From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of the Booker Prize–winning novel The Remains of the Day
In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.
Now, as the mature Ono struggles through the aftermath of that war, his memories of his youth and of the "floating world"—the nocturnal world of pleasure, entertainment, and drink—offer him both escape and redemption, even as they punish him for betraying his early promise. Indicted by society for its defeat and reviled for his past aesthetics, he relives the passage through his personal history that makes him both a hero and a coward but, above all, a human being.
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by Kazuo Ishiguro
by Ivan Doig
by Edward Holmes
by Charles Dickens
"What was it like for the Japanese to wage a world war and lose it? Through one man's eyes we see the pride and patriotism, the devastation and losses, the shame and reversals. Our witness is an artist, trained to see and re-create--but can we trust the memory-pictures he paints? As spare and intricately crafted as a poem, the text (by the author of THE REMAINS OF THE DAY) is perfectly complemented by Case's refined, aristocratic voice and nearly flawless reading. For the artist-narrator, Case creates a subtle and complex characterization that reveals its secrets gradually, like the novel itself. Other characters are delicately and amusingly differentiated. Highly recommended--both the novel and the recording demand to be enjoyed more than once. S.P. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine"