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Shogun Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1986


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Shogun + Tai-Pan + Noble House (James Clavell's Asian Saga)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1152 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (September 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440178002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440178002
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (766 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Superbly crafted...grips the reader like a riptide...gets the juices flowing!"—Washington Star

"Exciting, totally absorbing...be prepared for late nights, meals unlasting, buisness unattended..."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Adventure and action, the suspense of danger, shocking, touching human relationships...a climactic human story." —Los Angeles Times

“A tale surging with action, intrigue and love...a huge cast…vast and dramatic ...stunning…savage...beautiful...an extraordinary performance.”
Publishers Weekly

“I can’t remember when a novel has seized my mind like this one....It’s not only something you read–you live it.” –New York Times Book Review

From the Publisher

A bold English adventuer. 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, meals unlasting, buisness unattended..." -- Philadelphia Inquirer.

"Adventure and action, the suspense of danger, shocking, touching human relationships...a climactic human story." -- Los Angeles Times.


More About the Author

James Clavell, who died in 1994, was a screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Although he wrote the screenplays for a number of acclaimed films, including The Fly (1958), The Great Escape (1963), and To Sir With Love (1967), he is best known for his epic novels in his Asian Saga.

Customer Reviews

Great historical fiction novel.
jack crose
Riveting from page one and a book that will keep you reading all night long.
Darius Montvila
I had read this book many years ago, when it was first published.
J D Kelley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

329 of 341 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on March 20, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'Historical' fiction is something of a misnomer, as books placed in this category are almost always fiction first and 'historical' only in time and setting. Shogun, however, comes close to being a true example of this field, detailing the late 16th century exploration and exploitation of the Orient by the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, and English. As few Americans are aware of some of the atrocities and cruelties committed in the name of crown and religion during this period, some of the scenes depicted in this book may come as shock. But they provide an excellent background portrait of the European mind-set of those times, a palette that Clavell uses to contrast and define the extraordinarily different culture of the Japan of that time.
And it is his portrait of the Japanese, his lovingly detailed characterizations of Toranaga, Mariko, Omi and their deeply intertwined interactions with the English pilot Blackthorne that defines and breathes life into this breathtakingly large and complex story of love, war, and political intrigue. And these characters are not static. Each grows and changes as events unfold, most especially Blackthorne himself, growing from a totally self-centered 'barbarian' of unclean habits to a person who can appreciate the beauty, intelligence, and moral rectitude of others, who comes to care deeply for those around him, who comes to understand a philosophy of life totally different from that of his own culture. The reader will eventually take each of these characters into his heart, will live right along with them and their problems, cares, successes, and failures, until they are almost more real than the mundane world the reader inhabits.
Is this book totally historically accurate? No, but it doesn't really need to be.
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95 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Lilly Flora VINE VOICE on January 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"Very few men are wise-most are sinners and great evil happens on earth in gods name. But not of god. This world is vale of tears and only a preparation for the everlasting peace."-James Clavell, page 1085, Shogun.

For some reason this statement, made by Japanese christen monk perfectly sums up the awesome book that is shogun. I don't mean awesome in the sense of "dude, that was awesome", I mean it in the sense that this book is awe inspiring, mind blowing and devastatingly emotional and good.

This is a book about a man named John Blackthorn, English pilot of the Dutch ship Erasmus who was washed ashore with what was left of his crew in the small Japanese village of Anjiro. His tale is amazing, for Blackthorn will become the man who brings Japan into the 17th century, introduces them to guns, and totally decimates the Portuguese Jesuit hold over Japan. None of this sounds good of course, but that's because this book isn't really about Blackthorn.

I've always avoided Asian fiction and history, so I have no idea how accurate this book is. But, even if it's all total hooey, this book is amazing. It brings to life the Japan of flying cherry petals, green bamboo, samurai honor and wild mountain peaks. This is a book about honor and love and crossing cultural boundaries. It's a book about duty and karma and everything that is noble in life.

Written in the style of Michener, only with more emotion, I can only say that this is one of the best books I have ever read. It's so good in fact, that I don't think I can ever read it again.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "jillychan" on April 28, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read between 200 and 300 books in my life and I only remember a handful of them. This book has been filed into my perminant databank. Every time I see Shogun in a store or hear someone talking about it, my heart leaps. When first picking up the book a common thought is "My GOD! It's two-thousand pages!" but as soon as you start reading it you wish it was three-thousand. Better yet, four-thousand...no, five-thousand...At any rate. It's hard to hate any of the charectors in this book, they are all explained thouroughly, all with their own vices and clever. And clever is the word! All of the 'people of power' have the very real and necissary cleverness that just leaves you aghast. Few books truely touch people and stay with them forever, but Shogun will be a part of ever reader forever. I laughed, I cried, I was so gosh darned glad it was part of a series =)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Zhu Di on September 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Many of us loathe the lengthy historical novels that grace the shelves of book stores today, intimidated by their size and impending substance. My fascination with Japanese culture, samurai and the orient, coupled with a recent trip to 'The Last Samurai' drove me to the nearest bookshop in search of something to quench my thirst for enlightenment. Clavell's novels, being classics and well acclaimed, caught my attention and I turned to Shogun for a challenging read.

Not since Lord of the Rings have I become so involved in a story, often staying awake until midnight to comfortably conclude a chapter or missing one or two meals to find out how another one of the Characters dilemma's was solved. Shoguns roller-coaster of action, adventure, romance and history culminated in a saga that entangles itself in your mind. All the characters display their unique personalities, traits, vices and virtues. Blackthorne, the typical 17th century english 'Sea Dog' is civilized by Japan through the beautiful and lovely Mariko, the cunning, masterful and lovable Lord Toranaga and the rest of the gang.

Historically the book keeps on the tracks, changing a couple of names along the way (Eg: Tokugawa > Toranaga) however there really was a war involving Tokugawa for the shogunate which he won, defeating the armies that stood in his way left behind after the 'Taiko' died. There was also a 'Goroda' dictator figure who ruled and was really assasinated, but the story of an english pilot landing in Japan, and developing a relationship with the most powerful daimyo in the land is all fiction.
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