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Shōgun

I was recently asked, what I thought was a rather interesting question.

“If you could recommend one book that everyone should read what would it be?”

I’m not sure if that was exactly how it was phrased but the general idea comes across, it’s close but subtly different to “what is your favourite book.”

I thought about it for a little while, I’ve read a lot of books, a lot of genres and have a lot of favorites    

The Stand, Mort, Assassins Apprentice, Eye of the World, Krokodil Tears, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The waste Lands, Snuff Fiction and many many more all flooded into my head, all books that have attached themselves to certain parts of my life, set in worlds that I enjoyed visiting and would happily visit again and whilst I would heartily recommend all of these titles thy where not my answer.

I guess the reason was that despite how great these books are, there is a good chance that you would need similar interests to me to enjoy them and perhaps not everyone does.

So then what would my answer be?

I would have to go with James Clavell’s Shogun.

I was introduced to this book by a work friends many years ago, he felt about it then the way I felt about it now and insisted that I (along with the entire staff if I remember rightly) read it, and I am glad he did.

The story is amazingly written, it cleverly takes you on the same journey as the “hero” John Blackthorne. You learn both the language and the culture of the Japanese at the same time and pace as he does and will be surprised at the number of Japanese words that you know by the end of the book.

The transformation that Blackthorne undergoes throughout the book is mirrored in you changing opinions throughout the book, what starts of feeling barbaric feels somewhat acceptable if not honourable by the end of the book.

Shogun was the third of the Asian Saga to be written but the first chronologically.

 

Whilst none of the following novels are direct sequels, they all continue the overall story and give you further insight into both Asia itself and the families you are introduced to throughout Shogun.

The book contains some of the best characters to grace the pages, (Toranaga I mean you!), politicking, intrigue and some twist that even George RR Martin would be proud of and you have the makings of not only one of my favourite books but one that I am convinced everyone should read.

If you where asked the same question what would be your book of choice?

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  1. June 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    My choice would have to be “Memnoch the Devil” by Anne Rice.
    And with my writers hat firmly on my head – this will likely feature in my own blog tomorrow!

  2. Hicks
    June 16, 2013 at 12:25 am

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar rocked my world!

  1. June 16, 2013 at 9:16 am
  2. September 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Dont stalk me in silence let me know your there!!

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