Book Reviews of Shogun

Author: James Clavell
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ISBN-13: 9780440178002
ISBN-10: 0440178002
Publication Date: 6/1/1976
Pages: 1,152
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 189 ratings
Publisher: Dell
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

24 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Shogun on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
One of the best books I've ever read! I love this story and found its characters unforgettable. This is a rare story that makes you see the world through different eyes. I felt I learned a great deal about ancient Japanese culture during the time of the Samurai. I even learned a little bit of the language. After reading this--I had to see the movie with Richard Chamberlain which is very good as well. Highly recommend this book!
reviewed Shogun on + 136 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I hurried home at lunch while on a business trip to read more of this great novel. Absolutely the best by James Clavell!!
reviewed Shogun on + 224 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is one of the best books I have ever read, I could hardly put it down. If you have never read Shogun, I would highly recomend it.
reviewed Shogun on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Some books are hard to part with. I wouldn't trade Shogun for, well....all the tea in China. However, knowing that you'll appreciate it, and walk away a better person for having read this masterpiece, makes it worth it to me. This book will embarass the writers of "Geisha" and "The Last Samuri". ENJOY!!
reviewed Shogun on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The first in Clavell's "Asian Saga" a very good read, though quite long at 1000+ pages. Very moving, even until the last pages.
reviewed Shogun on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Probably the best historical fiction I've ever read. Watch out, once you read this one, you're going to have to read all of the following ones!
reviewed Shogun on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this was may favorite of the trilogy....i hope to read them again sometime...
reviewed Shogun on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Shogun is an entertaining read. The story winds around and is interesting. The ending is a disappointment where Clavell seems to have run out of energy to properly finish the novel. At over a thousand pages long, this really says something.
reviewed Shogun on + 440 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Loved this book. We have 3 copies of this entire series. HAd this one given to us by a great frind. Hubby tried to keep it. I think 3 is enough. Dont you?
reviewed Shogun on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Still a wonderful novel of Japan! A tale surging with action, intrigue, and love.....
reviewed Shogun on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Iread this on my first trip to Hong Kong! Fantastic!
reviewed Shogun on + 4 more book reviews
I only have volume I which is wonderful as a stand alone story. I was really dissapointed by the movie when they wenththrough this volume in the first 15 minutes going on to the volume two part which IMHO sucked. I was not even aware that there was a volume two before sening the moving because the first volume is so good and so well written.

reviewed Shogun on + 7 more book reviews
A good read.
reviewed Shogun on + 6 more book reviews
excllent book, first in the Clavell Asia series. good read
reviewed Shogun on + 25 more book reviews
First of the series. Excellent story about a English castaway and a Japanese warlord. Worth every minute it takes to read
reviewed Shogun on + 10 more book reviews
Great Book!!
reviewed Shogun on + 107 more book reviews
This is my favorite novel of all time. I reread it at least once every 3 years.
reviewed Shogun on + 6 more book reviews
I requested this book because I'd heard many good things about it (and the resulting mini-series) and all I can say is that I was massively disappointed. I couldn't even finish, that's how bad it was.

First of all - the writing in itself is not very good. The author often changes character POV without warning, leaving the reader confused. Commas are abused (improperly placed and sometimes not placed at all where they are sorely needed), leading to more confustion and often forcing the reader to reread sections to understand what the author was trying to say. My 11th grade English teacher would've given this guy hell if he'd turned in a paper like this. His editor must've been asleep at the wheel because there are numerous typographical errors throughout the book and I can say that that personally DRIVES ME NUTS as a reader.

And the writing style leaves much to be desired. Frequently stilted and often overly simplistic. I could've forgiven this if it weren't for all the other problems.

Then the inaccuracies. Holy crap. First of all - if you're going to write a novel in which you need to use a language that is foreign to you, get someone who actually speaks it to PROOFREAD YOUR WORK. At first, I thought it was maybe the author trying to show that the main character, Blackthorne, could only manage broken Japanese, but then when other characters were using it, too... UGH. Honestly. And his romanization and names are a joke. He makes a big point of the Japanese characters telling Blackthorne that they don't have the syllables in their language to pronounce his name properly, then the author himself massacres the language (Hint: There is no 'ye' syllable in Japanese. I know; I studied it for 4+ years). And some of the names I swear he just made up to sound 'japanese-y' to western audiences.

Then we've got how all of the Japanese characters are nothing more than stereotypes that frequently border on racist. Come on. I learned more about samurai and feudal Japan by watching freaking *anime*. If I was writing a 1000+ page novel on the subject, I would've invested far more time in research than Clavell did. Then there's all the supposedly Buddhist stuff and the 'by the Buddha!' swearing that the Japanese in the novel do. Uhhhhm, no, not really in reality. Japanese religion is primarily Shinto, which mixes in elements of Buddhism, but it's absolutely nothing like what's protrayed in Shogun.

In other words, the historical information found in this book is about as accurate as that found about Native Americans in a John Wayne movie.

So, if you picked up this book expecting to learn more about Japanese history, like I did, PUT IT DOWN. There are far better, far more entertaining sources.
reviewed Shogun on + 746 more book reviews
I could not get into this book at all. Too many characters, too many details, jumping back and forth between main characters narrating without any notice. Then when they spoke Japanese, there was no translation so you were just lost as to what they were saying. I lasted 100 pages and even then it took me a month to read those 100.
reviewed Shogun on + 3 more book reviews
This is a re-read for me. The book was well done. A good story. Really a page-turner. I have been a fan of James Clavell's writing for many years. His research seems to have been impeccable. I do not recommend this book if you want a quick read. If you read to absorb the story and the history of those early days in Japan, this is a great book!
reviewed Shogun on + 18 more book reviews
I wanted to read this, but I couldn't get past the graphic torture scenes in the beginning.
reviewed Shogun on + 11 more book reviews
Shogun is a very long novel. The publisher of this hardback version, published a Volume I and a Volume II. The ISBN listed for this book is only for Volume II. Interested parties will have to submit a request for Volume I separately.
reviewed Shogun on + 181 more book reviews
Excellent book.
reviewed Shogun on + 5 more book reviews
This is a 1980 printing-slightly different cover than complete and in "good condition" would not recommend it for a collection