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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Desert Island Book
I have owned several copies of this excellent book from more than 30 years, and have found consistant satisfaction at each re-reasing. The novel is set in late 16th Century Japan, at the end of the Sengoku Period (the Time of the Warring Clans) when Japan was ruled by a panoply of Warlords of various merit, infamy or greatness. The one constant of all the main...
Published 23 months ago by HiDefBarry

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible-Wrong Language
I ordered this item for a friend,and can you imagine my shock when it came back in a foreign language (Italian i think) Anyway i went through the process of sending it back,telling my reason for returning it,making it clear it was in the wrong language,and could it be replaced in English. Imagine my shock and horror when the replacement arrived in-guess what-Italian...
Published 12 months ago by Peter J. Smith


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Desert Island Book, 18 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Shogun (Perfect Paperback)
I have owned several copies of this excellent book from more than 30 years, and have found consistant satisfaction at each re-reasing. The novel is set in late 16th Century Japan, at the end of the Sengoku Period (the Time of the Warring Clans) when Japan was ruled by a panoply of Warlords of various merit, infamy or greatness. The one constant of all the main characters in this book is their desire to become Shogun - The single warlord who would control the whole of Japan - something which had not previously been achieved as all the individual clan warlords had insufficient strength to make this happen. Japan had almost been unified under the peasant General Hidioyshi Toyotomi, but being a peasent he was not able to become Shogun because of his lowly origins. Hideoyshi dies suddenly, before he had been able to secure an hier to take his place, his only son being five or six years old. Untiil the Heir became of age to take over the Shoguate, a team of five Regents were selected from the main (most powerful and wealthy Clans) to rule the country. This team was carefully selected by Hideoshi to be effectively hamstrung by each other due to personal hatred and/or distrusts and were not in any position to single handedly take control or even make enough alliegencies to assume power over the others.
Into this uneasy mix, is thrown a English/Dutch Pilot Blackthorn (a Marriner who navigates one or more ships) cast ashore in Japan during a storm with only a handful of his crew surviving. The resultant culture clash is where the drama in this excellent novel turns. Initially, these `gaigin` (foreign Barbarians/Devils) are initially disliked and distrusted as they are mercinary traders, ie: not Samurai but filthy money grabbing strangers with no manners or loyalty to anyone but themselves. This is a quite accurate assessment - but due to some unusual events, the Pilot shows that he could perhaps be useful to the leader of the Torenaga (Tokugawa) Clan, perhaps even giving him an edge in his constant conflicts with the other four Regent - who are after his head.
What follows is an epic series of plot and counter plot, assassinations and attempted assassinations, deceits and miss directions from almost every character in the book. Clavell uses a clever and very interesting method of allowing the movers and shakers (and the lowest of the low) to express their thoughts and intentions to the reader in a series of asides, yet always throwing in the essential surprises and plot twists that ensure we readers will continue to follow the book in all its glorious detail. There is great period detail - Clavell obviously knew Japan very well - strong characterisation and story lines all interwoven with a smattering of hostorical facts culminating in the great Battle of Sekigahara in the autunm of 1600AD, which changed Japan significantly.
The main problem with this book is, for westerners, the difficult names and relationships between Clans and characters. I can only advise that you disregard this, and continue reading - it will all become familiar to you very quickly.
In short , this is a Desert Island book that - should you become marooned - will provide you with something interesting to do with your time. A real page-turner, beware - this will eat up your life..
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5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ, 12 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Shogun (Perfect Paperback)
I had to send this book back as it was written in Italian! Probably my fault as I didn't read the info properly, but Amazon brilliant and refunded immediately.
HOWEVER, I cannot give this any less than 5 stars as I have read this before, and was enthralled with the sweeping adventure and informative storyline, which triggered interest in things Japanese and British involvement in the far east.
I have re-ordered from another source through Amazon, and eagerly await its delivery. Then I will pass it to my son in law who I now will love it equally.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, but you need good eyes..., 4 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Shogun (Perfect Paperback)
Great book. This edition has print which is a bit small, but otherwise it's good value.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible-Wrong Language, 21 May 2014
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This review is from: Shogun (Perfect Paperback)
I ordered this item for a friend,and can you imagine my shock when it came back in a foreign language (Italian i think) Anyway i went through the process of sending it back,telling my reason for returning it,making it clear it was in the wrong language,and could it be replaced in English. Imagine my shock and horror when the replacement arrived in-guess what-Italian again.I returned this,and got my money back,but why was it not made clear that this item was only in a foreign language,from this publisher?? And sending it TWICE,after i had clearly stated the reason for return!? Very dissatisfied with this item/publisher,i would give it no stars if i could.
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Shogun
Shogun by James Clavell (Perfect Paperback - Sept. 2005)
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