A great English language introduction to the works of Koda Rohan, one of the classic authors from the Meiji Era. It is a great companion to Mulhern's biography of the author. The works included here are diverse in tone. "The Five Storied Pagoda" is a novella that is considered the author's most famous work, and it is undoubtedly the best story in the collection. "Encounter with a Skull" is a classic supernatural short story, which is well...short...but sweet. "The Bearded Samurai" is a historical novella set during the Warring States period. This might be a drag for many readers since it is heavy on exposition and is the longest story in the collection. Those who perservere will ultimately find it satisfying. Mulhern, the translator, has done an excellent job in presenting these tales with a complex prose reflective of the author's original style (although still much, much simpler than the real thing). Overall, this is the best option we have right now to enjoying this great man's classic works and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Japanese literature or classic Japanese fiction.