The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea (1963)- Yukio Mishima
Verdict: Try it.
Ryuji lives his dream of life on the sea, until he meets a woman named Fusako. As time progresses, Fusako completely draws Ryuji away from his life as a sailor, in favor of love, marriage, and domesticity. Fusako’s son Noboru, initially favors the man his mother loves. But as the romance advances and Ryuji’s rugged manliness fades, Noboru begins to despise the man his mother hopes to marry, especially as Noboru becomes more involved in a gang that promotes ruthless “objectivity” and “indifference” through acts of extreme violence.
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea was Yukio Mishima novel to read, I wasn’t disappointed. It is a gorgeously written, brief, dark, and sensuous work. Mishima mixes beautiful language and imagery with brutal violence and romantic encounters. Each of his three lead characters carries heavy philosophical ideals on his/her shoulders. The third person omniscient narration also allows for deep investment in each character—thus, making the emotional impact of the story even more devastating. While the sexuality and graphic violence depicted early on will turn some people off, this is a work of extreme beauty and emotional resonance, and you’ve likely never read anything like it. Try it.