by James Clavell

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"Only by living at the edge of death can you understand the indescribable joy of life."

After Englishman John Blackthorne is lost at sea, he awakens in a place few Europeans know of and even fewer have seen--Nippon. Thrust into the closed society that is late sixteenth-century Japan, a land where the line between life and death is razor-thin, Blackthorne must negotiate not only a foreign people, with unknown customs and language, but also his own definitions of morality, truth, and freedom. As internal political strife and a clash of cultures lead to seemingly inevitable conflict, Blackthorne's loyalty and strength of character are tested by both passion and loss, and he is torn between two worlds that will each be forever changed.

Powerful and engrossing, capturing both the rich pageantry and stark realities of life in feudal Japan, Shōgun is a critically acclaimed powerhouse of a book. Heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat action melds seamlessly with intricate historical detail and raw human emotion. Endlessly compelling, this sweeping saga captivated the world to become not only one of the bestselling novels of all time but also one of the highest-rated television miniseries, as well as inspiring a nationwide surge of interest in the culture of Japan. Shakespearean in both scope and depth, Shōgun is, as the New York Times put it, "...not only something you read--you live it." Provocative, absorbing, and endlessly fascinating, there is only one: Shōgun.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161853979
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Series: The Asian Saga , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 10,837
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

James Clavell (1921–1994) was a novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war. He is best known for his epic Asian Saga series of novels and their televised adaptations, along with screenplays for such films as The Great Escape, The Fly, and To Sir, with Love. His books Noble House and Whirlwind were #1 New York Times bestsellers.

