As I close my eyes I can hear a gentle stream of tranquility. The wind is whispering to the cherry blossoms as they fall with such grace to the ground. I feel a cold substance trickle down the side of my head accompanied by an intense throbbing sensation. Suddenly my eyes are wide open and I am surrounded by bloodied fists, a jar of fingers and a dragon tattoo. What kind of world have I stepped into dear reader? Let’s find out shall we? Join me in a cup of saké as we enter the floating world.
Today I get the privilege of being the last review on the blog tour for Falling From The Floating World By Nick Hurst. Thank you Unbound for my copy and as always to the lovely Anne for the invitation. I love working with you and being a part of this community.
About The Author
Nick Hurst has been an English-language teacher, money broker, model, marketer and stuntman. He spent three years training with a kung fu master in Malaysia to write his first book and ended up with a full-back traditional Japanese tattoo while researching his second.
His book Sugong was published in 2012 to positive reviews from The Times Literary Supplement and The Independent on Sunday among others, and he has also written for The Guardian and Time Out.
Falling From The Floating World
When Ray is sacked from his job in London, he goes to Japan hoping to start his life afresh. Things begin well: he lands work as an English teacher and strikes up a relationship with the beautiful, intriguing Tomoe. But his world is turned upside down when Tomoe’s father is found dead.
Convinced that his death was a murder, Tomoe sets out after the killers, and when she goes missing Ray is forced to act. In his quest to find her he’s dragged into the ‘floating world’ – a place of corrupt politicians, Yakuza, sumo wrestlers and call-girls – living out an adventure that echoes his dreams of Tokyo’s feudal past.
It’s a search guaranteed to bring further loss of life, and Ray is pulled into a desperate chase to ensure it won’t be his.
From the opening sentence Hurst hooks the reader into this thrilling world of danger. I was fully immersed in the dark, mysterious floating world that surrounds itself with the artistic beauty of being a Tayū to the violent corrupt lifestyle of the Yakuza.
My senses were tingling with anticipation on each page as I followed Ray in his search for Tomoe. Hurst knows how to keep a story flowing with an endless pace of movement and discovery. It’s gripping stuff and intrigues the reader to continue their journey. The adrenaline Hurst delivers in his writing pulls you in further to these darker reaches as Ray enters a world like no other. The reader is begrudgingly drawn into the arms of the Yakuza and Füzoku, the sex industry in Japan, the underworld if you will, where seedy dealings and illegal activity is a daily occurrence. The reader can’t help but be curious about what goes on behind closed doors, it’s hypnotising to read.
I fully enjoyed learning about Edo times and Olde world Japan as I have always been fascinated with their history. Hurst writes with such passion for Japanese culture that you can’t help but feel a little educated in their ways of life. You respect their traditions and dare not cause offence by questioning them on their definition of honour.
I was rooting for Ray throughout the whole book. He is a likeable character who only wants to save Tomoe, the woman he loves. To witness him go through so much suffering and heartache was devastating. In one particular scene I was at a loss, it was difficult to read as you knew what was coming but kept hoping you were wrong. I was traumatized yet strangely mesmerised by witnessing the brutality that comes with being in the Yakuza.
The tension that Hurst creates within a scene and the characters is gripping as you’re literally on the edge of your seat wondering how it is going to play out. I applaud it and although stressful to read in parts, it was still enjoyable. It added to that sense of urgency, of time running out for Ray and the desperate need to find Tomoe. Skilfully done.
I give Falling From The Floating World By Nick Hurst a Four out of Five paw rating.
This book is; to put it simply, astonishing. A tale of murder, honour, revenge and love. It will pull you so deep into the floating world that you may struggle to escape. I loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough. An intoxicating read that you need to discover.
Hop hop wiggle wiggle