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Most Helpful Favorable Review
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
posted by 2390257 on April 11, 2014Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
Not a book I would recommend to a friend. I found many of the di
posted by Lilnnu8 on May 13, 2014Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2014
Sweeping Saga Chock Full of History, Romance, and Human Frailtie
Sweeping Saga Chock Full of History, Romance, and Human Frailties
I would like to thank NetGalley and Open Road Media for the chance to read this e-book in exchange for an honest review. Although I received it for free, that in no way impacts my opinions within this review.
<blockquote>"Totally absorbing...as gripping a tale of hatred and revenge as you will read...It is superb."
This is the story of Nicholas Linnear, half-Caucasian, half-Oriental, a man caught between East and West, between the sexual passions of a woman he can't forget and the one he can't control and between a past he can't escape and a destiny he can't avoid.
A sprawling erotic thriller that swings from postwar Japan to present-day New York in a relentless saga of violence and terror elaborately designed for the most savage vengeance of all...</blockquote>
This book was first published in 1980, so some of the references and language is a bit dated, yet in no way does that detract from the power of this tale. I should be upfront and say that I did not have particularly high expectations for this book as I am not a big fan of martial arts. I know just enough about martial arts to understand I really know nothing of them.Yet that is not important when reading this book, as you get an excellent education into the basic tenets, but without ever feeling a sense of information overload, for the explanations are shared throughout the course of this narrative.
The story is split into five 'books,' each of which is then divided between the past and present. This approach helps clarify the story for the reader, as well as neatly avoiding overuse of flashbacks. Mr. Van Lustbader has a talent for seamlessly moving between layers of history, from A.D. 792 all the way to the present day (presumably 1980). He demonstrates a deep understanding in the differences between Eastern and Western cultures, and how those differences shape their people. Given the vast history Eastern cultures have in comparison to the relatively recent history of Western cultures, it is understandable that the two often find each other incomprehensible. But of course there are those who can see both sides, and find their soul called to the other culture. So it was with Nicholas Linnear's father, the Colonel. He was in the Pacific Theater after Pearl Harbor, and found that he was completely and utterly drawn to Eastern culture and history. He was raised Jewish, a fact very few people were aware of, for he changed his surname once he realized that Jewish people could only advance so far within the English military structure. His father falls madly in love with Cheong, a young Japanese woman whose full ancestry is unknown. She is raised in a traditional Japanese household, but her parents suspected that she may be half Chinese.
The Colonel and Cheong marry out of love love, and from this marriage comes young Nicholas. It is clear, with all the different bloodlines that make up Nicholas heritage, just how divided he felt over time. Inheriting his father's occidental features, but being raised in the Japanese culture meant that he had a foot in both worlds, but never seemed to truly be accepted in either. He looked like a Westerner, but thought like an Easterner.
The relationships, with their similarities and contrasts between Eastern and Western mind sets, was fascinating to see. And many different experiences, both positive and negative, were used to educate the reader about the yin & yang of East and West. Though the story was clearly fictional, it was extremely well researched and felt authentic. The descriptions, the way things were defined, all helped set not just the tone, but also the pacing of the novel. Seeing the contrast between different time periods in Japanese history was beautiful, and made quite clear the author's reverence for the Japanese culture, and to a smaller extent the Chinese as well. Even the generational differences in how Nicholas and his peers viewed things versus how their elders (parents and grandparents) viewed them was informative. Of course the war was a polarizing event for all, but especially the Japanese, after the atrocities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. However even that was shown through multiple points of view, and Mr. Van Lustbader once again handled a very charged topic with delicacy and respect.
In the end the book comes back to the internal schism in a man with feet in two vastly different worlds, and his struggle to reconcile all the varying parts of his heritage. He tackles the challenges laid before him, eventually determining the threat and part of the cause. This situation actually helps him find his center again. Unfortunately he accepts a debt of honor which he feels obligated to pay, regardless of how difficult it may end up making his own life, thus leaving the story wide open for a sequel.
The arc of this story is well constructed, as are the characters. Mr. Van Lustbader handles the action scenes as deftly as he handles the emotional lives of the characters. The characters gain depth and dimension as the story progresses, pulling you into their lives, even when you don't necessarily care for the character. While Nicholas Linnear is the main protagonist, there are other, supporting protagonists and antagonists that all play their roles well. Many of them are a blend of protagonist and antagonist, which is parallel to real life. Given the mature sex scenes I would not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 18. Without a doubt this is a fascinating and entertaining read.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 3, 2013
I love this book! This book revolves around two cousins who are
I love this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This book revolves around two cousins who are also rivals. Obviously Nicolas Linnear is the good ninja. Plus, Nicolas falls in love with a beautiful but troubled young woman. This books goes to the past and back to the present. For those of you who don't mind the sex, this is a MUST READ! ! ! !
Posted October 7, 2001
This is to answer the question of one of the reviewers who asked why this novel has not been made into a movie. I asked myself the same question and after some resarch, found out that Richard Zanuck (producer of 'JAWS') and his partner bought the rights to it and they have yet to make the movie version.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2014
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