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Shogun 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 385 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite novel of all time. Complex, intriguing, full of highly-developed characters and multiple subplots all intertwined. I never want it to end. The reason I am writing this review, however, is to blast the inept editor and publisher of the eBook version. I purchased this book the very first day I got my Nook, and have been reading it steadily since. I should say that I've been SUFFERING through it. It is replete with misspelled words, some of which are complete gibberish. In some cases, entire sections of text have been moved, thus breaking the narrative completely. The publisher of this abortion should refund the money of everyone who made the mistake of downloading the eBook, and then either fix the damned thing or else pass it off to someone who will do this great book the simple justice of publishing it CORRECTLY. Yes, I recognize the irony in my complaining about misspelled words in a post likely containing many of my own, but I'm not asking anyone to pay me to perform a professional service. The blockheads who published SHOGUN without having even read it WERE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to read this book, but I almost didn't buy the ebook version of it based on all of the reviews on here saying that it's so riddled with typos that it's unreadable. I was pretty bummed, and I was upset that they would release an ebook in such an unreadable state, so I decided to call customer service and give them a piece of my mind! They told me that they have a proof-reading team, and that every time they get a complaint about one of their ebooks they proof-read it and fix it, so she said that this book is likely fixed by now. I purchased it, and am now 100 pages in and haven't seen a single typo yet! I almost let all of these negative reviews scare me off, but I am glad I didn't.
Genghis_Sean More than 1 year ago
I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is possibly the best book I've ever read. Not every book Clavell has written is great, but with Shogun and Taipan, he was not far off perfection. The novel first drew my attention when my parents were watching the miniseries back in 1980. Though only a kid myself, I was permitted to watch it along with them and found it fascinating. It took me two months, but I first read the 1200 page book as a sixth grader and have reread it every two years since. Shogun is the story of an Englishman shipwrecked on the shores of feudal Japan. John Blackthorne lands full of European and Christian prejudices and is bewildered by the alien culture he encounters, where peasants aren't given names and samurai ritually disembowel themselves when they fail their lords. He lands in the province of Yoshi Toronaga Minowara, a general who has warred for 30 years without ever losing a battle. It is not long before he is swept up in the politics of the country, a great chess game for power wherein his ship and the guns it bears become a piece in the game. The emperor died a decade earlier leaving his child son behind. Before dying, he appointed a Council of Regents headed by Toronaga to keep the peace following his death until young Yaemon comes of age. However, the council has begun to fracture as many fear Toronaga, who has never known defeat. They believe he intends to undermine the council, seize power for himself, and become Shogun, the sole military ruler of all Japan. Replete with samurai and courtesans, war and assassination, ninja and espionage, politics and maneuver for power, it's a must-read, particularly for those who love historical fiction. I've never in my life read a better book.
G_Sproul More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books and was my first purchase on my new Nook. Unfortunately, the electronic edition is quite poor. There are a great many formatting errors and typos.
illmunkeys More than 1 year ago
B&Ns was supplied with a terribly edited version of this novel. In the first 100 pages, there was some sort of scanning error on every page. An 'I' is often a 'T'. An apostrophe is often replaced by an 'I'. Punctuation is missing or placed incorrectly. Separate paragraphs of dialogue often run together. The book was entertaining but the quality of this text reminded me of a bad Google Book scan. I actually couldn't get through this version.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is oneof the best books I've ever read. However this ebook version is awful. I think BN used a bad OCR(optical recognition) scan. This is riddled with errors like sh?gun for shogun and Tokaid for Tokaido. I wish BN would fix the errors because it is virtually unreadable otherwise. You are better served borrowing the physical book from your library or buying the paperback.
Mildred More than 1 year ago
The book is good. Unfortunately, I found several typos in the eBook version, apparently the result of optically-scanned pages (like 'bom' instead of 'born' - page 720; 'mshing' instead of 'rushing' - page 726; etc). After recording an average of one error per page, I had to switch back to the paper book. I would appreciate a revised PROOF-READ version of this book. As it is, I'm going to try to get my money back for it. I recommend ... the Paperback version.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm re-reading this, having read it back when I was in high school. Clavell does a great job at immersing the reader into the book's setting. You really identify with Blackthorne, the quintessential stranger in a strange land where political intrigue, romance, eastern philosophy, war and death all intertwine. A must read.
pandabear129 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I picked it up based off the high ratings. It is a long read and will at times seem to go slow, but there was nothing about it I would want changed. All the characters kept you interested and wanting to learn more! Loved it and cannot wait to read another of James Clavell's books!
Wynn More than 1 year ago
I bought ebook - the word "shogun" is spelled "sh?gun" throughout the book.. it is very annoying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shogun, written by James Clavell, was written in 1975. It follows the adventures of a European stranded in feudal Japan. The main character is John Blackthorn, pilot of a fleet that is shipwrecked along the coast of Japan. The novel is filled with historical information, and is perseptive. It revolves around many actual events that occurred during the Middle Ages. Not only is Shogun about history, however, it is a tale of friendship, loyalty, love, and war. Blackthorn, during his stay in Japan, learns a lot about life in Japan during this time. He learns about Japanese culture. He learns that the Japanese people highly value repect, honor, as well as how they viewed other cultures. It is discussed in the novel that Japanese during this time saw Europeans as barbarians, because of their conduct and blunt language. Shogun also follows a huge historical event of the time. This is the Western Schism. During the 1600's, there was great confict inside the Christian church, as well as conflict between the Christian church and other churches. This is shown through the Jesuit priest at the beginaning of the novel, as well as through the fighting of the daimyos. At the end, Blackthorn is finally respected by the Japanese people, and he shares their view of Europeans. This book is a great read for people looking for historical knowledge. However, I would not necessarily reccomend it to someone looking for a novel to cuddle up with. It's slow-moving and hard to get interested in. If you have interest in the Middle Ages, however, this is the book for you. Shogun is interesting, and action-packed. It teaches readers a lot about Japan, and Japanese politics and culture. Not only that, but is also teaches about people in general, and how cultures see each other.
WK54 More than 1 year ago
An epic novel by every definition. On a par with Follet's 'Pillars of the Earth' in terms of scope, and his 'Eye of the Needle' in terms of suspense. Clavell's 'Shogun' and his earlier 'Tai Pan' are studies of Eastern culture through Western eyes with admiration and a studied attention to detail, a translation if you will, that is at once masterful and uncanny in its breadth and insight. It was easy to travel back in time reading this under-appreciated and under-celebrated treasure. Any lover of book-reading,good story and superb writing craftsmanship will be totally adsorbed by this, Clavell's finest novel.
Gwyn More than 1 year ago
This book was one my mom suggested to me in high school. I was skeptical at first, mostly because of the size, but once I got past the beginning (which was somewhat slow and creepy to me at the time), I was hooked. I reread this book once a year for several years after I first read it. Despite the size of the book (over a thousand pages with somewhat small print), I reached the end of the book and wished that it would continue on for another thousand pages! My only advice for anyone who is new to this book is to be careful to get past the first part of the book. It is slow at times, and it is very creepy at times, but it really starts to pick up after the first chunk of the book. I almost didn't keep reading, but I am glad I kept going. I would suggest this book for most people because it has multiple story lines and multiple themes. Each time I read the book I find myself focusing on different story lines that I hadn't noticed the first time around.
fordmandalay More than 1 year ago
I just want to warn those who are thinking of buying the EBook version - it's a horrible mess. Apparently no-one checked the transcription, because every page has dozens of mis-spellings, paragraphs moved out of order, even whole pages set out of order throughout the book. I'm going to contact B&N and demand a refund, it's almost unreadable.
Kylar More than 1 year ago
The plot of this novel was not entirely original, but it was well written. The characters were interesting and involving. By the end of the first 100 pages, i had a clear image of exactly what the author wanted me to feel towards each persona. unfortunately, a little research has lead me to believe that much of the culture and behavior presented in this book is false. It is sort of connected, but it has been exaggerated way out of proportion.

