Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea

by Yukio Mishima

Buy the book here.
Buy the movie version.


Plot: The story of a widowed mother and her thirteen-year-old son. The mother falls in love with a sailor. Her son runs with a group of boys trying to detach themselves from emotion. Tragic ending.

It's like Lord of the Flies! There are wonderfully uncomfortable Oedipal overtones, tons of philosophy from a young boy's point of view, and murder. In many ways, however, it tends to be much more frightening than Lord of the Flies because this novel takes place within society rather than needing to be removed from it before horrible things start happening. But it is also less harrowing because the character in danger can get away from it easily, if he were to see it.
I found myself sympathizing with the main character, Noboru Kuroda, the son mentioned in the plot. I had many similar feelings around that age. It felt sometimes like the world was conspiring against me on an emotional level and the best solution was to simply have no emotions at all.
I quite liked this book and would like to read it again someday. The copy I just read is from the public library, however, so I will have to buy a copy for my personal library.

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