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Is Shogun much better than Gai-jin???

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Showing 1-14 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 9, 2009 4:18:47 PM PDT
Gift Card says:
So far I've read all of Clavell's novels except Shogun

Taipan and Noble House were excellent, and King Rat was very good.

However, Whirlwind was God-awful, and Gaijin was below average.

Maybe I just perfer the Hong Kong setting better than Japan, but how much better is the quality of Shogun than Gaijin, which are both set in Japan??

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 8:15:43 PM PDT
I enjoyed Shogun a great deal. Of his other works I have only read King Rat which I also enjoyed.

Posted on Nov 18, 2009 6:03:05 PM PST
indyman911 says:
Shogun and Noble House are miles ahead of his other works. Taipan and King Rat were great and I hated Whirlwind. I remember Gai-Jin had a lot of the aftermath of Taipan in it. Other than that, I laughed out loud when one of the main characters gets injured early on, lingers forever (like 500-600 pages), gets hooked on Morphine trying to convince everyone he's getting better, finally gets to bed his dream girl, and dies of blood hemmoriging while doing the nasty. I could only get through that one once. But Shogun, I've read a dozen times. Love that one.

Posted on Nov 24, 2009 4:53:45 PM PST
Shogun is my favorite book of all time, hands down, and I'm an avid, constant reader. I could never complete any of Clavell's other books, but I wish so much that I had never read Shogun, so that I could have the pleasure of reading it again for the first time. Read it--it's an amazing journey.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2009 8:55:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2009 3:55:16 AM PST
gilly8 says:
Sho-Gun, for me, was his true masterpiece & one of my all-time "best" books ever!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Editing this on 12/19/09---just fyi, Clavell spent most of his life in the Far East. During WWII he was a POW in a Japanese camp, and "King Rat" is based loosely on that...a co-worker of mine, whose father was British, was a POW in the same camp as, really, Clavell KNEW the Far East, good and bad sides.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2009 9:10:04 AM PST
Gift Card says:
Good to here, cause I finally went out nd got it. I'm ganna start it soon.

Posted on Dec 26, 2009 2:52:35 PM PST
Please remember that he was dying as he wrote Gai-jin. The first 300 or so pages of it are brilliant and up there with Shogun, but unfortunately the rest of the book reflects that Clavell was dying. His other books are master pieces.

Posted on Jan 11, 2010 4:38:48 AM PST
I agree that Shogun is by far his best book. I also enjoyed Tai-Pan a lot, and I'm planning to read the others too.
First I considered going in a linear way (Gai-Jin takes place just after Tai-Pan), but I guess I will try Noble House next time. I understand that's one of his better works. Maybe King Rat after that.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 6:58:04 PM PST
Ari Ben says:
I have been reading Clavells books for the last few months. Tai-Pan first, and it was amazing. Noble House 2nd, and although it wasnt as good as Tai-Pan, it was still a great page turner with memorable characters. I then read King Rat. I wont put in the same class as Tai-Pan or Noble House, but it was still a fascinating, compelling tale and I couldnt put it down. I just finished Shogun and am literally in "withdrawal" from that world. It was a life experience, thats all there is to it. I started Gai-Jin, well aware of most reviews saying it is not up to his earlier efforts, and that his illness is reflected in the second half of that book, we'll see.... I am a huge Clavell fan and will probably read Whirlwind as well.

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 10:00:21 AM PDT
I have read all of Clavells books, and frankly I wouldnt bother with Gai-Jin. Its not that it is a terrible book. Though the first time I started it, i put it away after 100 pages. The second time I got all the way through it, and discovered that the story is left incomplete. It is obvious that a sequal was planned, but of course not executed. If the journey rather than the end is whats important to you then read it, but if you want a complete storyline, then avoid this book.

Posted on Feb 7, 2011 7:42:00 PM PST
Briandlee says:
i have read them all. Shogun is the best by far. Noble House is second. King Rat, 3rd and then Tai Pan and Gai Jin. Whirlwind was dull. didnt finish it. In fact, shogun has more action than all the others combined

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011 2:07:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 15, 2011 2:10:48 PM PDT
Well, Shogun IS THE BEST, by any measure. The novel is superb, the hero, Blackthorne is very well educated man for the era (The Elizabethan-Stuart era) and the portrayal of the Shogun and of the Japan of this time is so well done that we immerge ourserlves in the culture of this land and become fascinated by it. And it even teaches us ocidentals a little japanese. Wakarimasu ka? You will love each and every chapter of the adventures of the english Anjin-san (the Japanese had difficulties in pronouncing Blackthorne and called him Anjin-san, meaning Mr. Pilot in japanese) and his lovely teacher, the Japanese widow that learned to speak portuguese with the Jesuit missionaries and converted to Christianity and is his official translator in the court of the Shogun (Blackthorne was an english pilot but he spoke many languages, especially spanish and portuguese because in these times these people were great navigators and they exchanged stories about maritimes routes and maps). The Shogun is based on a historical character of Japan in these times that unified many warrior clans in one Shogunate to defend the Emperor. This sistem persisted in Japan until the end of the 19th century. If you liked all James Clavell books you will love it. I read it in the 80s, in first edition, and it is still one of my favorite books!

Posted on Apr 15, 2011 2:23:46 PM PDT
Gift Card says:
Well, I finally finished Shogun (like a year ago) but I still get replies from this thread lol.

Anyway, Shogun is very good, but Noble House is still far and away my favorite. My order is:

Noble House
King Rat

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 6:25:00 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 16, 2012 6:25:23 AM PDT]
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Participants:  12
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  May 9, 2009
Latest post:  Jul 16, 2012

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Shogun by James Clavell (Hardcover - April 1, 1983)
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