Star

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

A novella that reads more like a short story, Star focuses on the frenzied pace and shallow veneer of the actor’s life. One assumes that there is quite a bit of autobiography at work in this one. Mishima was very much driven by the need for the spotlight and used it as a venue for both his art and his societal/political convictions. Star includes the classic Mishima elements of suicide and masks throughout. It is a sound addition to the annals of translated works but doesn’t have the impact of some of his other stories.
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This short story follows a famous movie star as he lives life on a movie set. We follow his thoughts and desires, both the normal and grotesque. 
While I thought the subject matter was interesting-I really like stories that follow famous people and that take place on movie sets-I didn't really mesh well with the writing style. It was very meandering writing, without much focus, and that's just not writing that I like very much. I can appreciate this story for what it is, but I personally didn't enjoy it very much. 
I can very much see how other people would greatly enjoy this, however, so I will be sure to mention this story to patrons at my library who might be interested in it.
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A short but very well written book (more of a novella) focusing on the life of a pop star and what it really means to be a performer. The volume deals with the concept of celebrity, and the disconnect between public perception and self worth when your livelihood comes from a lack of authenticity. The writing style has experimental leanings which works well in this interesting portrait of fame, as celebrity never appears to escape absurdity.
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Is never read Mishima before, but I knew of his reputation and life. This may not have been the best place to start. Just a slight reflection on the nature of celebrity with few surprises or insights.
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Yukio Mishima’s five-chapter novella, “Star,” first published in 1961 and recently translated into English posthumously by Sam Bett, is a fascinating character study into the mind of an aloof 24-year-old Japanese actor.

Written in first person, “Star” is your gateway into Rikio Mizuno’s inner most voice and thoughts, but even inside his mind, you’re held at an arm’s length.

Being a star defines him, but to be one means holding a distance, being an outsider and never being around.

It’s an awfully lonely fate to be a star.

But he dutifully does what he’s told, memorizing and repeating lines scripted for him while working long hours with barely any sleep.

No one can really know a star, who projects others wishes and dreams, but Mishima, who was once an actor himself, starring in the 1960 yakuza film “Afraid to Die,” teases fans with a glimpse behind the curtains, which reveals a star’s maxims and fate: Stars shine, yes, but they also inevitably die.

Mishima’s “Star” shines, yes, performing by Mizuno’s rules — ending way too fast and leaving his audience yearning for another sight of his haunting and otherworldly light.

Disclaimer: I received a free eARC of “Star” from NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.
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At first I was very excited to read another book written by Asian author. 
My excitement soon faded away because the story was too short. It felt like a short story that can be read within over an hour. 
The story is about a star and her relationship with his assistant Kayo. 
The story was well developed, but somehow it felt short for me. For that reason my rating loses one star. 
Otherwise, if you like to read something fast one evening that book will be wonderful for that occasion. For me it just felt a bit short. Too short.
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Star is an interesting novella that for me evokes a short story much more than a novel.  Readers who are short story fans (I am!) will definitely like this tale of a young movie actor, Rikio, who is worshiped by his adoring fans.   Rikio has an unlikely "relationship" with his assistant, who in some ways grounds him and in other ways bolsters him.  Star draws a picture where reality and imagination blur in interesting ways that I look forward to discussing further with other readers.  If this is a taste of Mishima, I'd like to go back for more of a true meal.
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