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The Ninja (Nicholas Linnear, #1)
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The Ninja (Nicholas Linnear #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  3,996 ratings  ·  134 reviews
"Totally absorbing...as gripping a tale of hatred and revenge as you will read...It is superb."
NEWS RECORD
This is the story of Nicholas Linnear, half-Caucasian, half-Oriental, a man caught between East and West, between the sexual passions of a woman he can't forget and the one he can't control and between a past he can't escape and a destiny he can't avoid.
A sprawling er
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Hardcover, 442 pages
Published April 1st 1980 by M Evans & Co (first published 1980)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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StoryTellerShannon
Rather than just do a blurb, let me paste some points from a personal analysis I did of the story.

OVERALL FEELING: Excellent understanding of the Eastern life and culture; great pacing; lots of intricate weaving of plot

SYNOPSIS: Nicholas Linnear (notice the last name; straight as an arrow) is at a crossroads in his life; he has just left his job and met a younger woman with some psychological problems. To top it off, his old nemesis, who he doesn't know about, is on the prowl, wiping people out
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Eric
I decided to read this book for two reasons: The title grabbed my interest, and I recognized the author as the guy who took over the Bourne franchise after Robert Ludlum's death.

It starts out promisingly, with an intriguing assassination, but from there switches gears to protagonist Nicholas Linnear, who has just quit his job as an advertising executive, watching a drowned corpse being pulled from the ocean near his house, where he literally runs into his neighbor Justine. The next scene they sh
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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
I read this in the sixth grade because of the dirty parts. The ninja parts were cool too.
Chloe
Oct 25, 2009 Chloe rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chloe by: Matt Darnell
I don't even know how to begin a review of this "book." It's a "book" only so much as it is a bound collection of words that form a "story" (I guess). Though to use either term in describing this incredibly juvenile masturbatory fantasy is an offense to books and stories everywhere. I started reading it at the behest of a neighbor with normally impeccable taste in books- he's previously turned me on to both Carson McCullers and Dow Mossman. Sure, I was forewarned that it wasn't very good but tha ...more
David Graham
I remember my older brother bought The Ninja by Eric Van Lustbader in the mid ‘80s and I pestered him to let me have it. When he finally did let me read it I was blown away. The titular subject may have become a bit of a cliché since with everything even turtles adopting it but I still think with the story’s broad international sweep and large cast of characters it is an exemplar of a particular kind of thriller. When it was written, international travel was nowhere near as accessible and this a ...more
Vincent Stoessel
This book right here is not for anyone born after 1975. It's wrong in so many ways, it's 1980s through and through from Reagan America to our obsession with everything Japan. Lustbader took that Shogun/Bushido/Ninja obsession and ran with it on this Nicholas Linnear series and some of the other Asian based series that he wrote during this fertile period. Having said all that, I enjoyed this book.
Paul
For 3000 years, love has been an art in the Orient. And so has Death

Here is the origin of Nicholas Linnear, half English, Half Oriental, who is about to enter a terrifying world of merciless assassins bound by the blackest codes of honour and skilled in the deadliest martial arts.

Caught between East and West, a past he can't escape and a destiny he can't avoid, he is trapped in a web of old lust and present passions that will converge on a terrifying moment of revelation and revenge...

Early thi
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Gabby
I received a free copy of The Ninja by Eric Van Lustbader from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This book was first published in 1980; Open Road Media is re-releasing some of the titles in the Nicholas Linnear series. The Ninja is the first book in the series. There are two more books available for the Kindle. Before I was completely finished with The Ninja, I purchased both those titles.

It took a little longer than usual for me to get into this book, but once I did, there was no sto
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Alina
Definitely one of my all-time favorites and a must re-read every couple of years, even though I've pretty much memorized the key scenes by now (both the flawless action sequences and the original sex scenes). Even though I wasn't as charmed by the mystical, magical, ninja shenanigans as I used to be as a kid, the fights still read like a fine painting or a flowing piece of music. The writing itself might have gone off on random tangents at times and the dialogue was a little disjointed here and ...more
Schuyler Wallace
Prolific writer Eric Van Lustbader has created an impressive resume of novels and short stories of the thriller and fantasy genre; so many, in fact, that gathering together the titles into some sort of a timeline and subject tally becomes an impossible dream. I’ve read many of them and dreamlike could describe the construction of most. They are generally so layered with history, fable, eroticism, quirky characters, and mystery that keeping a grasp on the storyline becomes challenging. But Van Lu ...more
MADitya
I re-read this one. The first time i read it as an ebook during my office hours and i really had to skip a lot of pages fearing someone might mis-interpret the sensual descriptions :( In the process i also missed out on huge chunks of the story, losing the plot totally by the end of it all. Hence the re-read.

