Shōgun PDF ↠ Hardcover


10 thoughts on “Shōgun

  1. Rob Rob says:

    So sorry, I am not worthy of the honor of reviewing this novel. If however, my Lord insists it, then I shall endeavor to offer up some humble thoughts regarding its mighty, even epic narrative. Neh? The scope is so vast, the characters and settings are so many, the head is liable to spin at times, so sorry. But the arc it follows is like a peregrine's path through the sky: long but fast and with vicious twists along what might otherwise have seemed a predictable path. I'm sure my Lord would agree that parts of the story can become quite tedious. I am not speaking of the slow-to-develop romance between Mariko and the Anjin-san nor even of the dueling political machinations of Toranaga and Ishido. No, Sire. This humble vassal speaks more to the text and how Japanese is interwoven with the barbarian words in so many places. And then how barbarian words come even to replace Japanese! Or barbarian words standing in for the words of other barbarian tongues! If you'll excuse this vassal's petulant tongue, Sire, it's enough to make one fart dust, so sorry. But these tedious affectations do blend in after a while, neh? and the narrative is quite the enjoyable one — full of so much intrigue and humor. A rousing and enjoyable tale of which I am not worthy to comment further. Please, I cannot live with this shame. Please allow me to commit seppuku at once.


  2. Manny Manny says:

    Japanese people tell me that it's all nonsense: samurai were not in fact ready to commit seppuku at the slightest provocation. They had a strong sense of honor, but were also interested in staying alive. Well, fancy that. Though I'm embarrassed to admit that I believed it when I read the book.

    I wish a Japanese author would return the compliment, and write a similarly bogus historical blockbuster about a Japanese hero visiting Europe during the late 16th century and helping Queen Elizabeth I sort out the Spanish Armada, or whatever. If it already exists, someone needs to translate it!


  3. Julio Genao Julio Genao says:

    As a picture of Japanese history it suffers from what another reviewer hilariously called (I paraphrase, here) our round-eyed western mythologized POV.

    Which, okay—it was written in the 70's, after all.

    But as a story? OMFG what a fucking story.

    I fell into this book as a teenager and didn't come back out until I'd read 600,000 words and had a conversational grasp of transliterated Japanese.

    Three days. Three days of bliss.

    I dare you to read this and not—at the earliest opportunity—call someone a gaijin in pitying tones.

    *bows stiffly*


  4. Fiona Fiona says:

    I have had this book for quite some time in my collection, probably over five years in fact and it wasn't until recently I picked it up, due to a good friend here on GoodReads who prized it as a favourite book.

    Strangely, I'd say that I have no real interest in Japan despite having read Memoirs of a Geisha and Tales of the Otori both which are set in Japan or Japanese based. I think Shogun has brought me out of the closet in that respect and I'm very interested now in reading more fiction set in Japan and perhaps also some non-fiction. I can see the appeal for many people who become obsessed with this side of the world.

    I thought it was a beautifully written book, though at the beginning I thought perhaps the necessary explanations of Japanese things to be a bit heavy handed at times. However it has an addictive quality - the story never stops, the characters are interesting and unpredictable. They say one thing and mean another, always plotting and planning and you can never be sure what will happen in the next few pages.

    The love story between Blackthorne and Mariko is one of the most beautiful, and best written love stories I have ever read. So beautiful, so true and so real that even now thinking of it, I feel personally touched.

    The characters are so real they live in you. It is a story that exists not within the pages but somewhere in that world between book and soul.

    I am so glad I read this.

    Edited to Say: Whenever I listen to the soundtracks of Memoirs of a Geisha or The Last Samurai I think of Shogun now, as I read it to that music. I am listening to it right now and I feel such longing to be reading this for the first time over again. It is strange how music and books and smells and other senses effect your memories.


  5. Hasham Rasool Hasham Rasool says:

    The Asian Saga: the bestselling novel of feudal Japan.

    Oh my! What an awesome book Alhamdulillah! I would massively recommend anyone who likes to read historical fiction or samurai books to read this book. Insha'Allah.

    I find it very fascinating to see and learn about the culture of Japanese in the book.

    James Clavell was one of the great authors.

