Wednesday 4 August 2021

Book Review: The Frolic of the Beasts by Mishima Yukio (Modern Classics)

Title: The Frolic of the Beasts
Author: Mishima Yukio
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 2019 (1961)
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
Genre: Modern Classics
Source: Gift

Koji, a young student, has fallen hopelessly in love with the beautiful, enigmatic Yuko. But she is married to the literary critic and serial philanderer Ippei. Tormented by desire and anger, Koji is driven to an act of violence that will bind this strange, terrible love triangle together for the rest of their lives. A starkly compelling story of lust, guilt and punishment, The Frolic of the Beasts explores the masks we wear in life, and what happens when they slip.

The Frolic of the Beasts is another engaging work by Mishima; I really have loved every book of his I have read so far. The story commences after the inciting incident, and we find out about that past as Koji reflects upon it during his present day interactions with the other main players in the piece. It is a fascinating character study that also establishes a wonderful sense of place through the descriptive prose. I was engaged from start to finish, and the book ends in a way that lets the reader make up their mind about what is still to come.

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