Cover Image: Gina in the Floating World

Gina in the Floating World

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Member Reviews

This book was far from what I expected!  The characters were well developed but the book just did not meet my expectations!
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What a page-turner. I loved this fish-out-of-water story based on the author’s real experiences. Brett totally illustrates early ‘80s Japan and you feel immersed in the setting.

Gina’s journey and her many bad decisions in Japan are easy to judge, but reading her path becomes more of a reflection and cultural exploration than easy judgement. Gina’s complexities make her such a good protagonist; she’s so intelligent and accomplished but she makes questionable choices in the guise of coming of age. I’d love to read more from this author. Also, what a killer opening line.
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Very interesting story. I enjoyed the characters and the writing, except when it came to any sex scenes. They felt cold, clinical, rushed and unsexy. It felt like I was reading a medical journal, especially when it came to the terminology used during the sex scenes. It completely took me out of the story.
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I have seen this book around and wanted to read it as I have heard many good things about it. I could easily imagine how Gina got caught up in the world of escorts in a foreign country. In the beginning, I found this book moved slowly but I was determined to stick it out. Stick it out I did until about a third of the way into the book. There was no connection to Gina or the story that I found intriguing. In fact, I found it kind of dull.
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A bank internship in Japan’s booming 1981 economy is supposed to be twenty-three-year-old Dorothy Falwell’s ticket into a prestigious international MBA program. But the internship is unpaid—so, to make ends meet, she accepts an evening job as a hostess in a rundown suburban bar, a far cry from the sensuous woodblock prints she’s seen of old Tokyo’s “floating world.” Like her namesake, Dorothy hasn't planned on the detours she encounters in her own twisted version of Oz. Renamed Gina by her boss, she struggles with nightly indignities from customers and confusing advice from new friends. Then her internship crumbles and the suave but mysterious Mr. Tambuki offers help. How can she resist? With patience and the utmost respect for her opinions, Mr. Tambuki lures her into his exotic world of unorthodox Zen instruction, erotic art, and high-octane sex. Soon, bizarre sexual escapades with monks, salarymen, and gangsters begin to feel normal until one of her clients goes too far, and Dorothy realizes she’s in over her head. But can she find her way back from this point of no return?

REVIEW:

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked this book up.  When a book is described as erotic, Fifty Shades of Grey pops into my head. So DISCLAIMER: this book is not like Fifty Shades of Grey, thank God.

Dorothy (Dee Dee for short) is traveling to Japan to learn the world of international banking.  When she gets to Japan, she discovers that her internship is not paying for room and board.  With only a couple weeks worth of cash, she knows she has to get a job, but what is there to do in a country you know nothing about? 

So, without detailing every single that happens in the book, Dee Dee gets a job at a club and becomes Gina.  Her job is to be sweet and entertain people of all sorts. It doesn't exactly pay very much, so she has to figure out how to get more cash but still keep her internship afloat. 

While the book is sexual in nature, it's not overtly so.  There are some blush worthy moments, but nothing that makes you want to repent for your sins.  The story goes to show how simple decisions can escalate and take you on a wild ride that you didn't quite expect. It also proves that people are complex and we aren't always who we think we are in our little brains.  It is definitely a worth while read.
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Gina in Floating World is part erotica, part travelling log. You get to follow "Gina's" adventures while she tries to improve her cultural adaptability to Japan, a place as far away as possible from her home, geographically and culturally. 

It is not your typical erotica book, not in the sense of the boring ones we come across now. The writer knows how to write an interesting story, and you end up really caring about what happens to the characters. Even though I have to say my favourite was not Gina, as one would expect, but Mr. Tambuki, who I found very interesting. 

Refreshing and a good surprise, as I thought we couldn't find these type of books anymore.
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Erotica novels are a great pick-me-up and an escape from everyday life, that is if they're done well. I am very selective when it comes to choosing an erotica novel; the plot either has to sound extremely interesting or the sex scenes have to sound insanely hot. What's even better is if the two, the plot and the sex scenes, come together to create a book that completely consumes you with intrigue, which, with erotica novels, more often than not, is not the case. This book is a rare exception. Thankfully you won't have to wait long to get a copy as you purchase this gem for yourself on September 25, 2018.

Dee Dee, or as her clients know her, Gina, has come to Japan for an internship to help her get some international banking experience so that she can get into a coveted university program. This is also how she became an escort. After her housing situation falls through she desperately needs to find income to manage the rest of her internship. Through an acquaintance, Dee Dee becomes Gina, her working nickname, and starts working at a bar in which she entertains male-clients. It's uncomfortable for her at first but in the beginning its harmless work. She just has to look nice, deal with the crude comments from customers, flirt and sing karaoke. She then, however, starts going out on paid dinner dates in which her customers pay for her time.  Here she meets an older man, potentially a gangster, who takes extreme interest and care in her. He pays her handsomely for the time they spend together and while she is attracted to him her morals question whether or not she should engage in sexual acts with him for money. One thing leads to another and Gina finds herself with multiple clients in which she avalanches into the world of prostitution. The term 'floating world' or Ukiyo (浮世), was coined in the Edo period in Japan which describes a pleasure-seeking type lifestyle and popular art form.

Gina is definitely living life at its best in the floating world. She is taking risks and doing things she had never even dreamed of doing but her two lives, Dee Dee's and Gina's, are at odds and her life as Gina has begun to get dangerous. Gina needs to find a way to escape from the floating world that she is deeply entwined in before she is trapped in it forever.

The sex scenes are not as numerous as other erotica novels nor are they as long but it's quality over quantity for this book. I wasn't even bothered by the fact that the steamy sex scenes didn't kick in until a little bit later because the plot was so captivating. The ending is that of an empowered and self-sufficient Dee Dee who has learned more about herself and her life with the short time she has been in Japan than she ever would have at a bank or at back at home. The unique plot setting, along with solid writing and character work make for a story that is interesting on its own, even without the sex. What also made this book a success for me is that the author did not have to stretch my reality too much to make this story interesting and sexy at the same time.

The one thing I did find disappointing in this book is that the plot did not feel like it was set in the 1980s at all but perhaps that is because I have no point of reference for what Japan would have been like in the 80s. There are a couple of music references that indicate the 80s but I found even the clothing description could have easily been applied to the present day.

This novel is a perfect place to start for any first-time erotica reader, though it may set the bar pretty high for anything afterwards. I really enjoyed reading this book and will be placed on my short list of recommendations for this genre.
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