Shogun - James Clavell


By James Clavell

  • Release Date: 1983-04-01
  • Genre: Historical
Our rating: 5/5 stars

4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 627 Ratings)

Read Shogun by James Clavell book description and reviews

Shogun James Clavell

A bold English adventurer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love. All brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power.

Here is the world-famous novel of Japan that is the earliest book in James Clavell’s masterly Asian saga. Set in the year 1600, 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.

Praise for Shogun

“I can’t remember when a novel has seized my mind like this one. . . . It’s not only something you read—you live it.”New York Times Book Review
“Adventure and action, the suspense of danger, shocking touching human relationships . . . a climactic human story.”Los Angeles Times
“A tale surging with action, intrigue and love . . . a huge cast . . . vast and dramatic . . . stunning . . . savage . . . beautiful . . . an extraordinary performance.”Publishers Weekly
“Exciting, totally prepared for late nights, meals unlasting, buisness unattended.”Philadelphia Inquirer

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  • Shogun

    By Schmedog
    Clavell transports you to a land, culture and time almost impossible to be imagined by a Westerner. You are completely immersed- can smell the aromas of flowers, feel the salt air on your skin, taste the fish and soups. Most of all, you are woven into the tapestry of the characters as if you are one of them. Clavell is a master storyteller. And Shogun his masterpiece.
  • Enlightening, entertaining, absorbing, suspenseful, thrilling

    By IKE_LEE
    How does a person describe the absolute genius and artistry of this author. It is difficult so I am left to describe The enjoyment I received from this book by simply saying: Do your self a favor and read this book!
  • An Absolute Masterpiece!

    By MagiSci
    Shogun is a dazzling novel of staggering vastness! With its epic story, exquisite characters and the rare and unique ability (of the storytelling) to ignite your inner cinema, it is nearly unmatched in the field of historical fiction. This is the masterwork of a writer at the absolute height of his creative powers. I first read Shogun in the early 1980s and have read it at least once every two or three years ever since. In fact Shogun started my love of Japan/Japanese culture. It is a constant companion and one of the novels in my desert island collection. My highest recommendation!!!!
  • Love!

    By SarahAshleyEmerson
    What a wonderful book of adventure, yet strategy dominated. I really enjoyed this book! And the love story it held.
  • Top 10 of all time

    By Rmen555
    This book is by far on the Thompson both well depot in on mobile James first novel but it is one of the best the book is so well-written what awesome detail you almost feel like you're actually there, Just by reading his book you get to understand no only the Japanese customs and lezbo but also to get to see inside the Japanese soul. But to sum it up simply awesome
  • A good read for once a decade

    By Furutan1
    Shögun is a bit wordy at times and it's sometimes hard to keep all the names straight. I'm not sure how true this is to the culture but the author certainly makes the effort. There are a couple of times when he makes a continuity error and did not bother with revising it , but this is not a big deal. It is interesting that the story evolves from being about one character into being about another. Intentionally or otherwise, this can be interpreted as a subliminal theme supporting the complex and extremely intelligent manipulations of the Daimo. It is almost if the entire book is a complex daydream that becomes, through force of will, a prophecy of things that will become a reality. It was made into a great miniseries starring Michael Constantine. There's no doubt that it is a seventies-vintage miniseries but it has held up well enough over the decades. I first read this book thirty years ago. Give me another decade and I'll read it again. ____________ Note — It is so much easier to read on a big screen TV via my AppleTV, streaming if from an iPhone resting on the arm of the recliner and turning the pages with a swipe. I'm much enjoying the progress of technology over the past 30 years.
  • Interesting but long-winded

    By Moulinoski
    It's an interesting historical novel. It's supposed to represent a period in Japanese history, but the names are all different. I guess someone has a copyright on historical Japanese figures. Also, the Japanese used here is, aside from being Romaji, is also inaccurate at times. There are many things that are just incredibly long winded. The author dwells on many things for pages on end. Still, it's a good read. It's got generals and battles and samurai.
  • Sho me more!

    By Slothrapist
    Haven’t read this book inalmost seventeen year; second time was a charm. A bit anticlimactic…. was geared up for a magnificent endgame, was left with a two paragraph italic epilogue. Easily could have seen this as a trilogy with this book making up two of three, followed by some resolute material. Invested way too much time to be left with a soft core ending when I was geared up for a masterful money-shot.
  • Amazingly well written

    By Bob W Long
    I have read this 5 times. I Love this book.
  • Great

    By Jacobi88
    I first read this book when I was 15, I have read it numerous times since and knew I needed to have it for my iPad. It's that good!

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