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The Temple Of The Golden Pavilion (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

Yukio Mishima
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

3 May 2001 Vintage Classics
Because of the boyhood trauma of seeing his mother make love to another man in the presence of his dying father, Mizoguchi becomes a hopeless stutterer. Taunted by his schoolmates, he feels utterly alone untill he becomes an acolyte at a famous temple in Kyoto, where he develops an all-consuming obsession with the temple's beauty. This powerful story of dedication and sacrifice brings together Mishima's preoccupations with violence, desire, religion and national history to dazzling effect.

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The Temple Of The Golden Pavilion (Vintage Classics) + The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea (Vintage Classics) + Spring Snow (The Sea of Fertility)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; 32nd Printing edition (3 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099285673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099285670
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"A dark vision...a beautiful, disturbing novel" (Los Angeles Times)

"Mishima writes with a fury that seldom flags" (Glasgow Herald)

"Glitters with images of beauty and destruction, cruelty and sacrifice, dedication and betrayal" (The Times)

"An amazing literary feat" (Chicago Tribune)

"I adore Mishima's prose and vivid descriptions. They pull me out of my daily reality" (Amanda Harlech Harpers Bazaar)

Book Description

'One of the outstanding writers of the world' New York Times

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Greshon
A very famous work in Japan, and one of the finest Japanese novels I have read. Mishima himself regarded his series of novels, The Sea of Fertility, as his masterpiece, but this is a tighter piece of work. It is neither cold nor overly dense, two frequent flaws in this author's work. On the contrary the novel displays great understanding and sensitivity and is immensely readable - even hypnotic.

Many tourists who visit Kinkakuji (the Japanese name for the Temple of the Golden Pavilion) don't even know that it is a 1950 reconstruction. It's not a fact heavily publicised at the site. After surviving the catastrophe of WW2 it was torched by a deranged monk - a monumental loss for Japanese art, culture and history. This is the story of that monk, and his slow, ineivtiable journey to that final, awful event.

This is a profound psychological study of depression and madness. Vivid images linger in the mind long after the last page has turned.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Mishima novel to begin with... 19 Oct 2002
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
The Temple of the Golden Pavillion, along with Forbidden Colours is one of the best known books by Yukio Mishima. The two things strangely that led me to Mishima's books were the Sakamoto/Sylvian single Forbidden Colours and Paul Schrader's film Mishima (1985). The latter includes a brilliant episode from the book, which shows us the impotent, stuttering student loner at the heart of this novel.
This was the first book of his I read, based on a true story that occurred in Kyoto in the 1950's it feels somewhere between Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment, Genet's A Thief's Journal or a more twisted Hemingway. These are only pointers, Mishima's voice is one that is deeply original- more so to the reader who is not that well versed in Japanese literature. Mishima takes the true story and crafts it around an existential-zen notion and explores the character of the Japanese male following the end of World War II. This book lays out many of the themes prevalent in the rest of Mishima's oeuvre- repressed homosexuality, violence, cruelty, tradition, honour, destruction etc. This book feels like part of a character that Mishima longed for and which may have been behind the semi-fascist actions committed before his own suicide. The best works to read of Mishima's after this are Confessions of a Mask, Forbidden Colours, Temple of Dawn and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea.Despite many people objecting to Mishima, who is perceived as a fascist nutcase, his books are rich with some of the finest prose written in the 20th century. The reissue of The Temple of the Golden Pavillion is a welcome one.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstood in his Brilliance 5 Jan 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For the readers that are unfamiliar with Mishima and his work, this book could be very difficult to understand. One of his best works, “The temple of the golden pavilion” was one of the many ways that Mishima tried to explain to the world how he saw it. Using the true story of the arson of one of Japans most famous temples Mishima brings forward issues and ideas that to most Westerners would seem perverse and disturbing. What people often miss to understand when reading this book is that it is a glimpse of the true Kimitake Hiraoka (Yukio Mishima’s birth name), his obsession with the beautiful and its link to death and bloodshed. The main character’s obsession with the Golden Temple is really Mishima’s obsession with Death and his believe that to remain beautiful you must die, and die young.
A truly wonderful book that will provoke the darkest thoughts and make its reader take and inward look to find their own “Golden Temple”
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book 16 Feb 2010
This book has stayed with me for over 20 years since I first read it. It is an outstanding piece of work that grabs you in a very fundamental way. I am grateful for the detailed reviews that others have been able to give. I couldn't put into words my own feelings on reading this novel. I do remember urging my brother to read it and being unable to explain why. It touched me in a way no other book ever has.
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