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Publisher's Summary

A bold English adventurer; an invincible Japanese warlord; a beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love - all brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power.

James Clavell'sShōgun is a modern classic, a masterpiece of historical fiction that will continue to endure for decades to come.

©1975 James Clavell (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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

Worthwhile Re-visit to an Adolescent read

A steady albeit full plot with much historical geo-political, nautical and military interest The characters are well fleshed albeit one dimensional. The strength of the novel lies in the cultural clash between Japanese and Elizabethan / European culture and the ensuing conflict both between the Euro/Japanese and Anglican/Catholic interests. Another success is the pacing of the plot and interest which made the completion of a 1000+ page novel entirely manageable.
With reference to the performance, the sound production was disappointing with frequent fading out at the completion of sentences which was a distraction which occurred too frequently to be dismissed as a quirk instead of
editing and sound mixing failure.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a Journey.

Wow! Listening to it is an experience really. I downloaded the TV series too after the book finished. What a journey especially for someone who is smitten with Japan. The books isn’t just a story but a time machine showing you the history of a time bygone. The deep insight into the minds of perhaps on of the most unique people on Earth is mesmerising.
And somebody please give Mr. Ralph Lister an Oscar, A Grammy, A Tony, a Nobel Prize or the Holy Grail itself for this stupendous performance. I stand and clap. Take a bow Ralph Sama. Unbelievable performance. The best I have possibly ever came across.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent novel, outstandingly read

Epic truly is the right word to describe this journey. Most impressive is Ralph Lister’s ability to take on characters and keep consistent with their idiosyncrasies - that’s talent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful 52 hours!!

Highly recommend this book, beautifully read, well researched on every level. One of my favourites! Thanks

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Amazing.

Wonderful book. Very good narration. I could listen to this book again and again ...

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Honor and bushido

Very nice to visit this book again, after 30 years.
not the same as reading but good

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • LINZI
  • Perth, Australia
  • 05-24-17

a masterpiece

Possibly my favorite book ever. A deep study of cultural and religious fifferences, this book is also a cracking good read. Every day I found myself on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. Every evening I found myself chewing over the deeper concepts. A great book never really leaves you. Shogun has stayed in my thoughts years after my first reading.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Shogun

Riveting and inspiring for 50 hrs. Just amazing! The detail and personalities are 3 dimensional and the narrator is unbelievably gifted. Cant wait for the next book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Kept me awake for several nights

I love everythin about it, the storyline, the voice actor, the author. Simply the best story I've ever read. I was just a little disappointed that it ends, i was hoping the story would follow the story of Blackthorne even after the war. Well, shikata ga nai, ne? But the rest is marvelous.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply amazing.

Long deep believable story with, well developed characters, excellent delivery. One of the best books I have ever experienced.

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  • Umashin
  • 09-26-16

fabulous

excellent story. great perfomance. top notch. I really recommend it. looking forward to listening to the other novels

6 of 6 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
  • Ian Cottingham
  • 08-22-16

Time machine to Old Japan

What did you like most about Shogun?

Complete immersion in the atmosphere from a very sympathetic and knowledgeable view. One of those stories that sweep you up and give you a physical experience of 'being there'.

What did you like best about this story?

History peopled with well described credible characters a la Hillary Mantel

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

All the characters come over in high resolution...and the love affair between the lead characters is beautiful and heart-rending

Any additional comments?

Narrator needs to warm to the role....took a few hours before he got into the characters so don't be discouraged by the first few hours...hang in there for an emotional roller-coaster

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • P A Youngs
  • 05-23-16

Spellbound...

An absolute must! I read the book years ago and the audio is a compliment. James Clavell is an incredible author and the narrator was excellent, with huge empathy and characters.
Totally recommend, you wouldn't be disappointed

12 of 13 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
  • dzadams
  • 02-03-16

Brilliant

This is the fourth time I have read, watched and listened to this fascinating book. I was very surprised how the audio book was just as good as reading it.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janine
  • 07-20-16

Breathtaking!

This book is rightfully considered a classic, the depth and scope of of it breathtaking.

Brief synopsis: Set in the late 1500's during Queen Elizabeth I 's reign, a ship makes it to Japan, the first Protestants to do so. The English know about Japan, but it is a closely guarded secret of Catholic Spanish and Portuguese trade.

The pilot of the ship, John Blackthorne, is a rarity in that he is well educated and articulate and manages to adapt to the Japanese rigid caste structure and culture. He survives and thrives where the majority of Europeans are unable to. He becomes a pawn in the deep plans of a Lord Toranaga while planning to take the Religious wars of Europe to the Jesuit silk trade monopoly.

Japanese society is described in loving detail, bringing it to life in a way that Europeans can access. It is an alien society to the West.

The narration is great, the story superb. IMO, the best of the Asian Saga.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • average joe
  • 10-05-16

Great story; poor audio

How could the performance have been better?

