Tuesday 4 April 2023

Book Review: Runaway Horses (Sea of Fertility #2) by Mishima Yukio (Modern Classics)

Title: Runaway Horses (Sea of Fertility #2)
Author: Mishima Yukio
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 1999 (1969)
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Genre: Modern Classics
Source: Birthday Gift

Isao is a young, engaging patriot, and a fanatical believer in the ancient samurai ethos. He turns terrorist, organising a violent plot against the new industrialists, who he believes are threatening the integrity of Japan and usurping the Emperor’s rightful power. As the conspiracy unfolds and unravels, Mishima brilliantly chronicles the conflicts of a decade that saw the fabric of Japanese life torn apart.


I have loved all Mishima's books I have read so far, including Spring Snow the preceding volume in this tetralogy. But of all those I have read so far, Runaway Horses is my least favourite. It is by no means a 'bad' book; it simply didn't capture me as much as Mishima's other works, perhaps because of how strongly it focuses on political aspects, which are present in his other novels but not to this extreme. It was interesting to see Honda again, now older than at his appearance in the first book, but other than that the characters didn't completely capture me, even though the plot was interesting. I am moving straight on to volume three, which I hope will regain my enthusiasm for the series. Nevertheless, I would still give this book four stars, as it is still a well-written and interesting narrative within the world of the series.

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