- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (March 7, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446561924
- ISBN-13: 978-0446561921
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 171 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.99 shipping
Satori Hardcover – March 7, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
Nicholai Hel was already an accomplished assassin, a master of hoda korosu ("naked kill"), when introduced in Trevanian's 1979 Shibumi. Now Winslow (The Life and Death of Bobby Z.) dons Trevanian's mantle and cloaks Hel in a tangled series of adventures and misadventures in this exciting prequel. Hel's conditional ticket out of an American-run prison in 1951 Japan requires him to acquire a new face and identity and to carry out a probably suicidal mission to assassinate Soviet commissioner Yuri Voroshenin in China. In the guise of 26-year-old Michel Guibert, a French arms dealer, Hel enters a labyrinthine world of intrigue as various Chinese factions and foreign interests struggle for advantage. Winslow successfully fleshes out Hel's mixed heritage (aristocratic Russian mother, surrogate Japanese father and mentor), and eventually takes him to war-torn Vietnam, where Hel's expertise in applying Go strategy is as important to his survival as his physical skills. Winslow has crafted an impressive prelude to a highly esteemed classic thriller. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* In his 1979 international best-seller, Shibumi, acclaimed author Trevanian introduced readers to handsome mystic and ingenious assassin Nicholai Hel. In this compelling prequel, Winslow, whose popular novels include The Dawn Patrol (2008) and Savages (2010), details Hel’s life leading up to Trevanian’s opus. Satori opens in the fall of 1951, in the throes of the Korean War. Twenty-six-year-old Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Now his captors are offering to release him—at a price. He must go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union’s commissioner to China. Though Hel is blond with striking green eyes, his worldview is more Eastern than Western. (He was raised by an aristocratic Russian mother in Shanghai and later lived in Japan, where he studied the ancient and notoriously challenging board game, Go.) Hel is a master of hoda korosu, “the naked kill,” and blessed with an uncanny sense of proximity, which makes him hyperaware of potential danger. He’ll need every tool in his deadly dossier to earn freedom. Winslow renders breathless suspense and a cast of dark, devious characters from all corners of the globe. Recommend this one to fans of Baldacci and le Carré as well as, of course, Trevanian. --Allison Block
Top customer reviews
I really fought the urge to arrive at a harsh judgment of Shibumi’s sequel. I really did because I wanted Satori to be so much more. In fact, I wanted Winslow to be the new Trevanian, just so I could get over the fact that one of my favorite writers had died. No such luck.
Trevanian had a delicate way with words and thoughts. Winslow…well Winslow is not quite so delicate. Where Trevanian slid through concepts Winslow took to a bulldozer. Where Shibumi described sensuality without explicitness Satori envelops the concept in vulgarity. Where Trevanian sliced through the villain with a razor blade Winslow carves him up with a machete.
If you are looking for a spoiler, belated as it may be, this is the wrong place. I do not give away plots. I do however thrive on style and catchy stuff. Winslow’s most original thought was “a liberal is a man who will not take his own side in an argument.”
The rest is trite: “Tortured, he had learned what no man should have to learn – the sounds of his own screams…” “Small victories, Nicholas thought, ought to be savored.” “Never consider the possibility of success – consider only the impossibility of failure.”
There were moments of wordsmith artistry: “A cloud of cigarette smoke hovered like protective coverage over the triumphs and disappointments.” Later: “Two hours later, the room was full of stale smoke and fresh tension.” And, finally: “When tigers fight, one is killed, and the other is mortally wounded.” But the moments were few.
By all means, read the book; especially if you didn’t read Shibumi first. Then, read Shibumi and experience the quality that Winslow could not bring back.
Shibumi was an interesting parody of spy novels with a unique anti-hero in Nicholai Hel. Shibumi was not great literature or subtle, but entertaining for it time, its anti-hero approach and the unusual history surrounding Hel. This prequel lack any of the social criticism and "bite" of the original book and at times descended to "fan fiction" quality. I kept thinking this was author's first draft rather than a fully fleshed out story.
When I finished I deleted from my Kindle. Its was not like I would ever re-read this book. I was expecting more
Not so with Satori. Don Winslow has darn near accomplished the impossible, creating a surprisingly good prequel novel. Many of these one star reviews are simply people ticked that it's not Trevanian. No, it's not.
That doesn't make it trash. Give it a chance, it took me years to do so and I regret having waited.
Shibumi is one of my favorite books of all time. Trevanian has a fantastic writing style and a clever sense of humor; I love The Eiger Sanction (and the Clint Eastwood movie) and The Loo Sanction, but his other books are mostly knock-offs of other stories/themes.
I didn't know that Trevanian (Rodney William Whitaker) had passed away and his estate had given the rights to Nicholai Hel's story to Don Winslow.
So readers of this review will want to know: given how truly fantastic the classic Shibumi is, is Satori worth buying and reading?
The answer is a definitive "yes"
You can read Satori's back story in the Publisher's Weekly write-up or other reviews. Don Winslow takes the Nicholai Hel characters and "develops" him further. The Naked Kill skills are there, along with the "Go" way of thinking, in an interesting historical context.
I've had the fortune of visiting present day Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Beijing, and Cambodia, and it was interesting and realistic to "visit" these places in 1952 with this book.
Don Winslow's style of writing is different, and Trevanain's best is hard to beat, but I'll give Don Winslow my highest complement: I hope he continues his telling of the Nicholai Hel back story, and I'm now interested in his other books.
Most recent customer reviews
Shibumi is perfect and you can't improve on perfection.