A bold English adventurer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love. All brought together in a mighty saga of a time and place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust and the struggle for power.
"Superbly crafted...grips the reader like a riptide...gets the juices flowing!" Washington Star
"Exciting, totally absorbing...be prepared for late nights." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Adventure and action, the suspense of danger, shocking, touching human relationships...a climactic human story." Los Angeles Times
mbtm2003, September 9, 2013 (view all comments by mbtm2003)
Seeing the review of the day - Chesapeake by James A. Michener - reminded me of this gem, authored by another favourite writer, James Clavell. Like his contemporary, Clavell performed volumes of research to ensure his fiction rang true. I first heard of this book when the epic Richard Chamberlain miniseries was shown on TV in 1980. The show captured my attention with the great storyline and the colorful characters. On a visit to the library, I saw the novel and promptly checked it out. Yes, the massive page count could have been seriously daunting had the story not been so attention-grabbing and the details so captivating. I simply could not put this book down. BTW - The book was even better than the miniseries. :-)
Katherine Chance, February 25, 2011 (view all comments by Katherine Chance)
Have you ever had a book that sat on your shelf for years? One that a friend recommended because it was “so good, just what you like”? A book your finally get around to reading only to find it’s not just good, but wonderfully good and you wish you’d read it years earlier? Well, for me that book is “Shogun: A Novel of Japan” by James Clavell. Daunted by the books impressive girth (over 1200 pages in paperback), I kept passing it over to read other novels in my pile but I had to make a transatlantic flight to Denmark and back a few weeks ago and thought perhaps this would be the time to take a stab at the novel. Wow! I was enthralled from the first chapter. Simply a masterpiece.
Set in 16th century Japan, this non-stop intrigue adventure story centers around English sailor, John Blackthorne, who finds himself ship-wrecked off the shores of the nearly undiscovered county of Japan. To survive, he must quickly master the tumultuous landscape of a country facing civil and religious wars, adapt to a culture that could not be more alien to him and somehow learn the way of the samurai – all before he is deemed a useless barbarian and executed.
As if that is not enough, the plot is layer upon layer of politics, war, love, honor and religion. Each and every character depicted is deep and sophisticated - whether good or evil. The landscapes are exotic, interesting and enlightening. Having known virtually nothing of pre-modern Japan, I gained huge understanding about the history of the great country’s culture and its people.
If you’re looking for a book that can make a 12-hour plane ride pass quickly (honest truth) and if you’re a fan of epic tomes such as the likes of Michener’s “Alaska” or McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove” then this book, “Shogun”, will not disappoint.
adamv666, July 10, 2008 (view all comments by adamv666)
possibly the best book I've ever read. filled with action and suspense, samurai, ninja, geisha. It is both a action adventure story and a love story.
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