Francis King

From Middle-Class Sissy to Heroic Samurai

Mishima’s Sword

By

Fourth Estate 262pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

This odd, sometimes irritating and always fascinating book is difficult to categorise. A commonplace book driven by a single obsession? That would certainly convey the way in which it consists for the most part of a series of brief, finely chiselled passages, each often no more than a paragraph in length, with little sense of cohesion between them. But there is nothing commonplace about either the content or the style.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,
    • The author 'seethes with contemptuous indignation at the shiny junk that an unregulated construction industry dumps… ,
    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,