• List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $4.15 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Go_Deals
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: No sign of writing, notes, or highlights in text. May have minor shelf wear on corners.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Fallen Words Paperback – May 8, 2012

Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$9.28 $2.85

Frequently Bought Together

Fallen Words + Good-Bye + A Drifting Life
Price for all three: $54.82

Buy the selected items together
  • Good-Bye $13.22
  • A Drifting Life $25.80

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770460748
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770460744
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Manga legend Tatsumi is renowned for his grim gekiga stories depicting buffeted souls struggling to survive in harsh post-WWII Japanese society. Here he’s inspired by a far earlier tradition, the performance-based oral storytelling technique of rakugo. Set in Edo-period Japan, these eight simple tales deal in archetypical situations: deadbeat guests hoodwink credulous innkeepers, a merchant tries to balance a wife and a mistress, a popular prostitute creates havoc at her brothel, a nebbish befriends and then tries to outwit the Grim Reaper, a shrewd wife teaches her spendthrift husband a lesson. The humor infusing these yarns is uncharacteristic of Tatsumi, but his fans will recognize the portrayals of ineffectual working-class men striving for a bit of pleasure. In their unstinting depiction of human foibles as well as their starkly effective visual simplicity, these tales aren’t as far from Tatsumi’s groundbreaking gekiga work as one would expect. While it lacks the dramatic impact of his best-known work, this collection attests that at 75, Tatsumi remains committed to exploring new styles within the manga format. --Gordon Flagg


Praise for A Drifting Life:

“One of Japan’s most important visual artists.” —The New York Times

A Drifting Life is as involving and thorough as any prose memoir, while remaining as immediate and concise as the best comics. It is, honestly, one of the most significant works the medium has ever produced.” —The Onion, The A.V. Club

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 6 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By animate ~ on August 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Fallen Words," or rakugo, as the Japanese call them, are stories handed down throughout the generations to be molded and kindled to the ways of contemporary life. This is Tatsumi at his nicest, as he notes in the afterword saying that most gekiga of the past eschewed humor. True, this has nothing of the grief of "Hell" or "Push Man" but those looking for something lighter will find this mostly enjoyable. The little boy in "New Years Festival," the moment of art transcending mimicry in "Escape of the Sparrows," the final scene with the Reaper in "The God of Death," and a man sharing a kiss with his ex-wife's spirit through a tobacco pipe in "Fiery Spirits" are all memorable. But where's the humor? Sadly, my fat white American body and small mind are not familiar with the "rakugo" of past, so something is sort of lost between cultures. Many of the stories are thirty page build ups to one punch line, and sometimes it works, but sometimes it sits like cold sake.

Listen, the dude is a legend in comix and even the worst story here is worth your time, but expect nothing of the tragic characters or moral ennui of the past gekiga works. D&Q rarely picks a flub, and this is no different. Recommended for the initiated.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Yoshihiro Tatsumi adopts "rakugo", in Japanese meaning "fallen words", a kind of comedic fable-storytelling that was an aural tradition for many centuries in Japan. In these eight collected stories, Tatsumi's masterful storytelling is shorn of its usual tragic veil seen in books like "Good-bye" and "Abandon the Old in Tokyo", instead taking a light-hearted stance tinged with physical comedy.

The stories are all brilliant, bar none: Tatsumi sets all of them in the Edo period so the reader is treated to traditional Japanese culture set in a romanticised past, free of the Western influence of later years. They have a flavour of whimsy and fantasy about them - one involves a drunken artist paying for his bed and board by drawing some sparrows onto a screen. Once sunlight falls upon them, the sparrows come to life! In a different story, a man whose wife and mistress die after cursing one another through a voodoo-type doll, is haunted by their ghosts depicted as fiery spirits; while in another story a penniless man meets the God of Death and hatches a scheme to make money from the Grim Reaper.

The book is set out like a Japanese book so the reader has to read from right to left instead of left to right, though of course the writing is in English. It adds to overall experience of reading Japanese literature.

The aspect of the stories that I think will jar the reader are the endings which are by turns anti-climactic, bizarre, and slapsticky, as if Tatsumi ran out of space and abruptly ended each story on a strange note. This is in fact part of the "rakugo" style of storytelling where each story has comedic elements with the ending providing a punchline to the tale.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marco on September 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I think if you like any of the other Tatsumi short story collections then you'll like this. It features many his trademark characters and themes: poverty, loneliness, hunger for more money and sex. I tend to dislike translated literature, but for some reason I like Tatsumi's stuff a lot. Maybe it's because most of the "language" is in the pictures. Keep releasing these collections, Drawn and Quarterly!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?