Book: The sailor who fell from grace with the sea


This book has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while. It’s actually my dad’s and we unearthed it (along with a variety of other books) one day while packing. The title sounded pretty interesting and Yukio Mishima is a reputable Japanese author. On hindsight, I had no idea what I was getting into.

the sailor who fell from grace with the sea

If I were to sum up this book in one word, it would be – disturbing.

Yet despite that, it was really enjoyable. There’s a lot of powerful emotions and imagery used in the novel, which makes it impactful and ingrained itself in my memory. The characters are real people who grow on you, they express thoughts and emotions, opinions and questionable actions that you or I would do as well. Seeing the story develop from three different perspectives gave the novel more depth, even though it was a pretty short read. The ending leaves no doubt in your mind, even though it was ‘open-ended’.

I wouldn’t say this book is for everyone, you need a pretty strong stomach for some parts. There were instances when I had to put the book down and just stop reading to recover my senses. The translation feels a bit weird at times, but I was reading a pretty old version so perhaps that has been revised in the last few years. Still, I have Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask sitting on my shelf and I look forward to eventually getting around to reading it.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed reading a decent amount of Japanese literature this past year, it’s that the Japanese tend to take weird to a whole new level. It’s not always a bad thing, but it can be quite unsettling.

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