My views this time around are totally confused, initially i liked the book, say for the first 100 pages or so. I found the description of the first couple of murders were written very well.
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Dave Etherton
I first read this book in the early 80 when it came out and I loved it then.
Got it reduced price on kindle I had wanted to re read it and have thoroughly enjoyed it again the second time round. but it does mean I will have to get the rest of the series now......
Manosthehandsoffate
I wanted to like this book. It has some of the goofy trashiness of an 1980s ninja movie -- sword battles, wall climbing, hypnotism, throwing stars, all that good stuff.

Unfortunately for a book about ninjas it is overwritten and takes itself way too seriously. There's an overabundance of back story for the main character and there are too many unnecessary characters. It takes the focus from the sweet ninja action I want from a book titled "The Ninja." A good editor could easily chop 25% out of th
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Elliott Bignell
By turns tranquil and explosive, this is the pinnacle of martial-arts fiction writing. I must have read it ten times and will doubtless return to it again. Linnear is the most compelling and believable of characters in a genre that is usually packed with exaggeration and circus acrobats. The book is not entirely free of magic and mysticism, but in these proportions it fits perfectly. It is a pity that the later books tended to degenerate into oriental sorcery, but this is a stunning opening to t ...more
Sean
The Ninja, by Eric von Lustbader, is a reprint, finally transferred to e-book for those of us who love the Nicholas Linnear series! This book, written in 1980, is an intriguing tale of murder, love lost and gained, revenge, and Japanese martial arts and mysticism. It's described as a crime and suspense novel, and it does not disappoint!

Admittedly, it does have its slow points. However, the book is divided into five "rings", as an homage to Miyamoto Musashi's, The Book of the Five Rings. This pr
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Kathy Russo
This novel was first published in 1980; Open Road Media is re-releasing some of the titles in the Nicholas Linnear series by Eric Van Lustbader. The Ninja is the first book in the series.

The plot itself is divided into five 'books,' each is then further separated amongst the past and present. This method helps illuminate the story for readers, as well as skilfully evading overuse of flashbacks. Van Lustbader has a gift for effortlessly moving among periods of history, from A.D. 792 all the way t
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David
I'm probably giving this book a higher rating than it deserves, because I'm remembering it from when I read it as a teenager. It's a cheesy, blood-splattered "Oriental" (I deliberately use the pejorative term) novel of dubious verisimilitude with steamy but pointless sex scenes. It was written when the ninja craze was just beginning in the U.S. In short, it's mindless pulp entertainment with not much of a plot, but I still have fond memories of it.
Isis
I would like to thank NetGalley and Open Road Media for the chance to read this e-book in exchange for an honest review. Although I received it for free, that in no way impacts my opinions within this review.

"Totally absorbing...as gripping a tale of hatred and revenge as you will read...It is superb."
NEWS RECORD
This is the story of Nicholas Linnear, half-Caucasian, half-Oriental, a man caught between East and West, between the sexual passions of a woman he can't forget and the one he can't cont
...more
Leslie
Although this book wasn’t what I thought it would be, it was still a wonderful and entertaining read for me. It wasn’t like other suspense/thriller books that I’ve read. It still had that element but the story went beyond that. This was a book that told a story of a man who is searching for his place, his home whether that’s here in the West or back in Japan. This was a book that gave due respect to the philosophies and culture of China and Japan. All of this was put together by beautiful and po ...more
Cynthia Nichols
Always sketchy rating something that I really liked 25 years ago - would I like it as much now? Well, you can't re-read everything. I remember these books as being cracking thrillers with insights into Japanese culture - oh, and plenty of hot sex. Very enjoyable.
Jon West
Well written and suspenseful. Our protagonist is the son of a Chinese/Japanese mother and a British officer, raised in post-war Japan. The story takes place in New York, approximately 1980, with frequent flashbacks to boyhood in Japan. The flashbacks explain the training and formation of the hero's personality. The east-west influences of his background are an important part of the character. We are also entertained with love interests and an arch-enemy.

