Friday, 8 March 2019

#BlogTour Falling from the Floating World by Nick Hurst

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Falling from the Floating World by Nick Hurst. It's a story of brutal crime mixed with a mesmerising tale of the old country. It's tradition, culture and myth with a splash of stark reality to keep the reader in the present.

About the Author
Nick Hurst spent three years training with a kung fu master in Malaysia to write his first book, Sugong, which was published in 2012. He was written for the Guardian and Time Out. He lives in Japan.

Follow @nickhurst18 @Unbound_Digital on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon,
Buy Falling from the Floating World

About the book
When Ray is sacked from his advertising 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  beautful, 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.

This is a story of love. It's also one of revenge and a determination to find the truth. A tale of a young man, a foreigner in a country that despises his foreignness, and yet is too polite to tell him that. The complex layers of history and past grievances are mixed together with ancient rules dictated by the Japan of the past to create this combination of modern crime and historical myth.

Ray finds himself drawn into the underbelly of the Yakusa crime world and the disagreement between fractions when his beautiful girlfriend Tomoe disappears after she starts asking too many questions. The reader then sees him being pulled deep into this world of brutality, as he fights to find her in a town full of secrets and violence.

It's fascinating how Hurst describes the different levels of prostitution. The upper levels are portrayed in a way which suggests a less than sordid connotation. The art of pleasure, the highly sought after skills of the most beautiful women in the country. Hidden behind some elusive and exclusive mirage of forgotten history and culture. The suggestion of choice and pleasure in the activities instead of being forced or coerced.

I think that overall feeling of a country seeped in culture, myths and complex ideas of behaviour, ranking, honour and interaction is thrown over the modern day reality like a light layer of material. Everyone knows it's there on top of them and they choose to hide behind it when it suits them, but it doesn't stop the brusque reality of crime and the 21st century from taking place simultaneously. It's almost as if they are trying to deceive themselves and others into believing that they are still living by the rules of the admired old guard.

The story of Tomoe has echoes of the story of Katsuyama. It's intentional, the parallels between the woman in the present and the strong woman in the past. Perhaps in a way it actually speaks to the fact that not much has changed when it comes to Japanese heritage, feudal pasts and the way their lives are dictated by their strict ideas of honour.

Personally I found myself drawn more to the tale of the young woman in the past. Her determination to discover who caused the downfall of her father and to get revenge at any cost to herself. It's what drew me in like the soft call of a nightingale, as the rage of the rest of the story continued in the background.

It's a story of brutal crime mixed with a mesmerising tale of the old country. It's tradition, culture and myth with a splash of stark reality to keep the reader in the present.

I would love to hear more about Katsuyama and to read her story. I especially want to know where she went. What happened?

Buy Falling from the Floating World at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Unbound; pub date 7 Mar. 2019

1 comment:

  1. Massive thanks for this blog tour support Cheryl x