Alexander's Reviews > The Master of Go

The Master of Go by Yasunari Kawabata
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's review
May 11, 2010

really liked it
Read from May 11 to 12, 2010

All of the subtlety and understated grace one expects from Kawabata, covering subject matter that is at once different and familiar.

One really gets a sense of the old world Japanese mentality, where discipline and self-sacrifice for a higher goal or 'art' garners vast amounts of respect. The Master of Go eventually sacrifices his life to his calling, but this is cast neither as a tragedy or a triumph by Kawabata -- rather it is the natural result of a life devoted to pushing one's limits in a specific area.

Reading Kawabata is so refreshing after reading American authors who are so often incredibly blunt. If you don't want to be beaten over the head with moral absolutes and over-the-top plot devices then Kawabata is a great choice.

I was surprised that several reviewers found this book to be dull, simply because it was so short! It's really a novella and shouldn't take more than an hour and a half to read. I've read articles in The New Yorker longer than this book. You don't even really have time to be bored (not that it is boring at all).

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05/11/2010 page 15
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