Translated from the Japanese original, this book combines two of Yokoyama's central themes: fighting and building. One set of stories, entitled Public Works, details massive structures being erected across a landscape. Plot is pushed aside in favor of sheer formal verve as we watch buildings about which we know nothing, come into being. The other set of stories, Combats, is one sequence after another of elegantly choreographed battles. Yokoyama builds things up and tears them down.