by Don Winslow
3.8 22


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Satori by Don Winslow

First there was Bond.
Then there was Bourne.
Now comes Hel.

Nicholai Hel-a Westerner by birth but an Asian by upbringing-speaks seven languages, kills with a naked hand, and is a master of the world's most challenging game of strategy: Go. All this has made him a very dangerous man-an assassin who blends in anywhere, doesn't need weapons to kill his targets, and sees ten moves ahead.
Released from three years of honing his mental and physical skills in solitary confinement on the condition that he kill a high-ranking Soviet official in China, Hel must survive a suicide mission to save his own life and the beautiful French spy that he loves.
It's the height of the Cold War.
The game is lethal, the stakes enormous.
Nicholai Hel is on the board.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446561921
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 03/07/2011
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.04(h) x 1.55(d)

About the Author

DON WINSLOW was born in New York City but raised in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. His books include The Power of the Dog and The Life and Death of Bobby Z. In addition to his writing, Don has been an actor, director, movie theater manager, safari guide and private investigator. Don lives in the San Diego area with his wife, Jean, and son, Thomas. He invites you to visit him at his website

TREVANIAN's books have been translated into more than fourteen languages and have sold million of copies worldwide. In addition to Shibumi, Trevanian is the author of seven novels including The Eiger Sanction and The Loo Sanction.

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Satori 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Having really liked Don Winslow's novel Savages, I looked at Satori in awe, thinking that he must really revere the Trevanian's novel Shibumi. I expected Satori to be a masterpiece, a tribute to Shibumi. Well, I wasn't far off. It is a pretty good story, but then again, it is just a story, with its own faults, confusing plot twists, and multiple characters too many of whom to keep tract. The identification of The Cobra was a huge letdown for me. I did appreciate all of the double-dealing; the inability to know who is your friend and who is your enemy. In the end, I really liked the novel, but if I was asked to recommend just one Winslow novel, it would be Savages.
PainFrame More than 1 year ago
Who did this to you?  Trevanian’s novel Shibumi is one of my favorites. I’ve read it twice and am always astounded at the strength of the writing, the memorability of each scene and especially the engrossing main character, Nicholai Hel. I picked this book up off the library shelf because of its’ striking  design, but when I saw “A Novel Based on Trevanian’s Shibumi” I knew immediately what my next book would be. This story is a prequel to Shibumi and explores many ideas which were hinted at in that book. As a fan, it was a pleasure to discover how and why Nicholai Hel became such a fascinating character. The only problem this book has is trying to live up to its’ astounding predecessor. I don’t know why Trevanian himself never wrote a sequel, perhaps he intended to. Even Don Winslow, the author of Satori, admits trying to top the original to be a fools errand. But that doesn’t mean that he didn’t go ahead and write a great book anyway, and while it doesn’t best its’ source material it sure as hell earned a spot on my bookcase next to it.
bbb57 More than 1 year ago
If you loved Trevanian's Shibumi, you will love Satori. If you didn't love Trevanian's Shibumi, something is seriously wrong with you. Shibumi is one of the best spy books ever written, and Don Winslow's Satori is a perfect prequel to it. I loved very page of it. I even went back and read Shibumi again after Satori. What a ride!!!!!
Norge More than 1 year ago
Seemed very forced; forced to fill in the gaps left from Shibumi. The author did a good job of keeping with the original book's feel, but then it also carried flaws from the original book. The well developed character, supposedly a top notch assassin, never seemed to have been one at all. Rather, he was simply a sympathetic character surviving WWII, who ended up killing a bunch of people in unlikely circumstances, mostly cause by the CIA or Mother Company. Unfortunately, Trevanian imparted upon the original character, a political anti-American sentiment, and it carried through in this book as well. Very poor taste in my opinion. This book had some good original ideas and some nice metaphors and use of language. I did enjoy the intrigue and twists of how different political heavy hitters in different countries acted based on different motivations; some selfish and some altruistic.
Dm51 More than 1 year ago
Loved it, very close to the original storyline, would very much like Mr Winslow to continue the plot after Shibumi!!!
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harstan More than 1 year ago
The Americans have incarcerated twenty-something Nicholai Hel for over three years for assassinating his mentor. He is kept in solitary because his jailers fear his skills as an expert at the "naked kill" and his "proximity sense" of danger. In 1951, the CIA offers him a deal. He kills the Soviet Union's Commissioner to China Yuri Voroshenin in exchange for his freedom and an opportunity to enact vengeance against those who brutally assaulted him while he was in prison. Though he realizes this is a suicide mission and does not to trust the Americans to enforce the contract, he accepts the terms. Able to speak several languages, Hel receives some training on how a French arms dealer would live, and meets and is attracted to Solange. In his guise as Michel Guibert, he assassinates the Soviet official in Beijing. Trying to escape Mao's China leaves Hel betrayed, but he makes it to French occupied Vietnam, where war seems imminent. With an obvious nod to Trevanian's classic Shibumi, Don Winslow tells of the salad days of Hel with some insight into his heritage, almost three decades before he comes out of retirement. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with action, deaths, action, sex, and Go theory. A sort of rookie gunslinger James Bond, fans will enjoy this historical thriller, but never quite catches the tongue in cheek underlying humor of the original. Harriet Klausner