Forbidden Colors

Yukio Mishima

i stuck with this book even though i never really liked any of the characters. at the end i just felt ambivalent about the story in general. it always seems wrong to not care about the protagonist, but it’s worse to not care about anyone in the story or anything that happened at all.

an aging misanthropic writer follows a young woman he is falling for even though she isn’t attracted to him. it turns out she has fallen for this guy — who apparently is the most beautiful boy ever — who randomly confesses to the writer that he is gay, and therefore can’t love this girl. the writer suddenly has this grand idea on how to get revenge on all women using this guy’s beauty and lack of attraction to them to hurt as many people as possible. in order to save his family home and help take care of his sick mother, the guy goes along with it, marrying this girl he doesn’t love and then proceeding to string along a few other women until they are all nice and jealous of each other. in the meantime, he delves into the gay underworld of tokyo and breaks hearts by the dozens.

did i mention this guy is hot? the main theme of the book is how every other character is attracted to him.

Mrs. Kaburagi discovered once more that not only was Yuichi’s dancing skillful, it was also light-footed and without frills. Was it a vision — the youthful haughtiness she found so beautiful each instant? Or his candor, was it a kind of abandon?

The usual men of the world, she thought, attract a woman with the text of a page. This young man attracts with its margins. I wonder where he learned the technique.

i’ve been curious about Mishima because of this band from the boston area that is named after him. if i had known anything about him, i might not have bothered.