    My favourite characters are John Blackthorne and Lord Toranaga.

    'Shogun' is one of my favourite books. I love this book so much Alhamdulillah!

    I would like to read James Clavell's books. Insha'Allah.

    James Clavell, the son of a Royal Navy family, was educated in Portsmouth before as a young artillery officer, he was captured by the Japanese at the Fall of Singapore. He spent the rest of World War II in the infamous Changi that his bestselling novel 'King Rat' was based. The interest in Asia, its people and culture continued with 'Tai-Pan, a tale of Canton and Hong Kong in mid-19th century and the founding of an Anglo-Chinese trading company, Struan's. This was followed by the classic 'Shogun', the story of Japan during the period when Europe began to make an impact on the island people of the Rising Sun. 'Noble House', the fourth novel in the Asian Saga published in 1981, continued the story of Struan's the Hong Kong trading company, as the winds of change blew through the Far East. 'Whirlwind', set in Iran continued the saga. His last novel 'Gai-Jin', is set in Japan in 1862, when the-Tai Pan of the Noble House seeks to profit from the decline of the Shogunate.

    James Clavell lived for many years in Vancouver and Los Angeles, before settling in Switzerland, where he died in 1994.


  6. Sophie Sophie says:

    Yes. I read 1,152 pages of a book I liked less and less as the pages went by. I could have given this 3 stars, maybe, but I was so unsatisfied with it all that I can't do it.

    It isn't even that it was unreadable - considering its size, it was a fast read, even though I had to use some special motivational tricks in the end when I just wanted to get it over with. The main problem was that there wasn't a single character I really liked, and god, I hate Blackthorne from the bottom of my very soul. It's been a while since a fictional character irritated me as much as he did. I should have known when one of the first things we learn about him was that he has a huge cock. Ah, I don't know, I'm being a bit unfair, maybe, but really.

    I think - apart from the permanent POV switches and the weirdly transcribed Japanese (and sometimes just plain wrong Japanese - correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt that konbanwa ever was used as a morning greeting)- what annoyed me most that I spent 1,000 pages reading in anticipation of a battle only to realize at page 1,000 that there probably wasn't going to be one. I just thought there'd be more about the actual Torunaga-becoming-Shogun or whatever, although all the planning and intrigues were somewhat interesting. I also suspect my main problem with the book was its length - the things I found annoying maybe wouldn't have been as annoying if there had only been 500 pages of them. And to be fair, it may have suffered a bit in comparison to Bring up the bodies, one of the most remarkable and well-written historical novels I've read. (And the latter is written from a single POV, which is much more interesting, in my opinion. Oh, it's not that multiple POVs are bad, but is it really necessary to the include five sentences from the POV of a Japanese captain we'll never see again just to underscore how awesome Blackthorne is? And is it necessary to repeat the part about his cock again and again?)

    In the end, if I could turn back time two weeks I'd tell myself not to bother. The only really memorable scene for me is the one where Mariko talks to him about pillowing (a word that had me gnashing my teeth after the 200th time it was used - almost as badly as thee). First, she suggests he sleep with one or three of the servant ladies in the room, then she suggests a boy. He goes apeshit at that suggestion, and then one of the samurai in the room suggests Mariko ask him whether he'd prefer a duck or a sheep. She doesn't, of course, but even after the fight settles down, the samurai again suggest they could get a duck, just set in the room and see. I think that guy was my favourite character.


  7. Mr. Person Mr. Person says:

    This is the Clavell novel that most people have read -- which is too bad, because in many ways, it is not his best.

    Which is not to say it's not very good -- it is. It's amazing. It's... well, just ask anyone who's read it -- you'll not find someone who didn't like it. But the historical anthropology of the book isn't as well integrated into the narrative as it is in, say, Whirlwind or Noble House.

    That being said, this is a remarkable work -- it is perhaps the most sweeping of Clavell's epics, in that it covers greater distance and time than his other books do. And, despite the fact that the cultural anthropology isn't seamlessly welded to the plot, it is certainly always engaging -- and one of the most rewarding parts about reading the book.

