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The Ninja (A Panther Book) Paperback – 4 Jul 2011


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The Ninja (A Panther Book) + The Miko (Panther Books) + Floating City: A Nicholas Linnear Novel
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (4 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586051538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586051535
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Eric Lustbader is the bestselling author of ‘Second Skin, ‘The Kaisho, ‘The Miko and ‘White Ninja’, all starring Nicholas Linnear. He graduated from Columbia University in 1969. He spent fifteen years in the music industry, including working for both Elektra and CBS Records, and writing for ‘Cash Box’ magazine. He has also been a teacher. He lives with his wife in Southampton, New York.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Biffer Spice on 26 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
I find it hard to recommend this book to people, as I find the title embarrassing! It sounds like the sort of book that would only appeal to a fifteen year old, like it would have no depth and be all about ninjas leaping about with swords and shuriken and yelling "Banzai!" at each other. If you think that and turn away, then you will miss out on a really quite unique book.

Erik van Lustbader is clearly passionate about the people and locations of Japan, and does a quite phenomenal job of making you passionate about it too. I bought the book as a teenager, looking for pretty much as I described above, and I got that, but I got much more. I got an interest in old world Japan, and the reasoning behind many of the cultures described within. He gets into the mindsets of the East and West, and contrasts the two. You can follow conversations between the two, and understand where both are coming from. Both East and West are represented by the main hero of the book, Nicholas Linnear, who provides the link between the two.

The story is well told, the action convincing and violent. The sex scenes are pretty graphic, and pretty OTT to be honest, but it would be a shame if you let that put you off what is otherwise a very interesting book. I thank Erik van Lustbader for an interesting book, but, more importantly to me, for instilling an interest in a fascinating country and culture, that is more interestingly explained here, more humanised, than in any followup history book that I have attempted to read since.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent Page) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
For 3000 years, love has been an art in the Orient. And so has Death

Here is the origin of Nicholas Linnear, half English, Half Oriental, who is about to enter a terrifying world of merciless assassins bound by the blackest codes of honour and skilled in the deadliest martial arts.

Caught between East and West, a past he can't escape and a destiny he can't avoid, he is trapped in a web of old lust and present passions that will converge on a terrifying moment of revelation and revenge...

Early this year I made the decision that I would try to re-visit some older books that I've enjoyed in the past. I was keen to see how well a novel stands the test of time. I think probably the toughest genre to avoid aging badly is thrillers. That's why for this review I decided to re-read a novel that I remember being a favourite, The Ninja by Eric Lustbader.

Nicholas Linnear is a complex character, the product of two completely different cultures but not really belonging to either. There is a quiet stillness and an introspective quality to him that I like. Every action or comment that he makes seems measured and entirely appropriate. The reader is slowly drip fed details of his childhood and also the important relationships he had in his formative years, especially with his parents. Linnear grows up in post war Japan during a time of great upheaval, and this ever-changing environment leaves its mark on him. Initially, and I suppose from a Western perspective, he does possibly come across as somewhat stand-offish/aloof but as the story unfolds, the multiple layers to his character are revealed.

The other character I really enjoy in this novel is the police detective Lew Croaker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NeuroSplicer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Mar. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a good novel, written by someone so immersed into the Far East culture, one has to start thinking a little like a Japanese or a Chinese in order to fully accept and comprehend it.

Not to risk any spoilers, this is the story of Nicholas Linnear whose mother is Asian and father American. Growing up in Japan, he takes up bujutsu and excels in it to the point that his cousin Saigo evolves into his nemesis to-the-death. After the death of his parents, Nicholas returns to the States only to find that one's demons will follow him to the end of the world.

NINJA is a interesting martial arts novel, heavy on characters (try to read it in as few sittings possible, otherwise you will get confused), rich on background and liberal on sex, as was the fashion in the late 70's when it was written. Since this seems to have become an issue, do not let some sex scenes deter you from enjoying this book: it rates closer to the GODFATHER than the EMPIRE OF SENSES. But, yes, it is not for children.

This is a book that has influenced many writers and movie producers on how they perceive these stealthy warriors with no honor. It it is expected to be rediscovered as it is being made into a Hollywood movie as you are reading this.

RECOMMENDED.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
The best action book I have ever read. The suspense is kept going throughout and the superb blend of sex and death makes for a movie-like experience. Once I started reading this I could not put it down. Recommended for adults only.
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By Clive on 28 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was amazed to see, when looking at other reviews, just how many of the people who had bought this Kindle book had done so for precisely the same reason that I had; because I read it, aged 26, when it was first published in 1980 and it had made such an impression upon me that I wanted to read it again to see if, having had 34 years to mature my reading habits, my opinion was as favourable. As far as I can see, very few of today's purchasers are coming to this book for the first time, and that's quite a novelty. For me, back in 1980, I was so impressed by The Ninja that I spent the next few years steadily reading my way through about 75% of Mr Van Lustbader's other books.

Upon re-reading The Ninja, one thing that struck me was how much detail of the plot I had forgotten; it was like not remembering a whole film but only the 'taster' clips. For me, that was good as it was like reading a novel for the first time. Overall, I liked the book almost as much as I did decades ago.

Firstly, lots of reviewers have been highly critical of the long and prosaic passages throughout the story, and I agree that I found these to be just that bit too extreme for my, modern, tastes. EvL's writing style is fluid and poetic yet, although some passages are quite beautiful, it can become a little tedious after a while. For me, it was a minor irritant rather than a huge spoiler. Further, having read lots of other books by this author, I know how much they vary in this respect, some are a bit more spare than The Ninja but several are so weirdly prosaic as to be almost impenetrable. So, if you find The Ninja rambling, try Under an Opal Moon!

The other thing that marks this book is that it is set in the late 1970's and 80's (apart form those passages deliberately set in the 1940's and 50's).
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