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Shibumi Audiobook

Shibumi

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Publisher's Summary

Nicholai Hel, born in the ravages of World War I China to an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father, raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go Master, survives the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world's most artful lover and its most accomplished and highly paid assassin. Genius, mystic, master of language and culture, Hel's secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection: shibumi.

Now living in an isolated mountain fortress with his magnificent Eurasian mistress, Hel faces his most sinister enemy, a super-monolith of espionage and monopoly. The battle lines are drawn: ruthless power and corruption on one side and on the other, shibumi.

©1979 Trevanian; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Solo Narration (Male)

"It's hard to imagine a more nearly perfect spy story." (Milwaukee Journal)
"Novels about international intrigue demand intricate plotting. Shibumi delivers." (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1114 )
5 star
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4.3 (676 )
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4.4 (667 )
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Performance
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  •  
    mike 10-20-17
    mike 10-20-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
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    "Awesome"

    Great book. I first heard of this book because it is what John Wick is based on. while I expected it to be non stop action like the wick movies. It was not, yet a glimpse into the mind of someone who looks for his shibumi when things are right with everything. Some parts do drag a bit but that might also might be because of my lack of understanding of cave diving which I found to be a bit borning but understandable as to why he does it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ASHLEIGH FEDERAL WAY, WA, United States 10-06-17
    ASHLEIGH FEDERAL WAY, WA, United States 10-06-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Wow, makes you think and laugh and feel sadness. Amazing. "

    I have been in the military 20 years and am an American and while I wondered how I would feel about a main character who had a distinct distaste for the "Americans" - I have to admit I actually agreed with his thoughts - put the way they were. This book will make you think, have you laughing out loud and hoping you are in traffic that days you are listening to it because you won't want to stop. It is so well written that you will be anticipating hearing it again as it has the ability to make you feel as if you have gained a new education and yet the story in and of itself is also so outstandingly written that I felt I would have learned a lot more in high school if this was the type of book I was given to read. You will feel as if you should have had to use two credits getting this novel. It never disappoints. Ashleigh

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Sewell 09-17-17
    Mike Sewell 09-17-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the read was great! the telling not as much."

    struggled to listen to the end. narrator had a difficult time with charaterization of numerous male voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil M 08-13-17
    Phil M 08-13-17 Member Since 2017
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    3
    3
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    "Great!"

    Great story, fantastic reading. I was enthralled the entire time. It made my long bike rides and runs truly entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Seoul 07-28-17
    Amazon Customer Seoul 07-28-17 Member Since 2017
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    "dated, not quite PC 2017 but mind expanding& cool"

    Colourful characters, lots of cultural comparisons for those who enjoy that kinda stuff. 'fun' ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 06-29-17
    06-29-17 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "Superb thrill ride!"

    A superb thriller...cynical and dark..still relevant after all these years...we'll written and well read...highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    doug reiter 06-26-17
    doug reiter 06-26-17 Member Since 2016
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    "My favorite book"

    Read this for the first time in 1979

    then twice again since. Captivating fiction
    dressed in cold truths....
    This will be my last time in this particular
    world of shibumi.......2017

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SimbaSu 06-21-17
    SimbaSu 06-21-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "but for the narrator... trying to sound Basque"

    the narrator's Le Cagot voice sounded like the voice of that Great Dane cartoon character. Or that of an individual talking with a mouth full of marbles in baby talk. Otherwise a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    neichan SanFranciscoBay Area 03-09-17
    neichan SanFranciscoBay Area 03-09-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Still a Favorite"
    If you could sum up Shibumi in three words, what would they be?

    Engrossing character study.


    What other book might you compare Shibumi to and why?

    Satori. By a different author, but a continued exploration of Hel.


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

    No. I've read it in the past more than once. Remains a real favorite with layers of philosophy and history. Thought provoking in places.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rich Tanguy Arkansas 02-03-17
    Rich Tanguy Arkansas 02-03-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    76
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    "A James Bond type thriller"
    What did you love best about Shibumi?

    It has made me a player of the game Go.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Shibumi?

    The caving episodes were surprisingly fun though it was difficult to anticipate how they related to the ongoing story until the end.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The reading is excellent as the narrator was required to provide a wide variety of accents and did it quite well.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this as a requirement to read before Don Winslow's Satori.
    While I enjoyed it greatly, I cannot recommend it to most of my friends. It is very much in the manner of a James Bond type story on paper. The hero and anti-hero's are at first quite interesting but become a bit cartoonish at the end. Still, it was intriguing and the stories of caving were enjoyable.
    I would recommend this to my friends who enjoy thrillers and are not put off by a book dominated by alpha male characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • ThePuss
    Marlow, United Kingdom
    8/23/10
    Overall
    "Unusual and interesting"

    This is said to be regarded as Trevanian's most critically acclaimed work, and while I enjoyed the book for its breadth of plot (it covers the main character's life from more or less birth through retirement), and the deepness of the main character, I found it dragged a bit in places.
    Having said that, I stuck with it, and it was an enjoyable listen. I don't know a great deal about the author, but his descriptions of pot-holing (like those of climbing in 'Eiger' and 'Loo') are excellent, but if they were in a film, they would be the point at which I chose to go to the toilet!
    It seems that a good deal of research went into this epic novel, and it does show.
    The reader does a fairly good job covering all the characters and accents, although there is still the under-twang of an American accent, I didn't find it to be disconcerting.
    Unlike the 'Eiger Sanction', I don't think this would translate well to film, so if you are interested in this, you're going to have to read it or listen to it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • C. M. E. Beckingham
    Sheffield, England
    8/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "'Spy Spoof'"

    A specialist genre -'spy spoof' but worth the occasional visit especially for this book. Not quite a 5* but a good 4. Almost took it seriously at times until a sudden ludicrous jolt reminded me it was a send up. Very clever book and amusing in a non-LOL kind of way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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