The Sound of Waves

  • by Yukio Mishima
  • Narrated by Brian Nishii
  • 5 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. A young fisherman is entranced at the sight of the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. They fall in love, but must then endure the calumny and gossip of the villagers.

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What the Critics Say

"A story that is both happy and a work of art...Altogether a joyous and lovely thing. (The New York Times)
"Of such classic design its action might take place at any point across a thousand years." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Mishima is like Stendhal in his precise psychological analyses, like Dostoevsky in his explorations of darkly destructive personalities." (Christian Science Monitor)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Lyrical Tale

of first love in the Japanese tradition. A wonderful introduction to classic Asian love stories.
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- Douglas "College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey."

Remote Japanese island beautifully depicted

Central Japan's tiny little island is where this story takes place. This is a classical love story in Japanese sense - with characters bound by constraints of a traditional society. A shy boy and a shy guy who both have hard times expressing their feelings toward each other. Some readers might be put off by the underlying male dominant premise of the island community where women have to unite to influence the decision of a powerful male elder of the island, the decision that has a vital bearing on the destiny of the love between two protagonists Shinji and Hatsue.

I actually visited the island which Mishima used as the model for Utajima island in the novel. Mishima stayed on this island called Kamishima while he was writing this novel. Listening to this story, I can picture the island's lay of the land. I'm fully aware that nostalgia and familiarity skew my evaluation of this work. I'm not surprised if others give lower ratings to this as The Sound of Waves doesn't have usual mystical and somewhat eerie air more typical of Mishima's other works. Simple, straightforward love story with not so many twists and turns along the way where (spoiler alert) Shinji and Hatsue in the end see their happy ending. For me, the beauty of the depiction of the place is more than enough to draw me deeply into this story every time I re-listen. I'm also quite fond of it's sunny, optimistic undertone.
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- Bruce

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-22-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios