Book Review: Return to Hiroshima

November 22, 2019

BY Thomas Muriuki


It is with unbridled pleasure that I welcome you to the blog again!

I am delighted to present to you, "A gutsy dive into the Japanese cultural-historical web of Hiroshima."

Return to Hiroshima is a profound historical ficition normal with undeniable elements of ultra-noir and crime!

Here's the Publisher's Blurb:

1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister. Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima's war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, recoils at nothing to write the novel that will "overturn Japan's foundations"....
Hiroshima’s indelible war-past simmers in the background of this ultra-noir novel. Clandestine experiments conducted by Japanese Secret Service Unit 731 during WWII become unveiled and leave a sinister stain on the reputation of the imperial family and the Japanese society as a whole.

And here goes my 5 star review:

Return to Hiroshima is an intelligent, successful, and emotionally overpowering examination of the cultural-historical, elements, de facto of the Japanese people in the age of WWW II. The author has put forth a brave and sober lens into work to paint an authentic and contextualized image of the horrors of war and the complex web of the Japanese culture. From the popular Manga comics to the Karaoke bars, the book takes the reader to the soul of Japan as rarely depicted in mainstream art. Despite the grave weight of the effects of the WWW II, the text flows in a sympathetic tone and provokes a focused attempt to appreciate the plight of the victims of war and the plight of a society ravaged by nuclear war.

This title is available for purchase on Amazon;

and free to read for Kindle Unlimited members!

If you are a re noir or historical fiction lover, I bet you this is a treat. Happy reading!

About the author:

Bob van Laerhoven was born on August 8th 1953 in the sandy soil of Antwerp's Kempen, a region in Flanders (Belgium),bordering to The Netherlands, where according to the cliché 'pig-headed clodhoppers' live. This perhaps explains why he started to write stories at a particularly young age. A number of his stories were published in English, French, German, Polish, Spanish, and Slovenian.

Van Laerhoven made his debut as a novelist in 1985 with "Nachtspel - Night Game." He quickly became known for his 'un-Flemish' style: he writes colourful, kaleidoscopic novels in which the fate of the individual is closely related to broad social transformations. His style slowly evolved in his later novels to embrace more personal themes while continuing to branch out into the world at large. International flair has become his trademark.

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That's all for today, until the next post; Ciao.