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Shibumi Audio Download – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 16 hours and 43 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 26 Sept. 2005
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ5F4A

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jun. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shibumi was a worldwide best seller in 1979. It is described as an airport blockbuster; it features a half German, half Russian assassin brought up to be half Chinese, half Japanese. And he has impeccable taste, is a world-beater at the Japanese game of Go, is fabulously wealthy, and has retired to a life amongst the Basque separatists. He is exotic in a very 1979 way. Add to this, the inner machinations of a sinister and controlling US Agency - the Mother Company - which controls the CIA, FBI and US legislature. All written by a mysterious man known only as Trevanian.

This all sounds terrible. It sounds like a bad advert for Milk Tray crossed with Hai Karate - directed by Tretchikoff.

Which is a pity, because Shibumi is an immaculate work, entertaining and socially interesting. It is also very long. Unlike Don Winslow's recently published prequel (Satori), this novel is not dialogue heavy. Its 500 pages are dense and slow moving. Most of the novel is spent setting up a backstory to a relatively short and straightforward denouement. The lengthy cave exploration scene with Le Cagot, for example, serves to set up useful background for a later short scene. In the true style of Shibumi, the effort is in the creation and the final perfection lasts just a short moment.

Buried within the narrative, there are long political discourses - often making sweeping generalizations about entire races, nations and automobile manufacturers. They might seem a little out of place in today's politically correct society but they are an amusing and authentic period of late 1970s thinking. They are used to counterpoint the perfection of Nicholai Hel and his close associated against the imperfections of the rest of the world.
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Format: Paperback
Everyone who has ever had the ambition to write a spy novel may as well put their pen down right now! The ultimate spy novel has already been written and the title is Shibumi!
A simple plot allows us to meet a man of exceptional quality. Few fictional characters are as powerful and inspiring as Hel, as witnessed by the hordes who have tried to adopt his lifestyle and philosophy. Trevanian became better and better as time went by culminating in the achingly honest 'Crazyladies'. I urge you to read everything he has written( including his works under the name Nicholas Seare, which are hilarious )! Enjoy, and welcome to an alternative way of thinking!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This thriller jumps all over the map and moves in and out of a number of off-beat speciality areas (Eastern religion and Zen-like thought; caving; the Spanish Basque region; computers; the spy industry; World War II era history). Its tremendous appeal probably lies in the mystic aura surrounding the almost God-like protagonist, who just happens to be an assasin, but also in the cynical tone the author adopts as he views the world through his characters. The book features excitment, plot movement, sex, adventure and the clashing cultures of espionage and soft emotion. It's occasionally silly, but absolutely powerful. Who can forget the young woman who is punished for life because Nicholas makes love to her -- thereby dooming her to the futile attempt forever more to attempt to match the experience with ordinary lovers!? Bizarre -- but probably the world's finest airplane book. A must read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been reading SHIBUMI for the past 15 years, and keep on coming back to it every few weeks. At first SHIBUMI seems like an ordinary thriller - a breathtaking and gripping one, but still not so very unique. After reading it over and over again, however, the emphasis changed, and concentration shifted to the beauty and wisdom of Far East Philosophy. Each and every time another hidden layer of truth is revealed; a new perception of emotions is discovered. This book has been my comfort in hard times, and the best friend in obscured days. There are only 3 words I can say about this book: R-E-A-D I-T N-O-W!!!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When you read the passage on the meaning of Shibumi - or balance - it will change your life just as it did with the remarkable characters in this book. It is so rare these days to have such creative and complex individuals described so well that you think you've known them all your life. The struggles, value of friendship, insights into life, culture, and business greed are all too real and compelling. The swings from the violence of early youth to the mature simplicity of later life are exceptionally captured by Trevanian's pen. Once a year you'll want to lock yourself up in a mountain cabin and read it from cover to cover.
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Format: Paperback
Brilliant characterisation based on sound knowledge of the cultures within which the characters have been moulded together with disturbingly astute observations about the tyranny of the mediocre blend in a not-infrequently tongue in cheek way to give a great novel. The spy story is a backdrop for Trevanian to tell us about places and practices he obviously loves. The plot is immaterial, the setting and the characters is king. The book is worth reading for the one page description of what drew Hel to caving, "It was the perfect sport for Nicholai".
One star knocked off because although it establishes itself in the spy-genre, the book does all it can to set itself apart from the conventions of the genre.
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