the sailor who fell from gace with the sea by Yukio Mishima


the sailor who fell from grace with the sea


In his time Yukio Mishima was one of Japans most successful writers been considered three times for the nobel prize ,this is one of the best known of over forty novels he wrote in his lifetime ,he also wrote plays and short stories in his time .he did after a failed coup to restore the emperors powers in japan that had been lost at the end of the second world war ,he committed ritual suicide . 

the book- 

Starts in post war japan it follows Noboruo a wayward young lad who is in a gang and has been held in his room at night by his mother to prevent him joining the gang  ,this lad is voyeuristic watching his mother dress and her liaisons with Ryjuli a sailor ,when he hangs out with a gang and the chief the head of the gang . the gang does  a particular brutal attack in the middle of the book ,Noburuo resents his mothers affair with Ryjuli and purses him with the gang .he initially likes her mothers lover but then sees flaws in him .Noburo is a typical teenager in a lot of ways this is about him wanting to break free and his sexual awakening but in a extreme way 

my view – 

this is a short review because i didn’t really enjoy this book ,the synopsis read a bit like a japanese lord of the flies or clockwork orange it did have a bit of that but also felt a bit forced by the writer am not sure if this was the translation or the style of writing ,it did give a view in to the  more traditional side of japan that we don,t  always get chance to see in a lot of modern japanese novels .the attack describe in the middle of the book is quite shocking and nearly made me put the book down !

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rob
    Apr 19, 2010 @ 07:28:49

    Sounds like an interesting one to me Stu, ‘shocking scene’ and all.


    • winstonsdad
      Apr 19, 2010 @ 20:15:59

      it ,is maybe not my cup of tea .Do think the translation dosen’t help its from sixties ,warmest stu


  2. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
    Apr 19, 2010 @ 09:04:30

    I love the sound of a Japanese Lord of the Flies! Perhaps the translation is the main problem? I’d be interested in reading this one. Thanks for drawing it to my attention!


    • winstonsdad
      Apr 19, 2010 @ 12:10:41

      i think is translation was done in 1965 ,could do with freshen up some books need new translation from time to time as language and grammar changes ,but lot of description and talking was sparce in place ,suppose could be seen as a haiku style using least words possible but didn’t work for me


  3. amymckie
    Apr 19, 2010 @ 19:41:25

    Sounds interesting. I have to admit that I haven’t read Lord of the Flies OR Clockwork Orange (shocking, I know!). I won’t rush out to get this one but at the same time if I saw it on sale I might give it a chance.


    • winstonsdad
      Apr 19, 2010 @ 20:17:01

      hi amy i would read other two first there both great books ,burgess is one my all time favourite writers ,warmest stu


  4. Mel u
    Apr 20, 2010 @ 08:28:43

    In someways this book seems very cliched, both in plot and character-I did not enjoy the cruelty to animals in the work either and do not see it as a top quality novel from the post war Japanese era-


  5. Trackback: The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima – Farm Lane Books Blog
  6. Trackback: Two Japanese classics | Winstonsdad's Blog

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April 2010


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