Unexpected, formal, well-structured: I loved it!
I found the plot incredible in its simplicity and directness. I also fell for Mr. Tsuneo Asai, not just because he's the main character, mostly for his burocratic habits and mannerisms.
But what I liked above all was the description of a particular section of Japanese society, tinged as it was with that rètro flavor given by the almost fifty years' distance since the writing of the book.
I'd definitely recommend it!