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Shogun (Hodder Great Reads) [Paperback]

James Clavell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Jun 2006 Hodder Great Reads

This is James Clavell's tour-de-force; an epic saga of one Pilot-Major John Blackthorne, and his integration into the struggles and strife of feudal Japan. Both entertaining and incisive, Shugun is a stunningly dramatic re-creation of a very different world.

Starting with his shipwreck on this most alien of shores, the novel charts Blackthorne's rise from the status of reviled foreigner up to the hights of trusted advisor and eventually, Samurai. All as civil war looms over the fragile country.


Frequently Bought Together

Shogun (Hodder Great Reads) + Tai-Pan: The Second Novel of the Asian Saga + Gai-Jin: The Third Novel of the Asian Saga: A Novel of Japan
Price For All Three: 22.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1136 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (5 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340839945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340839942
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

My bet for the most satisfyingly popular novel of the year . . . It has power, it has violence, subtlety and lots, lots more . . . Clavell never puts a foot wrong . . . Get it, read it, you'll enjoy it mightily (Daily Mirror)

SHOGUN is a huge exotic, blood-stained canvas of sixteenth century but still medieval Japan, rival warlords and proselytising Jesuits, geishas, seppuku, samurai with the death-with and a shipwrecked Elizabethan (Guardian)

Mr Clavell tells his story brilliantly (The Times)

One of the great page turners of all time ( Good Book Guide)

I can't remember when a novel has seized my mind like this one. It's irresistable, maybe unforgettable. Clavell ... creates a world so enveloping you forget who and where you are (New York Times)

Book Description

James Clavell's most famous and best-loved novel repackaged as a Great Read for a new generation

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse Yourself ... 10 Dec 2003
Format:Paperback
In the 1970's I watched a black and white movie one Sunday afternoon entitled King Rat. The film was o.k. but of bigger relevance was my mum pointing out to me that she had the book. I started it that evening and struggled to put it down. Mr Clavell, I found , was an extremely talented storyteller. From that day I ensured that I read all of the books in the 'Asian Saga'. I didn't read them in chronological order and didn't even get to Shogun until the middle of the 1980's. I found very early on that Shogun had the same grip over me as King Rat and Noble House. The book is huge but you wouldn't wish it shorter by a sentence. In fact I would even go so far as to say that it ends prematurely. The final confrontation between Toranaga and Ishido could have provided content for a couple more chapters and we are left guessing as to Pilot Major Blackthornes future.

This novel has everything, action, intrigue, love, drama and is written so cleverly that you find yourself immersed in the Japanese samurai culture of bushido. Prior to reading Shogun I didn't know a single word of Japanese by the end of the book you are reading and understanding entire sentences !

I have re-read this book a number of times, it is my favourite by far. I even stumped up 30 to buy the 9 hour video box set. Unfortunately the video is a poor substitute as it cannot hope to illustrate the depth of the story in the same way the novel does.

My simple advice would be to buy the book and read it as quickly as time allows. Its an adventure and an education.

Brilliant !
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You simply must buy it. 18 Jun 2007
By pikeman
Format:Paperback
I bought this book for the first time when I was 19 in 1982.

I have since bought two more copies simply because I have reread it so much the first two copies fell apart.

It just doesn't get much better than this story of a man dumped into a world completly different from anything he (or we) have seen before.

It's like the best science fiction in that it creates a world massively different to anything we've seen before - and makes us care about it and want to understand it.

Following directly from Shogun I bought 15-20 books about Japan - just becasue it was so compelling I wanted to know more about the country and it's history and it's people.

It's not going too far to say that this book changed my view of the world and has been a constant friend for a quarter of a century
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Domo arigato, Clavell-san. 7 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I picked up Shogun at the insistence of a close friend, and 3 weeks later I thanked him profusely. Words can't adequately describe this novel. It seems intimidating at first, but as you progress through it you feel yourself being drawn into the world Clavell has so brilliantly created. The world of Blackthorne, Toranaga and Mariko becomes a second live, a place of escapism and fantasy that threatens to consume you with its scintillating narrative. You care for the characters, and feel closer to them than many people you know. There's something for everyone; love, war, plot, counter-plot, points of searing violence juxtaposed with moments of exquisite tenderness. At the very least, Shogun will change the way you approach literature in the future. At the most it will change your life...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I must have read Shogun at least 10 times by now but I will never tire of it. Far and away Clavell's best work (King Rat and Tai-Pan a little unengaging; Gai-Jin an over-ambitious sequel), Shogun boasts a tragic love story, the clash of two rival cultures, an engrossing power struggle betweeen rival warlords in feudal Japan - and makes us care passionately about all of it.
The genius of Shogun is that it gives us both a hero to pin our hopes on - Richard Blackthorne, stranded Elizabethan sailor - and yet a fantastic canvas of other characters and sub-plots, all of whom make up an unforgettable picture of a civilisation I had previously known next to nothing about. Read it. And again. And again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral Beauty 31 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I chose this book expecting bloody Samurai battles and violent Ninja Warfare. Even though there was far less of this than I hoped for I still loved this book. The multiple first person perspective is used well and all the characters are well formed and have their own depth. The political details and most importantly cultural insight in this book are fully rewarding and gave me a much better understanding of Bushido and other previously incomprehensible aspects of ancient Japanese society.
However the main thing that struck me about this book was how involved I became with the characters. Usually when there are romantic parts in a novel a trudge through them waiting for the more interesting sections, but the romance in this book was so well mastered and described that I really felt their love, their joy, their loss. This book is simply beautiful and could have carried on for another thousand pages, continuing to immerse me in its panoramic veiw of feudal Japan and my intimcay with the characters. Simply magnificent.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read 28 Dec 2000
Format:Paperback
I'm in love! My husband gave this book to me as a present and now, a week or so later, I've also read 'The King Rat' and just rushed to order the rest of Clavell's books. I am quite careful about what I read and how I praise/damn the books I read. This is no doubt one of the best books I've ever read and it will be kept safely with the rest of my favourites.
At first I found Shogun a bit heavy. Not being a native English speaker, I was a bit confused by the technical bits about sailing. I was not sure I liked it - yet after the first chapter I was hooked!
The characters are so well created that I had difficulty putting this book down, and then I did it only so that I would be able to enjoy this book for longer. The plot is a real page-turner, with so many twists and turns, yet flawlessly within the characters. If you are interested in the art of manipulation, read and learn! If you are interested in Far East, read it! If you are interested in a clash of totally different cultures, read it! Just read it!
I would recommend this book to anyone. I learned more about Japanese culture and I can see now the logic where I thought there was none. Well, I'm off - I'm going to read it again, savouring it page by page, until the rest of James Clavell's books arrive.
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