The volume randomly dips towards the end of sentences, rudely interrupting what is an amazing story.

13 of 16 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
  • Tim
  • 09-25-16

Epic journey

Journey back to the first time West meets East. Witness the clash of values, habits and culture. Each side thinking the other barbaric. This book takes you there, you feel the confusion and pain.

The main character gradually discovers that there is a major power play going on within Japan and soon he becomes a pawn in it.

Great depth of story, incredibly well researched. Fantastic novel with everything you could want.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Walker
  • 01-21-16

Ralph is the best narrator ever

Awesome enjoyed so much I have ordered the tv series to watch again. Best narrator ,most voice character's of any of the 12 audio books I have. 10 Stars

12 of 15 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
  • Mrs. S. J. Caldwell
  • 08-17-16

Modern classic historic novel

I picked this novel up having spent time in Japan expecting a predictable cliched view of Japanese history and war and thought it might be a bit dated. What I found was a very well researched and clever historic novel with strong characters and enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged throughout. It skilfully intertwined the differences between East and Western cultures and religions including touching upon early trading history in a compelling story.

I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys historic novels or anyone with an interest in Japanese history and culture.

The narration is excellent and the book is brought to life by Ralph Lister.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-09-16

Best historical adventure novel ever?

Any additional comments?

Take historical fact , probably little known to the reader, as the frame of a book. Cover this skeleton in interlocking elements of adventure, political intrigue, romance and tragedy whilst continuously educating the reader in Japanese culture , language and reaction to first contact with Europeans and you produce Shogun.I first read the book shortly after it was published and time has not diminished my view that it is a masterpiece of its genre. Revisiting it in audio form was a delight given the excellent performance by Ralph Lister, although I leave it to others to comment on his Japanese pronunciation.Warning: You will be addicted for 53 hours!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Adrienne Curry
  • 04-03-18

Brilliant story! Brilliantly read!

WoW! What a ride! Shōgun has sat in my bookcase for a few decades waiting for me but it is the original book. Small and ( let's face it) the size of a brick. My eyes could not read it with ease. If it was printed in the size we have become accustom to now or an e-book then no worries. However, to my great delight I happened upon Ralph Lister's fabulous narration of Shōgun by James Clavell. I was fully swept away to 15th Century Japan.
Goodness, talk about Yin and Yang. They, the Japanese ( and the world. It was the time of the Spanish inquisition ) were so bloody brutal yet beloved of the arts, the seasons..... the weather. James Clavell cleverly creates a nexus between you and his protagonist Blackthorn. As Blackthorn is taught how to speak Japanese you also learn. Terrifyingly, I have a very good grasp of manners and politeness if ever I was thrust into that time period 😓
Clavell tells his story with a vibrant delineation at a knife edged pace. You feel you are listening to a true story. The intricacies of each relationship Blackthorn has, be it Samurai, ship mate, lover, his cook are so perfectly portrayed. James Clavell's book truly is a modern day classic. I loved every bit ( although the first chapters were so spine chilling that I 'did' wonder whether I could go on ) and am looking forward to listening to the 2nd book in his Asian Saga series, Tai-Pan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Attila
  • 06-11-16

An absolute epic.

Always wanted to get through this work ever since I was a boy. Not disappointed I made the effort and took the plunge.
It was tiring at the start but by the end I felt like the author had transported me back to feudal Japan and I did not want to leave.
Will continue now with Taipan. I am hook on the Asian Saga.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kevinplee@hotmail.com
  • 06-28-18

An epic indeed

Wow, what a legendary, epic tale. It's a classic work of genius. I got totally absorbed, loved the characters, feel more familiar with the proud, honourable yet stereotypical reputation of the Kapanese. You have to resect what the author has put together here. I don't know if it has won any awards but it deserves them. It's a big piece so get comfortable and enjoys this over a few days or it could past weeks.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-18-18

Wonderful

I loved this book from beginning to to end. The reading of it was masterful. I felt myself totally immersed in the story. An incredible story of the west meeting the east.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 03-25-18

Why did it have to end

What made the experience of listening to Shogun the most enjoyable?

Taken into an adventure and intrigue, I lived within this story for a month of listening.

Who was your favorite character and why?

All were so real

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

55 hours

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellen Johnston
  • 02-15-18

Loved it!

Great story, full of surprises and never a dull moment. Love the ending! Great performance!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lachlan Peterson
  • 08-06-17

Absolutely brilliant

Insanely long, but worth every minute. Complex, detailed, interesting. Great for Game Of Thrones fans.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 09-11-16

Lord, an absolute masterclassin historical fiction

I have read Shogun several times over the years and now have listened to it several times.
I loved it and for me, it is the crowning glory of Clavell's Asian series.
An incredibly convoluted story line that always manages to stay on point and is always resolved.... magnificent!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bradley
  • 07-13-16

It is an Epic story

Listen to this then go watch the awesome telemovies from the 80s staring Richard Chamberlain as Anjin-san.