Dark, sensuous masterpiece
Yukio Mishima's "The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea" is a stunning book. The 13 year old Noburo is part of a gang, whose leader (who is called "The Chief" throughout the book) leads the other boys in a kind of anarchistic way of thinking, mainly considering that adults are false, sentimental and hypocritical. Noburo's mother, Fusako (who has been a widow for 5 years) has just fallen in love with the sailor Ryuji. Noburo, who has a habit of watching his mother in a kind of voyeuristic ritual, soon feels betrayed and fears losing his mother to Ryuji. Having found Ryuji as guilty of all accusations and mainly for having failed to be a hero (as Noburo would have wanted to see him) by just being a honest, fair and good human being, the gang plans a cruel finish.
Yukio Mishima manages to lead the tension in a crescendo from beginning to end, leaving the reader gasping for breath after the last sentence. Beautiful, magic prose and some of the most sensual, lyrical and erotic pages I have ever read, while exploring the darkest regions of the human soul. A fascinating read.