Neuroses in Little Japan

A while back I read a book that made such an impact I wanted to share the experience of reading. In this age of e-books, that’s ridiculously easy to do while keeping your own copy but I just can’t do it. Call me silly if you wish, but before you shake your head and click to leave this crazy person’s rant, know that you’ll find a brief review if you keep reading. ~dangles cookie~ Okay, I am admittedly neurotic.

However, I don’t condemn those who download music, and buying used paperbacks has a decidedly positive impact upon the environment. All the same, I actually purchased the e-book a second time before sending a friend the file. Then I tracked down the authors’ contact page and let them know.

So, whatever your stance on this, do me a favor and give artists feedback whenever you can. You’ll both be glad you did. You might spend a minute to email a note that can brighten another person’s entire day exponentially. Lecture over, the review follows.

“Little Japan” centers on host boys living high in Osaka, their Dotonbori nightlife overflowing with expensive champagne and extremely generous admirers. For those of you who don’t know, hosting is sort of the masculine version of the geisha, often entailing thinly veiled prostitution.

Interested yet? I sure was. Co-authored by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine, “Little Japan” features two of my current favorite things: androgynous, over-stimulated, homosexual Japanese males and true love expressed through copious and energetic coupling.

Enter a sexy, tortured, older American businessman named Gabriel and you have magic. The story is not fluff, though, by any means. That becomes apparent in the first few pages from what my friend already reported!

Very real evil underlies all the lush and steamy interaction. And our compelling protagonists join to combat the source. Sharing my same fixation, Gabriel comes to discover that his self-condemned desire for host boys like the lovely Kuri is downright benevolent. While seeking one-night-stands to remind him of a long-lost love, he also pays royally. Other men of wealth and power are not so honorable. It’s up to Kuri, Gabriel, and another host boy to rescue Kuri’s lover from a horrible fate far from home.

Writing this, I realize a need to check out some of the other titles by MacLeod and Valentine. If you happen to purchase “Little Japan”, tell ‘em Darla hooked you up.

3 Replies to “Neuroses in Little Japan”

  1. I finished "Little Japan" this morning and agree it's compelling and titillating. I also agree with the suggestion to let authors know what you think. Doing this recently turned out to be extremely rewarding for me. Thanks for everything, Darla!

  2. As a new author who is hoping to build a business based on ebook sales, I really appreciate this post. It's of course an impulse to get books that are ebooks and send them around, and it's a tricky issue. What happens if you want to lend a book? If you have a paper copy, you can just hand it out.

    That said, for small presses and new writers, that's money that they don't earn and then can't use to support more writing. The same goes for small indi musicians. My rule of thumb is I try to patronize small press authors (ebook too), indi musicians, and local yarn stores (in fact, in the knitting world, they're known as LYS or Local Yarn Shop). It's important to keep our artistic community thriving.

    It is an interesting issue to watch and I think the next decade will see a lot of changes. Thanks, Darla, for sharing your thoughts – and your review and generous spirit – on the subject. I look forward to more essays on this as we see more developments in the industry.

  3. Thanks for the great comments! You offer great thoughts, Catherine. And Dilo, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book and have to say how much I appreciate your catch on the title. Imagine my red face when I give a glowing report to a book and call it by the wrong name. You're so immeasurably helpful in keeping me on the right path.

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