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This review is from: Thirst for Love (Twentieth Century Classics Paperback) (Paperback)
This book in my opinion stands shoulder to shoulder with the rest of Mishima's work. If desire itself is taken as the main character, it works magnificently. The book is an excoriating study of the insatiability of desire. Mishima dissects our 'thirst for love' through his characters experience of; exploitation, abandonment, sublimation, avoidance, humiliation, infidelity as well as Etsuko's dark response.
Etsuko, a widowed and cheated on middle aged woman, has had her desire frustrated by circumstances throughout her life. Mishima charts her attempts to negotiate an actual unfulfilling love and an imagined seemingly unobtainable one. This book is the antithesis of The Sound Of Waves and forms a shocking contrast to it. Yet Mishima writes with such genius evoking humans feelings and manipulations with searing honesty. His description of the minutia of desire is remarkable.
He gives us no truly sympathetic or unsympathetic characters - even the object of Etsuko's desire, the 'innocent' Saburo could be seen as thoughtless. The narrative's compelling force comes from the dragging into the light the shadowy feelings and actions we all know and would probably rather forget. For that reason many may find this book a painful experience. For me though the brave light it shines in the dark corners of the human psyche is worth it.