I dunno if commenting is discouraged here (or intended for the other thread), but I've been curious about Kawabata for awhile, as he is a big -- well, maybe not a huge influence -- but William Vollmann is a big fan, so I had to check him out. His Palm of the Hand Stories, what people might call "short shorts" nowadays, were very good, very moving -- and also the inspiration behind one of my favorite books, Vollmann's The Atlas. So it's good to hear his novels are equally sound. I look forward to grabbing this one. Also thumbs up to this whole thread.