    It is also remarkable what Clavell the person has done with this work. Having learned to hate the Japanese at Changi (a WWII POW camp in Malaysia), Clavell set out at the end of the war to try and understand them, and to uncover the cultural roots that would birth the place that gave him rebirth. In Shogun, Clavell has stared into the shadowy face of the other, and met it with empathy and understanding. And, ultimately, love.


  8. William William says:

    .
    This is The One

    My favourite book of all time. The one that transported me far away and long ago. The one that made our world cease to exist. The one that I read every spare minute of every day, even in elevators; a half page now and then. And when I was within 300 pages of the end, I stayed up all night and the morning to finish.

    I became Anjin-san in the magical world of feudal Japan.

    Ten years later in 1985 I read it again. Magic, power, intrigue, JAPAN. I'm about due now, to read it again.

    A complete and unflawed, Ten-Star Masterpiece.

    The ONE book by Clavell you MUST READ


  9. Lyn Lyn says:

    Back in 1980 there was a TV miniseries about this book starring Richard Chamberlain. I was a kid but recalled watching it and enjoying watching the samurai with their katanas and the alien culture described. Clavell’s book was first published in 1975 and this seemed to have sparked a resurgence of interest in Japanese culture, highlighted by John Belushi’s samurai character on Saturday Night Live.

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    Anyway.

    James Clavell’s landmark masterpiece about English sailor John Blackthorne, called Anjin-san in the book, and of his immersion in and adoption of Japanese culture remains a formidable accomplishment today. Like War and Peace, this massive tome (1100 page plus size) seems to have it all: metaphor, allegory, historical narrative, social, economic and cultural commentary, philosophy; and exploring themes of religion, gender roles, family, duty, honor, courage – and all within the rubric of a dichotomy between east and west represented by Blackthorne’s 1600 landfall on the coast of Japan.

    To be sure, this comparison and contrast between the two divergent societies is what holds this rambling behemoth together. When Blackthorne arrives there is already a generations old Western presence in the guise of Portuguese sailors and Jesuit priests. Many Japanese have converted to Catholicism, but conflicts with their own way of thinking is also a ubiquitous element in this enthralling work.

    Clavell’s writing, though sometimes long winded to say the least, is inspired, well researched and captivating. Also notable is his dialogue and characterization which is superb. Another noteworthy aspect of this book is the role of communication and the vital role translations – Japanese, Portuguese, Latin, Dutch and English – have in the plot. Blackthorne makes great efforts to understand and be understood and this has much to do with his transcendency and the dynamic nature of his role in the story.

    While Clavell populates his novel with literally dozens and dozens of colorful players, three central protagonists stand out.

    John Blackthorne / Anjin-san. A pilot and navigator from England, working on a Dutch vessel, his seamanship and oceanographic knowledge makes him and invaluable captive for the Japanese. His heroism and loyalty, and his easy conversion to Japanese ways, makes him a principal figure in the story. Blackthorne is the western guide to Japan, his introduction provides the same to western readers.

    Lady Mariko. A Christian convert, but also a samurai (yes, women can be) she befriends Blackthorne and is also loyal to Toranaga. Her inner conflicts about the distinctions between what is demanded from her faith and what was required by her station makes her one of the most compelling characters, but it is her steadfast courage that makes her a great character. Her defiance of Ishido (the central antagonist) and the resulting battle is one of the most memorable scenes in the book.

    Toranaga. The most important character, he is the eponymous Shogun, and it is his patronage that allows Blathorne to live and thrive. It is Toranaga’s masterful intrigues that form the basis for most of the narrative and we see that his is the hand that guides much of the action.

    Christianity – Catholicism and Protestant. The Japanese are surprised to learn that the Portuguese and Spanish priests are not the only Christians in the world. The Protestant English and Dutch animosity with Catholic Spain and Portugal further complicates the group dynamics and makes a more intriguing fecundity of opportunity for Clavell to develop such a hypnotic story.

    East vs West – Japan and the bushido culture. One commentator on this book stated that it was one of the most effective depictions of cross-cultural encounters ever written. Clavell has achieved not just an epic novel of feudal Japan, but more importantly and impressively, has crafted an exhaustive comparison of the two civilizations.

