While the link is for the entire Musashi saga, this review is of the first paperback volume which seems to be out of print or otherwise unavailable from Amazon directly. There are five or six volumes of the paperback version of the story.
One of the first RPG videogames I ever played was Brave Fencer Musashi on the original Playstation. While the game was fun and lighthearted, I learned from a video game store employee that Musashi was actually an iconic Japanese figure. I wanted to learn more, but it wasn’t until decades later that I finally hunkered down and invested the time. Eiji Yoshikawa’s Musashi is marketed as the fictionalized story of that real-life historical figure. It is a saga that the paperback version describes as “Shogun meets Gone with the Wind”.
If you are familiar with Shogun, Musashi takes up right after a pivotal battle in that book. Musashi is a very low-level soldier in that battle. He is solemn, focused, but also sometimes described as being a bully or a brute. He has a goofy screw-up of a friend that reminds me of Edward Norton’s Worm in the movie Rounders. Together they wander the countryside in search of purpose, if not glory.
While I am admittedly only one book into the series, the plot has been wandering (which makes sense because the hero is literally wandering). However, because the setting and atmosphere are very new to I have found Musashi to be a relaxing and enjoyable bedtime read.
I don’t know what it means that some of my favorite reads of CBR9 have been from the 1930s and 1940s, or children’s books. Maybe a little escapism is a good thing in 2017.