- Series: Picador Modern Classics
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Picador Modern Classics; Rep Mti edition (January 10, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250082277
- ISBN-13: 978-1250082275
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239 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.
Silence: A Novel (Picador Modern Classics) Paperback – January 10, 2017
|New from||Used from|
Best Books of 2016
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Thought-provoking and moving… Complex and multilayered… [Silence] is a great achievement, and I love the book.” – David Mitchell, author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas
“Silence I regard as a masterpiece, a lucid and elegant drama.” – The New York Review of Books
“One of the best historical novels by anyone, ever.” ―David Mitchell (from an interview on Foyles.com)
“Somber, delicate, and startlingly empathetic.” ―John Updike (from Endo’s New York Times obituary)
“Endo has been repeatedly, tiresomely, compared to Graham Greene, who warmly praised [Silence]. . . . But Greene’s fascination with sin and guilt looks very tame when put beside Endo’s.” ―Gary Wills, The New York Review of Books
“A masterpiece, a lucid and elegant drama about a Portuguese missionary tormented by Japanese inquisitors.” ―Irving Howe, The New York Review of Books
“Endo’s disarmingly direct and poignant narration masks a complex moral discussion.” ―Robert Coles, New Oxford Review
“Endo’s grandest novel.” ―Robert Winder, Independent (London)
“Endo succeeds in creating a vision of Christian faith obstinate enough to endure even in soils that have never been fertile for its growth.” ―The CS Lewis Review
“At the height of his powers, the author produced two historical masterworks, [including] Silence.” ―Crisis Magazine
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"Silence" is set in sixteenth century Japan, where Portuguese missionaries must contend with traders from rival European nations and the persecution of Christians by Japanese feudal lords. The feudal lords want to drive Christianity out of Japan, and try to do so by torturing priests into apostasy, denying their faith. This is done symbolically by stepping on a "fumie," a Christian image, like a picture of Mary or a crucifix. Two Portuguese priests, Sebastian Rodrigues and Francis Garrpe, make a dangerous journey to Japan, both to locate and comfort Japanese converts, and to discover the truth about a supposed apostate priest, Ferreira.
"Silence" makes use of several narrative approaches, third person omniscient at the beginning and ending, while the middle portion of the novel is written in the style of a diary and letters from Rodrigues' point of view. The main protagonist, Rodrigues must deal with the validity of his faith, the propriety of the Christian mission in Japan, the suffering of Japanese converts, and the silence of God in the midst of so much hardship.
Rodrigues' trials are exacerbated by his physical and cultural isolation, as he and Garrpe are forced to conceal themselves in a small hut dug out of the side of a mountain near Nagasaki.Read more ›
While the theology of pain has been touched on in much of Western literature, most of it recently seems either an apology for God's permitting suffering, rants against God for permitting suffering, or pep talks for believers going through suffering. Philip Yancey has provided a great service on the issue in his books on pain, but even they take a somewhat detached view. By contrast, Shusako Endo seems to write from within the terrible grasp of suffering in "Silence", one of the most moving novels I have ever read.
The plot centers around a band of Portugese priests who land in Japan in the 1600's to spread the gospel on a culturally and spiritually unfertile soil. Their theology is eventually challenged in ways that only persecution and suffering can do: can I carry on here? should I? can I forgive my tormentors? should I? Ultimately, they wrestle with public apostasy and with whether or not they could ever be forgiven if they commit such an act.
This is not a feel-good book by any stretch. It deals with failure, defeat, abandonment, pain, and the 'silence' of God through it all. But at the same time it opens the window wide on what the Man of Sorrows went through on our behalf and on how we need God's grace not because of our strength but because of our weakness. Highly recommended.
This book is set in Japan circa 1630, well into the period when Japan had outlawed and cruelly repressed Christianity. Christianity had been introduced into Japan around 1550 by Portuguese Jesuits, where it had met with success. By the late 16th century, it is estimated that 400,000 Japanese had converted; some conversions were shallow and superficial, but others were deep and authentic, deep enough for a number of Japanese Christians to welcome martyrdom, and for others to go underground as "Hidden Christians" (Kakure Kurishitan) where they would keep a strange and mutated form of Christianity alive for 300 years. The survival of even a mutated form of Christianity in Japan is a story worth telling in light of the horrible repression that was visited upon the Kakure Kurishitan community, repressions involving stepping on the "fumi" - an image of Christ - and horrible tortures designed to force Christians to renounce Christianity.
The story opens with a Jesuit priest Sebastio Rodriguez and two other Jesuits leaving Portugal to travel to Japan to investigate the truth behind the news that their mentor, Cristóvão Ferreira, Cristóvão Ferreira, had been tortured into apostatizing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was more of an examination of one's faith and very powerful.Published 23 hours ago by B. Stockhausen
If you cannot relate to devout Christianity or its troubled spread across time and diverse cultures, don't bother reading this illuminating novel. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Nauno
I wanted to like this book a lot, and kept turning the pages waiting for the interesting questions and challenges that so many other people raved about to be discussed. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Dan & Danielle
This book is not at all what I hoped for. The story line was predictable and rather boring even given that the topic was about people giving their lives for their religion. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Sadie Storm
A beautifully written novel on a very demanding subject - the persecutions of Christians in 17th century Japan - and the dilemma facing those missionaries who stayed on with their... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
"Silence" is a great movie, so great that I immediately read the novel. It's great, too: a thought-provoking, carefully crafted meditation on faith and doubt, East and... Read morePublished 7 days ago by not me
This is a dark, introspective, spiritual exploration of religion and the lengths one will go to in order to preserve and defend what they believe in. Read morePublished 8 days ago by sc23lexny
I read the book very carefully. I do not recommend it. I believe the message is that if one loves Christ, one can apostitize to save others. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Wendy Saxon