It's a frightening account of a society gone very wrong by way of the debasement of women's rights and therefore everyone's human rights. The writing, with its very detailed descriptions of the main character's state of minds and actions powerfully convey a feeling of unbearable decadence and violence. The story is told in an amazingly unemotional manner, and Claire Danes' performance is impeccable that way; yet the uncomfortable story lingered in my memory long after I finished reading the book.
Mishima's writing is so expertly precise that it could be compared to the craftsmanship of a master watch maker. Mishima leads us like clock work to the ultimate unfolding of his story but fooling us on the way with poetic and literary meanderings. Like no other writer, he pulls us inside the characters' heads and their thinking. Like no other writer, he manages to elevate the banal and the routine of daily lives into more complex perspectives. It's a beautifully written book.
The overall historical scope of the first two tomes of The Century trilogy and the author's goal to relate the events of the last century through many characters and personal journeys kept my interest going. I thought Pillars of the Earth was better written though. I sometimes got tired of the predictable romances throughout the books, the sex scenes often felt shallow and with them the characters, and at times I felt like I was reading some Harlequin romances. A bit disappointed that the author didn't succeed in transcending the rich material with his writing.
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