This book affected me so much that I kept my mouth shut for a week (the amount of time it took me to complete the book). I couldn't eat, and I couldn't speak. Yukio Mishima's beautiful narrative paralyzed me the way the Golden Temple paralyzed Mizoguchi, the protagonist. A talented writer-philosopher, Mishima skillfully toyed with various aspects of beauty, fear, and faith, ultimately meltings them into one great encompassing theme that destroys the mystery behind what many of us lack: confidence. I strongly recommend this book to the artistically minded--especially those who has not found the courage to express themselves.