Synopses & Reviews
Written in 1924, this has been called the best novel ever written about Japan, and its charm remains undiminished. The French author, a pilot during World War I, was sent to Japan as a flying instructor after the war, and this book is a fictionalized account of the year he spent there. Writing in deceptively simple style and displaying an exceptional gift for observation, Raucat tells of a trip to the holiday island of Enoshima that goes badly wrong. By adopting the perspectives of different people in his narrative -- the foreigner bent on seduction, the poor young girl who is the object of his interest, the station-master at the train station where the two are supposed to meet, the proprietress of a hotel, the girl's friend and her spoiled son, a geisha and a young man -- he builds up a complex picture and a mood that shifts quickly from light to shadows, offering penetrating insights into the Japanese character, and capturing the heady and rarely-portrayed atmosphere of Tokyo in the twenties.
Published in 1924, this has been called the best novel ever written about Japan. The French author, a pilot during World War I, offers a complex fictionalized account of life in Japan and Tokyo during the twenties.