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Wonderful and lyrical. With a canvas as broad as Mishima's hero Thomas Mann and writing as lyrical as Rilke. Very impressive.
Mishima who performed the ritual Seppukku on the afternoon of Nov 25, 1970, sealed and posted to his publisher the manuscript of The Sea of Fertility, a tetralogy of novels over which he had labored for five years. Unfortunately his magnum opus has always been occluded by his suicide. The four books – Spring Snow, Runaway Horses, The Temple of Dawn and The Decay of the Angel – are a saga of 20th-century Japan: a story of national decline that nonetheless proposes redemption through the endurance of a certain soul, forceful enough to be reborn ad-infinitum.
Spring Snow (volume 1 of this tetralogy) is set in 1912 and has shades of Lampedusa's-The Leopard). The main characters of this book are capricious Kiyoaki Matsugae, a baron's son of distant samurai descent, his friend Shigekuni Honda and Kiyoaki's love Satoko Ayakura.
The extraordinary beauty of this book lies in Mishima's intense portrayal of Kiyoaki as a dreamer, gripped by the sense that life's elusive fineness is slipping away by the second and longing to chase the impossible, to "bend the world" into the shape of his ideals. Of course tragedy is not far behind.
The narrator has done his job deftly.
I hope Audible will consider bringing out volumes 2, 3 and 4 of this transcendental work.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful
Nice glimpse into time gone by in the mystic Japan. Nice dramatic performance of the narrator when representing different characters of the story.
I struggled to chapter 3. I don't find Japanese courtesan material very interesting. I don't feel in a position to judge it. The narration seemed appropriate.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
I couldn't get into this book at all. I found the depth of description of every aspect of each moment in the narrative distracted me so much from the story I couldn't follow it's thread. I persisted, hoping I'd get immersed in the story as I became more familiar with the characters. Unfortunately this didn't happen and I ended up giving up on it after the first few chapters. I wouldn't recommend it.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful