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Customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
The 47th Samurai
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 26 April 2017
Great action, thoughtfully delivered. Swagger is unbeatable. Highly recommended.
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on 5 February 2009
It has most of what Swagger addicts need, and the "so THATS why all this crazy stuff is happening" explanatory storyline is actually interesting. But the rest stretches even the most forgiving Swagger reader into uncomfortable shapes, as we struggle to ignore the unlikely, the improbable, and the "aww c'mon Stephen! That's just impossible!".
The originals of the Swagger saga are held very dear to those of us who happily discovered Bob and Earl, and not in any small part due to the essence of the hero being a flawed everyman, with talents and guts enough to raise him to being extraordinary when needs demanded.

When that essence is over exploited, as is the case in The 47th Samurai, it takes something away from the saga as a whole.
Swagger readers are going to buy it and read it, just as I have, and are more than likely going to feel a little let down. If there is a literary equivalent of "jumping the shark", then I'm afraid I've just read it.
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on 30 June 2010
Having read all of Stephen Hunter's novels, I was very much looking forward to reading this one and enjoyed it very much when I did. However, as I am over sixty myself and reasonably healthy and active, I was pretty amazed at BLS's capabilities and the astonishing prowess with which he handled himself at his age! The unusual aspects to the previous novels have been concerned with Bob's ability as an ex-sniper, whereas this novel required no such background for the hero and I would have preferred Hunter to have chosen a new, and younger, hero for this story.
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on 22 November 2009
This novel is complete rubbish, not a single drop of good sense and a completely absurd story.

This was a book made as a script, this usually means that the book will not be a very good book, and the film will be probably worst. In this case the author tries to make a typical American action B-movie script where the good semi-retired American Hero defeats, single handed, several Martial Arts experts saving the life of a small orphan child.

Following the old style of the American Super-Hero, an old retired soldier, with few days of lessons given by a Kendo Master is able to defeat single handed, a lifetime Master in a sword fight.

This is, undoubtedly, the worst novel that I've ever read......complete rubbish and I feel like asking my money back to the author and publisher.
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on 2 November 2008
The story is only OK - but really a missed opportunity. Swagger is now 60 and really its ridicolous what he gets up to. A different chracter and you could have gotten a really cool modern samurai tale. Hunter needs to retire Swagger so that he can get back to creating more compelling stories cuase this book shows he got good ideas just that they are getting very dated and held back cause he refuses to evolev characters.
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on 27 April 2012
Great read based on a modern setting of the 47 Ronin of Ako. Good, well researched detail on Japan and their swords. A few minor errors (confusion between gendaito and shingunto for example). A quick read of the original text will reval a lot of hidden references in the climax of the book (google 47 Ronin). I really enjoyed it and finished it in a single day.
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on 18 June 2011
Having just read this for a second time, I feel that this book has possibly been unfairly received. it may not be the very best thatMr Hunter has written, but it is enjoyable and builds to a satisfying climax. I certainly enjoyed reading it for the second time more than the first, so it might be that this is a "grower"
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on 4 October 2008
This is the first novel I read from this author. I picked it up at a book stall while travelling and could not put it down.
The story develops well and provides an interesting insight into Japanese society. Hunter has the gift that you can easily build a picture in your mind of what happening in the story.
The story swtiches between the past and present and is interwoven with japanese saga's and culture. The main character, Bob Lee Swagger, is a man of little words but plenty of honour and action.
I imagined him being like the lone rider that Clint Eastwood depicted so well in many of the spaghetti westerns in the 70s.
I found it a good read and will definately buy more books from this author.
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on 9 November 2015
ordered on Friday, delivered on Saturday, book as described, what more could I ask for.....
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on 14 November 2008
I don't think many people are reading this book properly as Stephen Hunter goes through great pains to to explain and show that Swagger does not become a 'world class swordsman in a week'(a common misconception in the reviews). Indeed most of the fun of the 47th samurai is seeing how Bob Lee applies his survival instincts (his trickery!) to sword fighting. Having said that I ought to point out that the fight scenes are not as lucid or even understandable as the usual Hunter gunfights, owing to the complex maneuvering of bodies and blades- it does make for some pretty dense reading.
The plot itself is another tongue in cheek rework of a classic (like Pale Horse coming) and it does lack the sober storytelling of say, Time to hunt. In my opinion this is a disadvantage since the extreme violence is at odds with the humorous dialogue and characterisation but some people may enjoy it.
Overall its a good (but not great) book.

Big rant:

As to the comments regarding a 'decline' in Hunter's work, I wholeheartedly disagree since the 47th Samurai is proof that Hunter still has a imaginative approach to his work and is not insulting his readers with barrel-scraping, regurgitative pulp like some authors do *cough* Lee Child *cough*.
For those of you who keep on comparing his recent novels to previous works; there is no need to be so narrow minded when an author experiments with new ideas, the 47th Samurai is a good read and if you have read any of Hunter's early work you would know that he is capable of far worse. So stop whining. Please.
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