Sources also seem to indicate that this novel was simply a revision of the actual Japanese events, twisted way out of proportion and given a dramatic twist or two. As far as historical, grammatical, and cultural references go, this book can not be held in high esteem. As a work of fiction in itself, it is seductively addicting. I recommend this book to any avid reader of Historical Fiction. Just don't assume that what your reading is academically correct. Of course, if you were an avid reader of said genre, then you should know not to commit everything you read to memory, if anything. To sum it all up, Historical-C, Fiction A++.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rarely put this read to rest; reading it non-stop day and night, at home , work, in the driveway and in bed and also at the dinner table. The intricacies of political strategy likened to chess; the characters be they major, minor or seemingly insignificant all serving with significant purpose. I enjoyed the humor, the banter, gained insight on what was the historical, cultural, economical, spiritual, traditional and future influences that the role of each country being represented within posed everlasting. Read this book, you'll not be sorry.
Readers_Choice More than 1 year ago
James Clavell's first in a series of Asian Saga novels is set in 17th century Japan. Clavell allows the reader to become engrossed in early Japanese tradition well beyond mere cultural themes. A love story embedded within a civil war setting, Shogun will mesmerize the reader with historical persepective, an in-depth look at Japanese customs, and of course, the impact and influence of the samurai in this island nation. A must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good! I read it and, several years later, decided to re-read it and continue reading the series. I plan on reading it again!
CobaltDragon More than 1 year ago
This is a literary classic and a must read.
9441NorthDakota More than 1 year ago
I think everybody who read this book would agree its a masterpiece.It is a captivating novel that takes you to a different time and place.Even though it was long,I wished it would never end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is really good. I just cant put it down. Love the graphic pictures it paints in your mind. I love how ther is almost a climax on every page as well as a new character being introduced. Stay organised. Reading for Advanced L.A. and will easily reach my goal with this book. The pages fly when you are having fun. The characters seem so far apart in terms of humans, but when you breach the language barrier with this book you get the sense that they are not so different after all. Keep Reading Read it please. It's so good. Some adult material. Check with parents befor reading. Enjoy the epic novel of adventure, culture, and love.
Anonymous 4 months ago
This current reading of Shogun will be my 3rd reading of this wonderful book and author. Usually, I cannot get beyond 2/3 chapters, but I read every single page. So needless to say enjoyed it immensely. Then went on Noble House and King Rat. Big Fan of James Clavel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Based on real persons and events, this is an absorbing story of political intrigue, forbidden love and a clash of cultures that's hard to put down. Well worth the time.
Piratenin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Shogun massively. It was a book that once I started to read I couldn't put it down, and for such an epic novel, this struck me as impressive. I never felt that plot lagged, it was quick paced and thoughtful, dealing well with a clash of powerful cultures. I enjoyed reading about all of the characters, and felt that they all developed in an interesting and believable way throughout the novel. It was a wonderful story, and although I am not sure how historically accurate it is, it has made me want to know more about Japanese history. All in all the novel captures a feeling of wonder and repusion from both sides discovering each others cultures and this is what makes it an excellent story.
delphica on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My reading of this book came out of a conversation about ... it's hard to describe, books that are famous and well-known, but you're not of the right age to have read them. It was a bestseller when I was a little kid, and a mini-series when I was a slightly older kid, but I was not the kind of kid who was going to watch Shogun; I was too busy listening to Shawn Cassidy records, I'm sure (although I remember it being on TV when my parents watched it). And then after that, it's not the kind of novel that would have been assigned in school, so really, never came across it. Ah, and I think the conversation was somewhat based on this column that used to occasionally be in the Washington Post (I think), about bestsellers that were HUGE in their day but mostly forgotten now. Anyway, so I read Shogun.It is QUITE the page-turner, that is for sure. It is maybe a little goofy with the main dude being super good at everything so he's able to be a European who finds himself in Japan, and after proving how manly he is about twenty times, proceeds to rock the house as a samurai. And it was the 1970s, so it's made very clear, in case you were worried, that one of his many manly qualities is that he's WELL-ENDOWED. So let's see, it's 1600, English sailor dude finds himself shipwrecked in Japan, where he eventually gets all involved with a political/military power struggle and in the process, goes from thinking the Japanese are crazy uncivilized foreigners to embracing many aspects of Japanese culture. And there is a love story, and some boom-chicka-wow-wow scenes with courtesans that seem cute-if-awkward now, but were probably steamier when the book came out. It was very riveting, and I cried at the sad parts.The other funny things is that there are a number of bits that seemed, well, unnecessary at the very least, like describing a mysterious robe in great detail and then explaining it's called a KIMONO. And now, one's reaction is along the lines of "uh yeah, we know what a kimono is, this isn't exactly esoteric knowledge." But then I would realize that one of the main reasons the average American already knows what a kimono is is BECAUSE of this book (and later mini-series), it really had that much of a impact on American interest in traditional Japanese culture.