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  • Gai-Jin

  • The Epic Novel of the Birth of Modern Japan
  • By: James Clavell
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 50 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

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Gai-Jin

By: James Clavell
Narrated by: John Lee
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Publisher's summary

The dynamic epic novel of political upheaval and societal change in late 1800s Japan, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author and unparalleled master of historical fiction, James Clavell

This epic novel by master writer James Clavell, loosely based on the Namamugi Incident and Anglo-Satsuma War that took place in the late 1800s, is a richly researched, panoramic view of Japan’s budding relationship with the Western powers, its sweeping societal changes, and the political upheaval that followed.

As Malcolm Struan, the son of Culum and Tess Struan, and a small band of Westerners travel down the Tōkaidō road, they are attacked by two Satsuma samurai, who mortally wound John Canterbury and seriously injure Malcolm, who then finds reprieve in the merchant village of Yokohama after a narrow escape facilitated by the unscathed Angelique.

Angelique Richaud, Malcolm’s penniless but beautiful French companion, is thrown into a world of political intrigue, fierce devotion, unstable family dynamics, blackmail, and secrets as the trading houses battle for supremacy.

With a cast of dynamic and fully recognized characters, Gai-Jin spins a tale of passionate love affairs, devastating loss, intense power struggles, and the fight to survive and thrive in a hostile new land that will leave listeners longing for another foray into Clavell’s extraordinary Asian Saga.

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

What listeners say about Gai-Jin

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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.

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

awesome 👍 worth it to keep track of it to the end

a very good book, the naration seems odd atfirst and might seem a bit... but it is a great work and we'll read. intriguing plot, whit space for imagination and as the last lines state, God's or no God's, dosent matter, a sense of humor is good, ne?

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

35 hours exposition

I'm not sure what to think about this book. On the one hand, it's another fine Clavell piece with as much twists and cunningness as his previous ones. On the other, this great plot comes after literally 35h of exposition, of setting up the background of the characters before they mature enough to the cunning level he loves. So meh. Not a must.

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

Gorgeous book and enticing narration

Gorgeous book and enticing narration. A must read to understand Japan and England and colonialism and people

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

First time to listen

But have read the book several times over the years. Thoroughly enjoyed the story again and the reading.

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

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.







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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Much better than advertised.

I have to say that reading reviews of this book made me bit skeptical about how I would like it, but I was happily disappointed in the end. The readers performance on characters is okay in my opinion, I don't really mind the exaggerated Japanese or French accents, as even if it might be bit over the top, it makes the characters easily discernible. The Japanese names on the other hand are often very badly pronounced and I'd really hoped that the reader would have known the basics of Japanese. Anyways, it might not be a top production, but i've heard worse.

Many have commented on the story that they stopped around the halfway point of the book. Without any spoilers, I'd say that it's a great mistake as the book gets much better after the halfway point, and the plot is very enjoyable in the end even taking into account the rough points.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Such a masterpiece, must read or listen

Definitei one of the best trilogies ever. It was difficult to continue with daily tasks, even breathing takes a second role when such a novelist weaves there stories...

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointment after the Shogun

I loved the Shogun and had high expectation to this one. The story is stretched and becomes dull. I couldn’t finish it. The plot is not properly implemented. Strange attenta to liven the dullness with rather low taste erotic passages. As much as Shogun gave a colorful and lively picture of Japan and traditions , this much this book lack it. The narration is awful. Why everybody have horrible accents. Why Japanese all have accents when according to the story they diesi Japanese. Why people think in accents? It is tiring and makes it difficult to listen. Huge disappointment. I will return this title.

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