This will be a short review. This book blew me away. Clavell knows how to write in such a way as to hold a reader’s attention. I think that Clavell could hold my interest even if he were writing descriptions of paint drying. Shogun, however, is not only well-written, it contains an intensely interesting story. The story is one of a clash of cultures. As I recall, the book is set in early seventeenth-century Japan. An English pilot of a Dutch ship that crashed on Japanese shores in the midst of (or at least at the beginning of) a Japanese civil war. The Europeans think the Japanese are savage monkeys, while the Japanese (especially the Samurai) think the Europeans to be uncivilized beasts. The divisions and problems between the cultures extend to religion, philosophy, life and death, warfare, love and sex (just to name a few). Shogun is a long book and will require some time to read. Every book we choose to read is also a choice not to read other books. I think that this book is worth the time and the loss of other books. I would not be surprised if I ended up reading it again. I’ve reread books that were far less pleasing that this one.
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