Unlike Quicksand, characters in this work are basically sympathetic. There are no real villains. It is a lot of fun to see what happens in the marriage and how everyone deals with events in their own way. I do not want to give away any more plot details as it is terribly clever.
There is an amazing two page description of a minor character, a fifty year old Canadian woman who owns and operates a number of brothels, that is an amazing literary jewel.
In Some Prefer Nettles we see a classic Reading Life type in the father in law, a man who has sort of cultivated himself into a isolated corner. His inner life has been totally enriched by things those around him do not fathom and frankly find a total bore. I did not at all see the ending of this book coming. Tanizaki sort of plots his books so you have to continually rethink what is happening.
As I was writing this post in my mind I began to imagine Tanizaki reading one of Henry James 1000 word descriptions of the inner life of a character and saying "Not bad Henry, but here is what you missed and by the way I edited out 800 words for you". I see him telling Flaubert "Sorry Gustav but the women in your books are really dullards". I see him telling Joyce, "I could put hidden references to things nobody will understand in my books to prove how smart I am but I do not feel the need". I imagine him telling D H Lawrence that he can create more erotic power with veiled suggestion than Lawrence could with all the banned words that can be found. This does not mean he would be right to say these things but the thought was there for me.
I endorse this book without reservations. It is not simply an historical curiosity. All of the characters are perfect. There are no trite plot lines. The ending befuddled me and may do the same to others. As a side benefit we learn a lot about Japanese life in the 1920s.