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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.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Oru
  • Japan
  • 12-05-17

Horrible narration, god awful pronunciation


James Clavell did a great job with Shogun, so it saddens me this book got so little attention during production. I hope Clavell is picked to remake this shameful attempt at Gai-Jin,

This book is actually great. Four stars at the very least, but as an audio book it's hard to rank.

This is due to the poor quality of the narration. The accents are off. The French accent is hard to listen to, but the Japanese ones are something out of a nightmare. Stereotypical to the point of being racist. It's the worst I have ever heard in an audio book.

Furthermore I have no idea how so many pronunciation errors got through the production either. Edo, becomes Yeido.
Sensei, is spoken something close to senzai. Which sounds like they are saying detergent in Japanese. There are plenty of such errors, and with the god awful pronunciation on top of that, I for one can't enjoy or listen to it anymore.

I hope that a new version is released.







1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating

A captivating insight of Nipon (Japan) history. But with a plot very close to Shogun just from a different prospective and as a back plot of the main story, surrounded by lots of small stories of love, blackmail, life and death completing the "Big Picture" very nicely. Turning this book into a masterpiece.

PS: Be prepeared for a treat.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Compelling though the least of Clavell's Asia Saga

A plethora of characters and a meandering story, it's none the less compelling for its historical perspective (of a sorts).

The narrator does a fine job, though accents (especially the Japanese) border on the worst sort of stereotype. Japanese pronunciation is also not up to scratch.

buy if you liked Shogun and just want more

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adriano
  • 11-11-15

Extremely captivating!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! It tells more than a beautiful story. This book brings you in the mind of its characters and they live you and makes you better. Absolutely Epic

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gai-Jin?

The duel between Toranaga Yoshi

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

He gives life to characters. When you listen this audiobook they are standing in front of you.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No! You do not want the pleasure to finish so soon

Any additional comments?

The best thing about this book are the characters. They are all so complex and perfectly described. By the end of the book they are friends and they live you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • BrankoUK
  • 06-07-17

Brilliant, different from Shogun

Another masterpiece, flawed but brilliant. The reader is phenomenal at creating distinct and recognisable voices for each character, though his Japanese accents and pronunciations are appalling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jockette61
  • 05-20-17

50h of epic listening!

Now, this was a Clavell book that I had only read once when it came out (having read and re-read his first 4 Asian Saga books multiple times). I vaguely recalled the original read as being slightly disappointing - long book, not as gripping as e.g. Shogun. However, I've been delighted to re-encounter it, reading the series in chronological order probably helping a little bit.

The story itself is as complex as ever, with a wide range of characters on both the European and Japanese threads. Once you have them straight in your head, they take you along with them, with every more twisted connections and secrets.

The narrator did a brilliant job, apparently coping with ease in switching from Scottish accents to English to French to Japanese to Russian to American.... you get the picture.

For me, then and now, the characters didn't capture my emotions as much as e.g. Blackthorne, or Dirk and May-May. But I enjoyed the story much more on this 2nd encounter, and rate it highly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian Heyworth
  • 11-05-15

A Fantastic Book !

Such a great adventure , so well read!
James Clavell was a great author it's a shame he did not write another between this one and Noble House !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 04-06-18

What a narrator...

This is a complex, character rich novel that John Lee makes much more accessible with his excellent array of voices. His characterisation really adds enjoyment to the story.

At the start I thought his reading slow but I was soon grateful for the time to keep up with the intricate plot.

Highly recommended book and I’ll be looking out for John Lee in future.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Conall
  • 02-05-18

The weakest of the saga so far

I loved the first book. Liked the second. Took a lot of work to finish this one. It was just too easy to be distracted by mundane things like street signs and bus shelters, which were comparatively more interesting than pretty much any part of the book which involved the young French lady. Just soooo many hours of talk about how they'll soon be married. Total departure from the grim, cutting reality of the other books. Then after all that, prepare for a sudden and bland ending, with a chapter of story crammed into a sentence. Because hours of young ladies swooning about marriage is more important.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-11-17

Great listen, more compelling than Tai pan, I felt

Loved the book, and thought it was of similar quality to shogun. Perhaps I am biased towards Japanese stories.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-25-17

A Web of Warriors, Lies and Racism

equally as good as Shogun. Same setting (just about) as The Last Samurai, but far more realistic and detailed. would make perfect HBO show

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Loraine
  • 09-03-17

Complicated but fascinating and so well read

I loved this book. Although it is difficult to remember who is who with the Japanese characters it is, nevertheless, an amazing and well written story. The narrator is absolutely the best. With his incredible skills it makes the book a living thing - he was just incredible. Thank you so much, I am now moving onto the next.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Unique Pseudonym
  • 05-19-17

Somehow not as good as Shogun and Tai-Pan

Perhaps there were too many characters or perhaps I just wasn't listening carefully enough but I found this one a little harder to follow. I never felt fully engaged.