Monday, July 6, 2015

The Sound of Waves

Here’s the book that made me create a new shelf on my Goodreads profile.  What shelf is that, you ask?  It’s one called “Perfect Little Books.”  It has a few other slim volumes for company – The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaimain, and A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons.  I drew an arbitrary line at 200 pages – if you’re perfect and you’re under that, you’re in!

For a short book, The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima is full of atmosphere.  The ocean, the sea, the waves are always in the background and often at the forefront.  This is a timeless story – I was well into it before a few mentions of movies or wartime activities made me realize this is indeed set in the 1950s.  It seems much earlier, and I think intentionally reads as myth or fable.  A simple story of teenage love with plenty of beautiful observations couched in wonderful prose.  A story where those who do the honorable thing are rewarded. 

In the end, the effect is almost hypnotic.  All that being said, I found the story of the author’s life to be more interesting than this particular book. Mishima committed ritual suicide while in his 40s, after he completed a set of four books he considered to be his masterpiece.

As a total tangent - I would love to know more about the cover art, because, yes, that's a fish with some jewels wrapped around it!

Final call:

Really four and a half.  Highly recommended for a time when you need a peaceful read.  Take some time to read about the life of the author, too.

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