James Clavell is clearly a gifted writer. His Shogun books have taken me on a journey to far away lands where I've learned about samurai, ninja, ladies of The Willow Word, geisha, karma, daimyos and seppuku, honor and traitors. Clalvell's writing casts a spell over his readers and draws them into long and complicated tales full of so many dually named characters that it can make your head spin.
His books take a commitment to read. I enjoyed these first two books of the Shogun series. That said, James Clavell is clearly a gifted writer. That said, I didn't love them. I attribute Clavell's art of writing as the reason that I never reached a point where I wanted to give up and put them down for good. I have to respect that when all is said and done. Apr 29, Barry rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , historical-fiction.
Seriously epic. View all 3 comments. Feb 10, Krisztina rated it it was amazing. An enjoyable epic and a brilliant one! Clavell does an excellent job of leading the reader towards seeing the Japanese way, the culture, tradition, way of life and mentality.
He succeeds to portray Japanese culture through the lens of a Western explorer and to show how completely one's opinion of a culture can change after exposure and thought. The reader gets into the head of everyone and the story will be deep in the head of one character, hearing their emotions, dreams, perceptions, and then i An enjoyable epic and a brilliant one!
Despite the long-winded writing, I couldn't put it down, the pages flew by for me and I found myself wishing my baby would sleep more so I could read more as well.
It's worth reading, surprisingly compelling. View 2 comments. Aug 05, Yigal Zur rated it really liked it. Oct 10, XO rated it liked it. I felt like the end was incomplete, or maybe it was me wanting to read more of the story. You can look up the historical part. Words are not enough to describe the happines I experienced reding this book. May 15, Thomas Rydder rated it it was amazing.
Shogun is set in medieval Japan, in the time of warlords and endless battles. The samurai were the "knights" of their day, and reigned supreme in their land. A Lord's ranking and status dictated how many samurai he had at his disposal, and his army would gladly die - sometimes at their own hand - to serve him.
The land was divided into provinces and the shifting of power was an endless tide of blood and deception. Into this world walks an English pilot, John Blackthorne, whose ship and crew are Shogun is set in medieval Japan, in the time of warlords and endless battles. Into this world walks an English pilot, John Blackthorne, whose ship and crew are marooned by shipwreck and are now at the mercy of Lord Toranaga, in whose province they have come ashore.
The rest of his crew suffer the indignities of wartime criminals, but Blackthorne is singled out by Toranaga because of his intelligence and quick thinking.
He eventually melds into the Japanese community, and is immersed in the waves of deceit and deception, a pawn in the constant struggle for control. The historic accuracy is unparalleled, and once you pick it up, you will not put it down. Apr 27, Peter rated it really liked it.
James Clavell is a fantastic writer when it comes to the setting of Asia. Much of the book is based on actual historical events, as are the characters so the story has an authentic feel.
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How could a verbal commitment be so compelling? Nasubi said it was simply part of the Japanese character. Could that possibly be true? Shogun, a novel about a British pilot marooned in Japan around , corroborates Nasubi's stated motivation. It's best approached as a fictionalized anthropological text with the adventure and intrigue turned up to The surface focus of the book is on grand, predictable story arcs: a great leader uses cunning and political intrigue to gather power; a great adventurer overcomes all obstacles, a great romantic sacrifices herself for her ideals.
On their own, these plot lines and character are enjoyable but thin. They're acceptable but not extraordinary summer reading. However, a thorough and compelling exploration of Japanese politics and culture courses through it all and elevates it to a story worth reading. For example, Shogun showed me how important duty was to these Japanese of that time. It was expected that a lord would ask his vassal samurai to commit suicide if that vassal failed in a task.
It was expected that peasants would be killed in bulk if they failed to meet a quota. None of this was seen as particularly bloodthirsty or cruel, it was accepted as a necessary ingredient for a successful community.
These suicides were predictably tinged with sadness but they were also infused with honor. Did Nasubi inherit some sense of this duty? I'm going to assume so.
I doubt he would commit suicide but I'm willing to believe that he'd undergo extreme hardship simply because he felt he was committed to it. I don't know how accurate Clavell was. Wikipedia tells me it was based on the true story of William Adams, the first Englishman to land in Japan whose story shares the same arc as the protagonist of Shogun.
Wikipedia also tells me that the novel is frequently used in university courses as source material. I'm inclined to believe that Clavell got his cultural studies right. If you're interested in Japan, in how cultures clash or in cultural studies more broadly I'd recommend the book.
If you're looking for compelling plots, rich characters or great literature in general you can pass it up. Dec 28, get stuffed rated it it was amazing Shelves: adventure. The Shogun novels were written by James Clavell who had been a prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp Changi- Singapore. His experiences there led him to find out what kind of people the Japanese were and how they could be so cruel to their prisoners.
To some extent his books answer his question in a way that I thought would have surprised him - the Code of Bushido has no place for prisoners but there was honour and duty and 'a code' in the Japanese Army. The book itself is excellent and bu The Shogun novels were written by James Clavell who had been a prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp Changi- Singapore.
The book itself is excellent and builds the world of ancient Japan extremely well with memorable characters. I still remember the samurai who was so dangerous that even as he prepared himself for ritual death at his own hands seppuku , the ring or warriors kneeling around him gripped the handles of their swords tightly in case he attacked.
The rituals, manners and attitudes I assume were properly researched, they had a ring of authenticity about them. Well worth a read even 30 years on. View 2 comments. Oct 04, W rated it it was ok Shelves: library. Read long ago. Recreates the world of ancient Japan,but a bit too lengthy. Nov 15, Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma rated it it was amazing Shelves: war , politics , very-long , catholic , historical-fiction , cultural , adventure , book-i-would-buy-for-you , difficult-read , difficult-to-put-down.
I remember when I was still in school; there was a question which was occasionally being asked in our exams- Who colonized Kenya? Britain B. Portugal C. Spain D. France Yes, the British colonized Kenya. First they arrived like Missionaries. Their aim, to spread the word of God. They found our religion, if we had one, apathetic.
They wanted to shine the light into our dark hearts, clean us of our cultural filth. Salesmen will tell you that, all they need is to get a foot inside the door and they I remember when I was still in school; there was a question which was occasionally being asked in our exams- Who colonized Kenya? Salesmen will tell you that, all they need is to get a foot inside the door and they will sell you anything.
That was the work of the missionaries. Having established their feet inside the door, it took them no effort before they could have their full body inside.
After the missionaries, came the traders and then the colonialists. Within no tome, Kenya was declared a protectorate of the majesty, her highness the queen.
All land without any semblance of authority belonged to her. The natives were pushed into native camps. Our way of life and culture was eroded.
They termed it as backwards. They spread Christianity and some of our leaders were converted to Christianity. There was war, to those who dared to rebel.
Retrieved May 19, Metal Injection. January 30, Retrieved March 19, Revolver Magazine. Retrieved January 18, Retrieved October 9, Archived from the original on October 2, Retrieved October 8, Retrieved March 9, October 9, September 16, Retrieved September 17, Retrieved April 26, Retrieved October 20, Retrieved August 27,Shogun, Volumes 1 and 2 (set) [Clavell, James] on ceilivargeraftplan.quidwiddispinihungsofortwespasiteg.co *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Shogun, Volumes 1 and 2 (set)Reviews: 1.