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Shogun: The Epic Novel of Japan School & Library Binding – 1 Sep 1986


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School & Library Binding, 1 Sep 1986
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Product details

  • School & Library Binding: 1152 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books (1 Sep 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061301328X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613013284
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,364,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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)

A huge, exotic, blood-stained canvas (Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

James Clavell's most famous and best-loved novel... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By D. G. Reid on 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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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By pikeman on 18 Jun 2007
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 By A Customer on 7 Feb 2001
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 By "neil_wotan" on 7 Jan 2002
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 By A Customer on 31 Dec 2000
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Q on 10 July 2008
Format: Paperback
There are very few books that one would wish to read more than once. Of those, there are, for me, three that stand head and shoulders above the rest. One is (almost predictably) Lord of the Rings; one is Dune; and the last (but not least) is Shogun. Once picked up, it is very hard to put down. The reader is drawn into a 100% real and credible world - in my case, so completely that when I reached the last page and put it down for the last time, I felt a sense of bereavement, as though I had come back from visiting a land that I knew I could never return to. And that is precisely the power of Shogun. So well is it written that it transports you into both a different land and a different time effortlessly and, despite the fact that it is by no means short, it leaves you wanting more. Here is a completely different culture, philosophy, and language, viewed through the eyes of a stranded Englishman, who gradually comes to understand the beauty of the Japanese way of life as well as his surroundings.
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