    Cleanliness. A pervasive element of the book was the difference in hygiene between the two societies. I’ve frequently watched some film about medieval life in Europe and thought, “what did they smell like?” Pretty bad if we can believe Blackthorne as a comparative observer and a convert to hot baths and clean living. Europe at that time was described as ignorant and filthy and I think Clavell did good to highlight this contrast.

    Seppuku. A frequent criticism of the book from Japanese readers is Clavell’s over utilization of the bushido way of honorable self-sacrifice. That’s fair, it seemed like every few pages some character could not live with dishonor and asked permission to commit seppuku. How death, and conversely life, was valued between the two belief systems was also a theme Clavell explored and was a crucial element in the narrative.

    Wildly successful, Clavell later stated that the book made him. Besides the miniseries, there was also a Broadway play and several computer games. The success also no doubt assisted in sales for his other books and allowed Clavell to produce his Asian saga.

    An excellent book.

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  10. Yona Yona says:

    I'll sum up my review here in the combined edition.

    It's more than 1200 pages long and it's not long enough. This book can be described with only one word - amazing. The first page sucks you in and keep you in the edge till the end. You never know what will happen next and what awaits in the next corner.

    Shogun showed me a new side of the world, it changed my views on many things, and made me understand just as many things.

    I had one more page till the end and I had no idea what will happen, the end was something I didn't expect but in the same time perfect. And i wanted to read more and more and more.

    The writing style is amazing. You can feel the waves, smell the salty waters, feel the emotions. I felt myself smiling in places where in other books I would be crying.

    This will be a book I will be rereading many many times and I know I will love it more with every rereading and I will be learning something new. And the story will stay with me forever. And I will be going to bed tonight with a smile on my face, thinking about this amazing masterpiece.

    I recommend this book to everyone.


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Shōgun ❰PDF / Epub❯ ★ Shōgun Author James Clavell – Thomashillier.co.uk A bold English adventurer An invincible Japanese warlord A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life All brought together in an extraordinary saga aflame with passion, conflict, ambition, and the A bold English adventurer An invincible Japanese warlord A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life All brought together in an extraordinary saga aflame with passion, conflict, ambition, and the struggle for powerHere is the worldfamous novel of Japan that is the earliest book in James Clavell’s masterly Asian saga Set in the year , it tells the story of a bold English pilot whose ship was blown ashore in Japan, where he encountered two people who were to change his life: a warlord with his own quest for power, and a beautiful interpreter torn between two ways of life and two ways of love The principal figures are John Blackthorne, whose dream it is to be the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, to wrest control of the trade between Japan and China from Portuguese, and to return home a man of wealth and position; Toranaga, the most powerful feudal lord in Japan, who strives and schemes to seize ultimate power by becoming Shogun—the Supreme Military Dictator—and to unite the warring samurai fiefdoms under his own masterly and farsighted leadership; and the Lady Mariko, a Catholic convert whose conflicting loyalties to the Church and her country are compounded when she falls in love with Blackthorne, the barbarian intruder In dramatizing how a Westerner, the representative man of his time, comes to be altered by his exposure to an alien culture, Mr Clavell provides a spellbinding depiction of a nation seething with violence and intrigue as it moves from the medieval world to the modern.

    Free Unlimited eBook blown ashore in Japan, where he encountered two people who were to change his life: a warlord with his own quest for power, and a beautiful interpreter torn between two ways of life and two ways of love The principal figures are John Blackthorne, whose dream it is to be the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, to wrest control of the trade between Japan and China from Portuguese, and to return home a man of wealth and position; Toranaga, the most powerful feudal lord in Japan, who strives and schemes to seize ultimate power by becoming Shogun—the Supreme Military Dictator—and to unite the warring samurai fiefdoms under his own masterly and farsighted leadership; and the Lady Mariko, a Catholic convert whose conflicting loyalties to the Church and her country are compounded when she falls in love with Blackthorne, the barbarian intruder In dramatizing how a Westerner, the representative man of his time, comes to be altered by his exposure to an alien culture, Mr Clavell provides a spellbinding depiction of a nation seething with violence and intrigue as it moves from the medieval world to the modern."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 803 pages
  • Shōgun
  • James Clavell
  • English
  • 10 April 2018
  • 9780689105654