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.