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Noble House

Whilst on Holiday I finally got round to finishing Noble House.

Noble House is the 5th in James Clavell’s Asian Saga.

This book ties all of the others together, albeit somewhat loosely. As well as the various descendants of the main characters from both Tai-Pan and Gai-Jin, Grey and Marlow from King Rat feature, as well as some minor links to families prominent in Shogun.

 Set in 1960’s Hong Kong, Noble House tells continues the story of the Straun and Company, started in Tai-Pan and continued through Gai-Jin.

The book spans a week, starting on August 18th 1963, but the sheer number of events that take place in this small space of time will have you thinking it is much longer.

The plot centres on American Millionaire Lincoln Barlett’s interest in Asia and his aim to take his company Par-Con Industries into that market. With a view to this he has comes to Hong Kong to meet with Ian Dunross, Tai-Pan of the Noble House (Strauns) to strike a deal.

Quillan Gornt, Tai-Pan of Rothwell-Gornt and descendent of Dirk Strauns arch enemy Tyler Brock however has other plans for Lincoln, hatching a plan to convince the Americain to partner with him and smash Strauns once and for all.

Two CEO’s battling it out over a business deal might not sound that interesting but when you set it against the backdrop of the impending Vietnam War, and the general anti communist feeling. Add some international espionage involving the KGB, MI6, CIA, FBI and the Chinese Communist Party. Bank Runs, Stock Market Crashes, Landslides, Triads, Water Shortages and a catastrophic fire and this is one hell of a read.

Every character and event is believably written and there are so many twists and turns it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen in the end, every character seems one step away from ruin at any given moment and sometimes it’s hard to know who you are rooting for.

The book adds insight into the events of both Gai-Jin and Tai-Pan with passages referring to the histories of both these tales, and as with Clavells previous works it is in some part based on real characters and events.

This now only leaves me with one more Book of the Saga to read. Whirlwind unfortunately is not available for my kindle so I think I might have to get all old fashioned and find a paper copy.

Four of the six instalments have been adapted for film or TV and with the exception of Shogun I have yet to see them. Based on my enjoyment of the books I think I’m going to have to check them out, although it does seem that I should give Tai-Pan a miss.

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  1. June 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm

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