followers threatened to unleash an apocalypse, they recanted all of their teachings and abandoned their followers. Now, after ten years of silence, Patron and Guide begin contacting their old followers and reaching out to the public, assisted by a small group of young people who have come to them in recent months. Just as they are beginning this renewed push, the radical faction kidnaps Guide, holding him captive until his health gives out. Patron and a small core of the faithful, including a painter named Kizu who may become the new Guide, move to the mountains to establish the church's new base, followed by two groups from Patron's old church: the devout Quiet Women, and the Technicians, who have ties to the old radical faction. The Baby Fireflies, young men from a nearby village, attempt to influence the church with local traditions and military discipline. As planning proceeds for the summer conference that will bring together the faithful and launch the new church in the eyes of the world, the conflicting agendas of these factions threaten to make a mockery of the church's unity--or something far more dangerous.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 32mm | 780.17g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0802140459
  • 9780802140456
  • 719,803

Review quote

"Intricate and intriguing...A work of creative philosophy in the Kierkegaardian tradition...A provocative exploration of spiritual emptiness and religious yearning by one of the world's most important authors."
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About Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe was born in 1935 in Ose, a mountain village on Japan's Shikoku Island. He graduated in French literature from Tokyo University and became a full-time writer in 1959. He has won many international literary honors, including the 1989 Prix Europalia and the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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Rating details

258 ratings
3.22 out of 5 stars
5 14% (37)
4 28% (72)
3 32% (82)
2 18% (47)
1 8% (20)
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