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Satori Paperback – 15 Sep 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (15 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755370228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755370221
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Elegant, well-researched, and magnificently plotted, Satori is exhilarating' ( LA Times )

'Satori is every bit as tait, intelligent and gripping as the book that captured the imagination of millions in the seventies' ( Choice )

'A sprawling, effervescent, page-turning account of how the assassin was made' ( Observer )

'Sleek, smart and deadly. Satori is a must-read' (Joseph Finder)

'An accomplished page-turning prequel' ( Wall Street Journal )

Book Description

Nicholai Hel exploded onto the scene in Trevanian's 1970s blockbuster SHIBUMI. Now critically acclaimed novelist Don Winslow continues the story and reveals how Nicolai Hel became the world's most dangerous assassin

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well i was first excited to hear there was a sequel to the excellent shibumi, however satori is a big letdown.

What are the flaws, without revealing any spoilers

1. No depth, very superficial
2. Confusing plot
3. Some chapters are only 4 lines long.
4. Badly written, similar to dan brown's trashy novels.
5. Un-necessary characters, plotlines etc.

Its written by someone who knows he will never write anything as good as shibumi. My advice dont buy it, read the original again.
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Ho hum! I waited a long time to read this. Having been a huge fan of Trevanian, I was afraid of disappointment. On the other hand, I just had to read it.....think if it was as good as Shibumi and I missed out. Anyway I took the plunge and.......well, hmmm, I guess it is a passable thriller fitting neatly into the genre, but if you are expecting something that will satisfy you in the same way as the original then avoid at all costs! It feels like fast food compared to the gourmet meal of Shibumi. I learned nothing from this book.
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I am a huge fan of Shibumi and a huge fan of Don Wimslow so what could possibly go wrong?
Answer - just about everything.
I found the glamour and mystery that surrounded Hel in Travanian's work missing and although there were other elements of originality in this prequel, it is best described as a pedestrian thriller.
Sad because I had high hopes and I love Wimslow's other works (The Cartel is one of my favourite books).
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Whilst entirely readable, it is very much not a 'Trevanian'. While it uses some characters of the same name, and copies some details from Shibumi, it bears little relation to the original work. It seems like this was written by someone who only vaguely remembers the original, having read it once decades ago. Continuity is broken in may regards, characters personalities and motivations are different, major details are ignored.

This should have, and easily could have, been released without trying to pin itself to the original, which seems to be little more than marketing ploy. Quite frankly it's entirely possible this book written before the idea of linking it to Shibumi was concidered
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By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Satori is a period piece. It's either dated or retro chic, depending on your particular taste. But for a novel that is published in 2011 and set in the 1950s, there's a huge amount of it that will be forever 1979.

Basically, Don Winslow has written a prequel to the 1979 airport bestseller Shibumi. The star of Shibumi, assassin Nicholai Hel, is straight out of a Hai Karate advert. He is tall, muscular, half Russian, half Japanese (a mindblowingly exotic combination in 1979), attractive to women, adept at martial arts, fearless, able to bear excruciating pain, fluent in many languages, a genius at the game of Go, and uniquely honourable. He is flawless; a perfect hero. If he were a film character, he would have been played by Burt Lancaster.

So Nicholai Hel takes us on a tour of the far east - Japan, China, Laos and Viet Nam - in an effort to assassinate a Russian envoy and follow through with his cover of shipping arms to Viet Nam. In the course of his travails, he is double crossed; sold to the enemy; has repeated attempts on his life and suffers grievous injuries. He survives of course thanks largely to his great metaphor of comparing the world to a game of Go. Plus this is a prequel so he couldn't come unstuck - and this particular genre of 1970s spy thriller wouldn't entertain the possibility of failure.

So much for the cheese - where are the crackers, you ask?

Well, there are some superb traveloguey settings. The state run hotels of Beijing; the perils of the Mekong valley; the shady streets of Luang Prabang; steamy Saigon. It's all there. The puppet emperor Bao Dai makes more than a cameo appearance. The politics, intrigue and depravity of French Indochina are laid bare.
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By Cartimand TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Granted it's been a few years since I read Shibumi, but my recollection is that it was a rather more profound tome than this belated sequel. Satori feels like it comes from the same (highly successful but equally unsubtle) stable as Cussler and Wilbur Smith. Some of Don Winslow's characters (notably Solange and Kang) feel like little more than clichés and, on occasion, the action (Hel's fight with Kang and the casino sequence for example) struck me as supremely improbable.

But, it's all still highly readable. The short chapters usually end on something of a cliff-hanger and rattle by at a helluva pace. This is perfectly good leave-your-brain-at-home fare for a long flight or when you're lounging on a beach (which is where I read most of it).

To summarise, whilst Satori is not particularly profound or memorable, if you're into espionage shenanigans with a hefty dose of sex and violence thrown in, this pot-boiler is one of those guilty pleasure sort of books and certainly ticks most of the boxes.
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By Donald Thompson VINE VOICE on 21 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Trevanian's Shibumi was one of the first books I remember reading where the hero was not a "good guy". For its time it was an excellently written and researched novel. But times move on, and to re-read it now one is struck by the naivete of the world view and the lack of candour in the messy areas of assasination. This book by Don Winslow, a prequel of sorts, covers the period between Nicolai Hels release from prison and his arrival in the Far East. Whilst the writing is not as crisp and there is a higher emphasis on action, the heart remains the same, with the game of Go playing a large part of the motivation of several of the leading characters. I did however find the plot device of an alternate assassin a little hackneyed, Robert Ludlums Jason Bourne series does it much better. But as an exercise in renewing acquaintance with the worlds top assassin it works very well.
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