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Gai-Jin Audiobook

Gai-Jin: The Epic Novel of the Birth of Modern Japan

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Publisher's Summary

The heir to the magnificent English trading company, the Noble House; the direct descendant of the first Toranaga Shōgun, battling to usher his country into the modern age; a beautiful young Frenchwoman forever torn between ambition and desire - their lives intertwine in an exotic land newly open to foreigners, gai-jin, and torn apart by greed, idealism, and terrorism. Their passions mingle with monarchs and diplomats, assassins, courtesans, and spies. Their fates collide in James Clavell's masterpiece set in 19th-century Japan - an unforgettable epic seething with betrayal and secrets, brutality and heroism, love and forbidden passions.

©2015 James Clavell (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    J.B. 07-09-16
    J.B. 07-09-16
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    "Reader John Lee is Perfect but not Enough"

    Gai-Jin: The Epic Novel of the Birth of Modern Japan, Written by: James Clavell, and Narrated by: John Lee. I have long been a James Clavell admirer. I believe King Rat, and Shogun are engaging stories that make you a smarter human being. Tai Pan and Nobel house are cross cultural novels that make learning another value system and getting involved in either swashbuckling or business stories, fun. So when Audible decided to publish the “Asian” series, which is simply a compendium of this works, I thought I would listen to my prior reads and catch up on the ones I have yet to experience. I strongly recommend the above Clavell novels. As for Gai-Jin:

    Gai-Jin is about 50 hours of listening. Tolstoy’s War and Peace is about 60. Spend your hours reading War and Peace. If you have already read War and Peace, read it again, instead of spending your hours on Gai-Jin. If you have read or listened to War and Peace, do it a second or third time rather than spend your time on Gai-Jin. There is very little here, particularly compared to Clavell’s above listed stories and certainly compared to Tolstoy.

    This is a story about a very much hourly glass shaped and beautiful faced French woman who finds her way to Japan and is honed in on by every man in existence in an effectively otherwise barren western woman environment. Beauty is an enchanting allure. One though, gets tired of Clavell mentioning it endlessly – and you want to yell, please get on with the nonplused story. Oh, yes, the story. Very unlikely things happen to our heroine and she matriculates from a naive flirt to a Machiavellian dynamo. The crux of the story is this metamorphosis but there is no intellectual analysis or Freudian projections into why this is occurring. That’s the story. It can mildly entertain, but truly not worth 50 hours – maybe six, possibly nine.

    Clavell’s prior works, give in depth analysis into medieval Japanese values, and explain why their society may be considered superior to Western, or teach one of the Chinese value system and compare it to capitalism, and in King Rat, speak of pride and/or disgust in humankind. None of that intellectual stuff is allowed here. In fact, there is lots of unexplained chatter of the Japanese system of government, but it is not intertwined with or juxtaposed against the Western systems. No measurement of oriental versus the British colonial value system. The book leaves each skeletally discussed and effectively never the two are intermixed to give one a comparative study.

    Yet, the reading by John Lee was magnificent. He is truly a genius. Almost made the 50 hour fun. Almost.

    Enough said. Find another Clavell or do consider Tolstoy.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolita Gonzalez 02-26-17
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    "Better than expected"

    I downloaded the book with apprehension since some review said it was dull. I loved it. 50 hours was perfect. Yes a lot of characters to keep up. You have to pay attention since there are so many characters and re listen when lost and then you enjoy hearing about the cultures and how incredibly unfair women were treated then. Must read for the Asian Saga

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Ducas 06-09-16
    James Ducas 06-09-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Epic Novel, Epic Narration"
    What did you love best about Gai-Jin?

    John Lee's voice acting in this audio book brought the story alive. Dozens of characters all had unique accents and inflection, and the manner in which Lee would narrate the action in the book always kept me on edge and wanting more. Lee reads in a deep baritone, but he is able to change the pitch and timbre of his voice to such a degree that even the female character voices were believable. His range of talent is out of this world. I plan on listening to more books narrated by him just so I can hear more of his voice.

    The story was also very good. I always wanted to hear what would happen next, and I thought that James Clavell threw in a lot of gutsy plot twists that would have been impossible to pull off by a lesser writer. However, the story did get hard to follow at points. This is definitely a story that requires your full attention or you'll miss important details.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobby 03-22-16
    Bobby 03-22-16 Member Since 2015
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    "The birth of modern Japan"

    How do you describe a book that deals with life death success failure and rebirth so well and seamlessly.
    I have been captivated since word one. The world he paints is vivid precise and enthralling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "An Epic Addition to Clavell's Asian Saga"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Gai-Jin is a brilliant novel filled with fascinating characters and epic story lines and I recommend it highly. It reads like a history book, a spy thriller, and a tragic love story all at once.


    What other book might you compare Gai-Jin to and why?

    Clavell's writing reminds me of James Michener. This book has much in common with the other novels in the series as well, especially Tai-Pan. Though characters from past books are occasionally referenced it is not necessary to read the previous books first or to read them in order.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    John Lee is absolutely brilliant. His mastery of accents; English, Irish, French, Chinese, and of course, Japanese, is amazing and the characters become alive in your mind. (As an American though I must say all of his Americans do sound a bit like drunk Yankees attempting southern drawls.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Epic Movie of the Birth of Modern Japan


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 09-01-15
    Kim 09-01-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Great series"

    Loved all 3 books. You never knew what was going to happen. Really liked the unexpected.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Bow Wilmington N.C 07-28-15
    J Bow Wilmington N.C 07-28-15 Member Since 2016
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    "great book. I'm sad to see it end."

    I had hoped for an ending as legendary as shogun and tai pan. this book was good all the way through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Alukain 09-25-15
    Alukain 09-25-15
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    "Great book great reader"

    Awesome book, love James Clavell. The reader is awesome, so many different voices, really brough the book together! Top notch. :)

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    bhamdave 05-30-15
    bhamdave 05-30-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Typical Clavell Brilliance"

    If you enjoyed the first two of Clavell's Asian Saga, Gai-Jin won't disappoint. Maybe not as good as Shogun, but then again, what is? John Lee's reading was very good as usual.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guy Israel 11-02-17
    Guy Israel 11-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "The Narrator is FANTASTIC!!! Wow."

    Loved it.
    Narration is unbelievable
    Grand performance.
    Lengthy listen but worth it. I recommend!
    Enjoy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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