5 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Musashi - in retrospect, 26 Feb. 2006
Musashi is a novel of epic proportions and a very enjoyable read. With more emphasis on the Zen psycological awakening and the quest for inner peace than the military exploits of this legendary swordsman, it is a testament to one mans determination to better himself. I believe that Taiko by the same author is actually a better piece and would recommend both books highly. I have given only four stars for two reasons, the first as mentioned that I believe Taiko is the better book but the second is that in some parts of Musashi, Yoshikawa seems to linger too long over details that do not add to the overall theme. Having said this, with numerous plots and subplots surrounding the main charaters and their involvement with Musashi, you will never get bored and I found it difficult at times to put the book down. Superb read, but if you have not read Taiko and your knowledge of Japanese history is as limited as mine, read Taiko first then Musashi, the knowledge from the first makes the social conditions and political machinations of the period of Musashi clearer leaving you to concentrate fully on the beauty of the novel.