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Tai-Pan: The Second Novel of the Asian Saga Paperback – 24 Apr 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

Tai-Pan: The Second Novel of the Asian Saga + Shogun: The First Novel of the Asian saga: A Novel of Japan + Gai-Jin: The Third Novel of the Asian Saga: A Novel of Japan
Price For All Three: £29.21

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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (1 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340750693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340750698
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Packed with action . . . gaudy and flamboyant with blood and sin, treachery and conspiracy, sex and murder . . . grand entertainment (New York Times)

Intensely readable and exciting (Sunday Telegraph)

James Clavell is a teller of stories. They are complicated and exciting, and you are desperate to know what will happen to his characters because they are like the people you know from your own life and experience, set in strange and sometimes terrible circumstances (John Simpson)

Intensely readable and exciting (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

The bestselling classic set in the turbulent days of the founding of Hong Kong repackaged for a new generation of readers.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "darrenlightbown" on 11 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Initially when I picked up this book I expected to be slightly disappointed as I believed there was no way it could measure up to the awesome Shogun by the same author. How wrong I was! If anything this is even better and is a more rounded story featuring an ending, something which Clavell in Shogun seemed to forget to write.
Dirk Struan is a neatly nuanced hero and the wily Brock along with his betsial son Gorth make compelling brutish enemies. Tai-Pan is the kind of historical novel which does not deserve the scorn that is often poured on the genre. Quite simply, adventure storytelling at its best.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mr Nick D Morgan on 2 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read Shogun because of an interest in all things Japanese. Having liked Clavell's writing style so much, I decided to read more of his books. I wasn't disappointed. Tai-Pan is even better than Shogun. The characterisation is excellent and makes you love a character who is essentially a bit of a pirate. Now hooked on the fortunes of the Struan Company, I have to read the complete set.
Death and damnation to Tyler Brock and all his descendants!!!
Long live the Noble House.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Newton on 7 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
Tai-Pan tells the true story of the largest trading company in Asia, and how he succeceded in making Hong Kong British.
The story itself cannot be summarised, I have never read a book with so much attention to detail. Dozens of subplots, Deadly Intrique,Manipulation,Sex,Politics,War,rivalries. Just an all round Epic which evryone must read!
Clavell creates rich characters which you will remember for many a year, Straun,Orlov and Quance stand out. He mixes Drama with Action, Action with Humor,etc and sub-plots which seem impossibly entwined.
You will be transported to a different world, one you will not want to leave.
One of the greatest books I have ever read, everyone should read at least once a year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By reader 451 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
James Clavell is a master of his art, and Tai-Pan is a highly readable novel. That said, it lacks the force of the earlier-set Shogun, and I found it weaker as a historical novel. Set in 1840-2, during the first Opium War, Tai-Pan revolves around the foundation of the colony of Hong Kong. The somewhat romantic view is that the island was meant to bridge the Chinese and Western civilizations and bring modernity to China. Dirk Struan, a Scot, is the Tai-Pan, the boss of the biggest British trading house. He battles it out with his fellow merchant and arch-rival Brock, with Chinese pirates, and with pompous consular officials for survival and especially to make sure his creation - the colony, just granted to Britain by the defeated Chinese - also survives. The Tai-Pan must escape bankruptcy, murder, and disrepute, while at the same time ensuring his weakling son is made fit to succeed him. The cast is, as usual in Clavell, operatic, also involving many minor characters - the young and penniless English libertine, the Tai-Pan's half-caste son, etc., and multiple colourful side-plots.

While this makes for good reading as an adventure novel, I nevertheless found Tai-Pan mildly disappointing after Shogun - admittedly a hard act to follow. The novel lacks the breakneck start of its predecessor. The hero is not based on a historical character - or else if he is meant to be based on Lindsay or Jardine, the characterisation is grossly off. The history is less reliable, and indeed the Opium War itself is more or less ignored, with no mention even of the siege of Canton. The rather nasty opium trade, of course, is also glossed over.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Neil on 6 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
I was recommended this book by a friend of mine and started to read it with trepidation. (Long book and I was unsure whether I would be that interested in the era/genre).

However...by about page 50 or so, I was grabbed by the throat and dragged into a story line so compelling that I literally could not put the book down. I would challenge anyone with an ounce of imagination not to love this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Howard Wright on 14 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
Tai-Pan is an epic tale of the swashbuckling Dirk Struan, founder of a British trading company, Noble House. It is set around the establishment of Hong Kong as an important trading post, opening up China to commerce. The book is a long one, but is rich in intrigue, historical detail, cultural detail, and strong characters. The cast of characters is a long one, and it takes some concentration to track who everyone is, and what their relationship with everyone else is. We have various characters from several trading companies, government officials, naval officers, various people who support the colony, such as an artist, prostitutes, priests and the like. We have various groups of Chinese, including several competing gangs, pirates, and others besides.

The author weaves the interests and activities of all of these people together with great intricacy. I have read quite a few historical novels, but this is the best one that I have read so far. I loved the book and strongly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Cooper on 23 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm always a little hesitant when buying a book that was written so long ago, as I find they can be quite 'tame' when compared with modern equivalents.

How glad I am that a bought this book! It's absolutely brilliant - I couldn't put it down. It's quite a lengthy book, but that wasn't a problem as it's packed full of action and interesting Chinese cultural facts. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in ships and the British Empire - at the time of the establishment of Hong Kong as a colony.

Be warned though, once you have started reading this book, you won't want to put it down! This author has a very distinct writing style which I thoroughly enjoyed. My advice would be to buy now!
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