A hopeless stutterer, taunted by his schoolmates, Mizoguchi feels utterly alone until he becomes an acolyte at a famous temple in Kyoto. But he quickly becomes obsessed with the temple's beauty, and cannot live in peace as long as it exists.
"An amazing literary feat in its minute delineation of a neurotic personality." (Chicago Tribune)
"Beautifully translated... Mishima re-erects Kyoto, plain and mountain, monastery, temple, town, as Victor Hugo made Paris out of Notre Dame." (The Nation)
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