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Star by [Yukio Mishima, Sam Bett]

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Star Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 307 ratings

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Mishima is famous both for writing and for dying. Or, strictly, for attempting hara-kiri. Perhaps surprising, then, is that Star is about shooting a blockbuster: not an Ozu or a Mizoguchi but a cheap Yakuza flick. Mishima himself starred in Afraid to Die, Yukoku, Black Lizard, and Hitokiri and knew first-hand his subject the vapidity of fame. Startling, is its lack of artifice: yielding grace from pulp.

This 1961 novel is finally getting the translation it has so long deserved. The psychologically complex story of Rikio Mizuno, young star of a series of gangster films, is based in part on Mishima’s own experiences as an actor. This is a landmark novel of 20th century Japan, and you no longer have to learn Japanese to read it.

Mishima nicely captures the alter-world of stardom—a sharp little novella.

This little novella gives a bang-filled rush, reflecting on the empty deceit of fame and the psychology of celebrity. Once you're on top of the world, can you ever escape it?

An exquisite contemplation of existence and death, and Mishima’s prose is extremely powerful and the translation finely executed.

A startlingly modern, hypervisual jewel.

Mishima's glitzy melange of playboy paranoia and heartthrob ennui cracks the proverbial 15 minutes wide open, spilling all the juicy details regarding fawning sycophants, monotonous re-shoots, and the anesthetizing effect of prolonged exposure to the limelight. Death-haunted and contemptuous,
Star is a sneering "up yours" to celebrity and fanaticism depicted in panoramic decadence — though, notably, nowhere is its critique more biting than when gazing at its own fractured reflection. A rain-slick melodrama dripping with bored excess, this is a pocket guide for the sexy and disaffected.

Mishima’s ethereal 1961 novel, published for the first time in English, showcases the strains of fame on a young movie star. Mishima is a master of the psychological: this nimble novella about the costs and delusions of constant public attention will resonate with readers.

Enormously relevant

Written shortly after Mishima himself starred in the yakuza-centered
Afraid to Die, his slim novella—smoothly translated into English for the first time by prize-winning Sam Bett—is a raw, scathing examination of fame.

Mishima is like Stendhal in his precise psychological analyses, like Dostoevsky in his explorations of darkly destructive personalities.

A short but intense psychological ride. Sam Bett has given the book a colloquial translation that powerfully evokes a mood of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Star isn’t merely a treat for completists, but a happy reunion with a genius.

Mishima was one of literature’s great romantics.

Star, the novella Mishima published in 1960, is now open to rediscovery thanks to an adroit, colloquial translation into American English by Sam Bett. It offers us a snapshot of a twenty-three-year-old, up-and-coming movie star, Rikio Mizuno. In Star, the world of film is, it seems, all artifice, both on and off screen, a world where everyone dons masks as a service to public tastes and desires while peering into mirrors of narcissistic self-regard. Literary genius

Star, translated from Japanese by Sam Bett, is a strange, avant-garde novella following a young actor who [receives] the kind of attention that could drive any person slowly insane.

This pitch-perfect novella from Yukio Mishima tells the story of a young film star disenchanted with the trappings of fame. Drawing on his own experiences as an actor, Mishima’s Star is a stunning addition to the oeuvre of one of postwar Japan’s greatest storytellers.

There may be no writer more autobiographical than Yukio Mishima. He resembles Ce´line and Genet, writers who were not political writers but who were working out the crisis of being alive, the crisis of experience itself. That’s precisely the way it is transcendent—it goes beyond the visible world into a world in which being alive makes sense.
--This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) completed his first novel the year he entered the University of Tokyo and his last novel the day of his death. He is the author of numerous novels, stories, plays, and essays. Gore Vidal once said of him: I only regret we never met, for friends found him a good companion, a fine drinking partner, and fun to cruise with." Mishima committed suicide by ceremonial seppuku after a failed coup d'etat intended to restore pre-WWII power to the emperor of Japan. SAM BETT won the Grand Prize in the JLPP International Translation Competition. With David Boyd, he is cotranslating the novels of Mieko Kawakami." --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07GHC8QFW
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ New Directions (April 30 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1028 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 98 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 307 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
307 global ratings

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Mr Creosote
4.0 out of 5 stars almost Ballardian
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 4, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good little read from a Japanese master
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 16, 2019
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4.0 out of 5 stars A snapshot into the life of an unhappy and disillusioned movie star
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 22, 2022
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S H, Kent
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a (long) short story really...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 11, 2022
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Chris McC
2.0 out of 5 stars Never really gets going
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