... a compelling tale of love and violence ... By the time we reach the end, Mishima’s twisty timeline pays huge dividends. A powerful epilogue ties a neat ribbon around the plot ... Mishima’s sensibilities will seem a bit dated to contemporary readers. For example, the excessive and repetitive attention to the breast size of every female character is — to put it in technical terms — yucky. On the other hand, I did enjoy underlining the many fun and weird similes.
[Mishima's] influence and artistry continue to this day ... while the novel is structured to increase the tension, readers may have difficultly following the disjointed narrative, especially in the opening chapters, as the prologue details events that occur after — not before — the main action, and chapter 2 serves as a flashback. Still, The Frolic of the Beasts is worth the extra work at the start — especially because the ending sent this reader straight back to the prologue, which read very differently the second time around ... A philosophical work not for the faint of heart...a tragic, haunting work from a master.
A morose little gem from Mishima’s middle period, boasts its share of sensuous depravity ... These influences—romantic Sturm und Drang and formalized gestures and expressions from the stage—aren’t integrated so much as piled on top of each other, like a face gaudily layered in makeup. It’s a train wreck of styles, but because the book is about moral catastrophe the collision seems fitting.