Kirstie's Reviews > The Sound of Waves

The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima
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's review
Feb 23, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 20 to 23, 2012 — I own a copy

At the outset, this is a simple story...a boy and girl falling in love on a remote fishing island in Japan. Dig deeper and there's really an elegance in the writing that made me think quite a bit of Steinbeck's The Pearl, which I actually haven't read since I was in middle school. Still, I couldn't help remembering it and thinking it made me feel the same way even though the novels are obviously very different but the language and form of it itself...and the tone at times that Mishima conveys through the imagery.

I think what Mishima does well here is convey such different characters and the island life itself. Though the story centers on young love, this is also a story about integrity in many ways and traditions as well. It also gave me some interesting dreams having read it mainly right before bed while I was taking my evening bath. Once, after reading a section about a storm, I had a dream about a huge house whose top flew right off because of a huge gust of wind.

Some quotes:

pg. 34 "He was left with nothing but a keen sense of regret, a feeling that there was something he had utterly failed to do...They left the house standing open: there was no such thing as theft on the island."

pg. 59 "Influenced by both her natural disposition and by the movies seen and novels read in Tokyo, she was always wishing that she could have a man look at her at least once with eyes saying "I love you" instead of "You love me" But she had decided that she would never have such an experience in all her life."

pg. 67 "The clouds were moving at a gallop, and even in the dark sky there was a restless fluctuation between light and dark."

pg. 182 "Out in front of them stretched the unfathomable darkness, where the beam from the lighthouse was making its vast, regular sweeps. And the reflection of the lens kept circling around inside the little room, their patterns disrupted only at the spot where they crossed the backs of the white shirt and the flower patterned kimono."

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