For those looking for the real story behind the fictionalized movie account of the 47 Ronin story, this is the definitive, fascinating account of this unforgettable tale of a band of samurai who defied the Emperor to avenge the disgrace and death of their master, and faced certain death as a result. It led to one of the bloodiest episodes in Japanese history, and in the process, created a new set of heroes in Japan.
In 1701, young Lord Asano is goaded into attacking a corrupt official at the Japanese Court. Although the wound Asano inflicts is minimal, the Emperor's punishment is harsh: Lord Asano is ordered to commit seppuku, or ritual suicide. His lands are confiscated and his family is dishonored and exiled. His samurai retainers now become ronin, or masterless, and are dispersed.
These ronin are not trusted by their enemies and live under the watchful eyes of spies for months. They appear to adapt to their new circumstances by becoming tradesmen and teachers. But the ronin only seem to accept their fate. They are in fact making careful plans for revenge, biding their time until the moment to strike is right! Their deeds became Japan's most celebrated example of bravery, cunning, and loyalty in an age when samurai were heroes, and honor was worth dying for.
John Allyn's masterful retelling of 47 Ronin has long been considered the definitive version of these dramatic historical events.
©2012 Original material, Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc. Recorded by arrangement with Tuttle Publishing. (P)2013 HighBridge Company
"Narrator David Shih expertly brings to life this ancient Japanese tale, based on real-life events. Through Shih's interpretation, the listener can hear the determination and even the occasional misgivings of the characters as they plot their revenge. Shih's performance of the noble warriors is flawless, as is his depiction of the women who work in the pleasure houses, but long for more." (AudioFile)
Instead of enjoying a classic revenge tale involving Ronin, I felt guilty the whole time for being a consumer of fiction and one of the masses who enjoyed the story. The author of the forward made me feel dirty for liking the book.
I'm a pragmatist & avid reader. I work full time+ so audiobooks = time to read. I'm an amateur author. I appreciate the art of writing.
I was not thrilled with the style of this book, was very text-book and lecture like rather than a story. This is an excellent tale and had/has so much room dramatization and riveting turns and twists of plot. And yet, the listen, though the narrator was quite good and did what he could with the text, was quite dry and uninteresting. Even though it wasn't very long I found myself having to "forge ahead" and "make" myself finish the story. It felt like sitting in a room listening to a news report the seemed like it would never end. Disappointing, could have been much better.
Far better than the movie which is based mostly on fantasy with just a few historical details. I have to confess my ignorance and say that I had never heard the story of the 47 Ronin. The ancient Japanese culture and the plot of the story made it a great read. You may or may not agree with the actions of the Ronin, or understand their culture, but there is a definite lesson in the historical story concerning honor and duty.
I do not want to create a spoiler, so I will just say that at the end of the story there is a tremendous display of duty. I do not fully understand the Japanese mindset of that day. However, that did not diminish the amazing sense of duty displayed by the Ronin in the end.
He is at times a little hard to understand - or at least he was for me.
Don't waste your time on the movie - listen to the book.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
I want to enjoy this book because of the historical account, but I just can't get into it. Because of the need to tie into actual historical events, it is too weighted with raw historical data and that imposes on the character development. Those inserts read like they are being read from Wikipedia. It just didn't work for me. Also, the narration was okay, but the recording wasn't. You often hear mouth noises and exhalations. Listen to the audio sample. I was able to follow on 1.5X speed. I hope this helps someone. If it helped you, click the YES button below. Later.
This a great non-European/American classic, which makes it rare in it's own right. The background at the beginning, which outlines the known historical facts that make up the framework of the story, enhances the work that follows. The narrator was a bit flat, and perhaps could have changed cadence more emphatically as the story required, but on the whole his narration was adequate.
While a great classic, on which many movies have been based, it is not a convoluted tale. It follows the line of Samurai master is ordered to commit suicide, and loyal followers eventually extract revenge. The more interesting aspect of the tale concerns the personalities and deceptions leading to the revenge attack. It also paints an interesting description of Japanese culture 300 years ago.
So, give this audio book a listen, especially if you are not familiar with the story through movies. You should find it worth your time.
David shih whats with the breathing louder then you speak?!'
Can't even hear the story through your breaths david
If I could hear it.....
How did this pass quality control
Coming into this story with only the synopsis to work with I thought this would be something I could really enjoy. Honestly, I felt like I was always waiting for something to happen. Even when something did happen it seemed subdued at best. Just as the characters in the story were exercising patience I kept telling myself patience...patience...something will happen. For me it never really did.
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