First, the cover. I absolutely love the cover. Well, at least the cover on the copy I got from my local library. My buddy across the hallway also checked it out and his cover is not as good. But the image is so beautiful, so evocative. I love the contrast between the dark grey/black of the sky and the red of the moon and the "moon drips". The sea is tinted pinkish/red because the blood of the moon is dripping down. And then this image of the priest praying on a cliff--very symbolic.
Now, let's dive in.
- "News reached the Church in Rome. Christovao Ferreira, sent to Japan by the Society of Jesus in Portugal, after undergoing the torture of 'the pit' at Nagasaki had apostatized." Very interesting way to start the book. It clues us into what Christovao is going to do in the future of the story, but I am assuming we are going to then go back and watch how he got to the point where he apostatized--what made him do it. Also, several prepositional phrases in this sentence.
- "And this same Ferreira was now somewhere in Japan. Had that face with its clear blue eyes and soft radiant light--hat it been changed by the hands of the Japanese torturers?" I love how the question in this second sentence is phrased. It starts out a question and then loses itself in description, but then picks up the question later after a dash.
- On the whole, Shusaku Endo is impressing me with his prose. I mean the prologue reads like a historical text book, only with more details on individuals. But the diction and syntax is very well done. Especially since this is a translation. We may be missing some of the poetic turns of phrase that I am sure are present in the original, but overall, not too shabby.
So, not a ton to discuss, but a good set up chapter. Hopefully this book will hold my attention. I really like the idea and Endo is a good writer and that cover!