Roppongi the Novel – Latest Review – 4 Star Amazon Review – by K Kladstrup – “Unforgettable.”

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This might be among the best tests of a powerful, well-written novel: days after finishing the sweeping, gripping Roppongi, a first novel by Nick Vasey, I happened upon a news story about the namesake district of Tokyo, and my visceral response was immediate and uncanny. “I wonder what’s going on in Roppongi lately, since I was last there?”

Indeed, I’m not sure that has ever happened to me before–to read a book, and to be so transported that the setting and the characters become a perceived part of my own narrative. How did Mr. Vasey manage this? You need to read it for yourself and you will know what I mean.

In other words, Mr. Vasey has a unique talent and a bit of magic, and his first novel, Roppongi, is a unique display of just that. As a literary and film agent, I have seen a lot of first time novels, and as I got into this one, I was waiting for the typical inconsistencies that usually accompany the experience. Instead, the power of both the narrative and the characters, and Mr. Vasey’s indefinable hoodoo took hold and I found myself wrapped completely in the exotic, exciting and unsettling world of Roppongi and the very real people from around the world that have come to work, play, dance and maybe lose everything in this crazy place.

I couldn’t put the book down. Roppongi is a tour de force that speaks and moves on many levels. Pick it up, give it a chance, and enjoy the ride. A bio piece I read about Mr. Vasey states that these days we might catch him building a hummingbird feeder and maybe working on his next novel. I am happy for the birds, and I am also hoping the latter may be true, too.

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About Nick Vasey

Nick Vasey was born in 1968, raised in various parts of Australia, and completed a Commerce degree in accounting, marketing and law in 1989 at Murdoch University, in Perth, Western Australia. Thereafter, one year of working in a multinational accounting practice was all it took to convince him to quit the typical career-path, and go travelling instead. Wise choice! Over the next fifteen years Nick had a variety of adventures in over forty countries around the world. It would be safe to say that travelling itself became his primary passion. These experiences have confirmed in Nick a profoundly anarchic streak, and repeatedly proved to him that governments rarely have their citizens' best interests at heart, and by default, should therefore be regarded with extreme scepticism. Two of these years of global gallivanting (94/95 & 97/98) were very joyously spent living, working and partying in the nightlife industry, or mizu-shobai (water-trade), of Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan. The purpose each time was simple; to save as much money as possible in order to fund further travelling adventures. Suffice to say these two years in Roppongi proved to be more than sufficient in terms of providing both the material and the motivation for writing his first novel, 'Roppongi'. Out of curiosity, in 2004 Nick briefly returned to Australia and plugged back into the 'Matrix' for a while, but found he still had no use for it. Dumbfounded and disappointed by people's mindless pursuit of material wealth, AFL Football and reality-TV, in 2008 he quit the first-world altogether, for a more tranquil life in the Southern-Sierran township of Vilcabamba, Ecuador ... where he now lives simply with his menagerie of animals, in the mountain-top sanctuary 'Motu-Iti'. In 2008 Nick also founded the real-estate consultancy "Vilcabamba Real Estate Company" (VREC Properties) ... which helped many people relocate to Vilcabamba and find their dream property. In 2016 he and his VREC business partner Santiago moved on to their new project, InstaCasa (www.instacasa.biz). InstaCasa is based in Ecuador, and manufactures state of the art prefabricated modular housing. So, currently, Nick is pretty busy, but he is still writing! If you'd like to get in touch, please email him directly via: nick AT nickvasey DOT com Roppongi - the Novel Roppongi is an 'adventure-travel-fiction' story, exploring the crazy and often dangerous world which is living and working as a foreigner in the Roppongi nightlife industry of Tokyo, Japan. The novel follows the (mis)adventures of its travel-addicted protagonist Zack, and in that respect is similar thematically to Alex Garland's 'The Beach' or Gregory David Roberts' 'Shantaram.' Accordingly, the reader is viscerally transported into the surreal realms of Roppongi, as Zack attempts to come to terms with a series of life-changing events unfolding at rapid pace. In the process, the novel punches through the impossibly glamorous surface of Roppongi and plunges the reader deep into its seedy underbelly ... showing a disturbing side of Japan not often written about in the English language.
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