A little different and highly recommended
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William Bentrim
The Ninja by Eric Van Lustbader

I have tried reading Lustbader before. I guess, considering his success, that it is me. Sounds like a blow off for a relationship but his books sell well. I just find them disjointed. This plot features a Ninja which should be enough right there for excitement.

I just found the jump from character to character just too much. I did not finish the book. I don't say that very often. I pride myself on plowing through just to see the end. I couldn't get interested enoug
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Ross
I read this when I was very young, probably too young, but it had a big impact on me and set my curiosity on fire to learn martial arts. I re-read it recently (over 20 years later... give or take) and have since studied the Samurai sword fighting art of Iaido and Jodo stick fighting amongst other forms and I smiled to myself at the accuracy that Van Lustbader has employed in this tale, he did do his homework, especially for Nicholas Linear's early training in Japan with regards to form and disci ...more
RunRachelRun
I read a lot of Van Lustbader's books as a teenager. Always a little shiver of "whoa, I don't think I should be reading this at my age". Sigh, that innocence is long gone.
Heather
I was asked to review this book for NetGalley.
I usually read Eric Van Lustbader's Bourne Series, but this is the first Nicholas Linnear book I read and enjoyed it very much. However, I did not like the character of Justine. I just thought Nicolas should have a stronger, saner woman- but that's just me. I enjoyed the history that the novel provided into the Nicolas' past. One thing that took a bit getting used to was the way it jumped to different parts of stories- without being a "chapter". (
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Yatish
I came to know Eric Lustbader when he started writing the sequels to Robert Ludlum's famous Bourne series. This though was my first exposure to a purely original Lustbader work and it was a pleasure. I read this book right after completing Barry Eisler's Graveyard of Memories which was set in modern Japan so it felt surreal traversing medieval Japan via Linnear's eyes and covering its ninja/samurai history.
It was a fascinating read but I felt that the love story and the fantastical elements inco
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Kevincl
This is now the second time I have read this book. I first read it over 20 years ago while I was stuck in hospital with time on my hands. I absolutely loved it as much in the second reading as I did the first time. Knowing the outcome did not spoil the book in any way. I tore through the pages, reading the book in just under 5 days, something that is a huge feat of achievement for me. I am happy to remember once again what it is to thoroughly enjoy a good book.

I plan now to read the other books
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Jerome Statema
This is one of my favorite novels of all time, and the first book in one of my favorite series of all time. I'll grant I love a lot of books, but this is one that has stuck with me since I discovered it in high school. I've only now started reading this series again since it finally came out in e-book format.

I think I have the Ludlum family to thank for that. I'm not sure if this would have happened if they hadn't decided to enlist Lustbader's aid to continue the Bourne series of books which Rob
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Joel Gomes
Comprei este livro há cerca de dez anos, mais ou menos ou menos vinte depois do seu lançamento, e só agora o li. Porque é que eu faço esta referência que, à partida, não deveria ter qualquer influência na minha apreciação do livro? Precisamente porque não deveria, mas tem.

Gostaria de dizer que foi o enredo que me levou a comprar este livro, mas não foi. Também não foi a recomendação feita na contracapa por Robert Ludlum, autor de, entre muitos outros, A Identidade de Bourne (série que foi contin
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J-Man
Ovo je knjiga koju sam ''pročitao'' (navodnici su tu jer sam preskakao dosadne delove) prvi put kao klinac od 15 godina i tada su eksplicitni opisi strejt, gej i bi seksa, incesta i nimfomanije ostavili jak utisak na moje mladalačke senzibilitete. Daleko od toga da je to bio jedini put da sam u neprimerenom dobu konzumirao takve sadržaje, i sad kad malo razmislim to je jedna ozbiljna tema za razmišljanje ili raspravu, ta dostupnost svega i svačega omladini, ali za neki drugi put.

Sad ovako mator
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Eric Van Lustbader was born and raised in Greenwich Village. He is the author of more than twenty-five best-selling novels, including The Ninja, in which he introduced Nicholas Linnear, one of modern fiction's most beloved and enduring heroes. The Ninja was sold to 20th CenturyFox, to be made into a major motion picture. His novels have been translated into over twenty languages.

Mr. Lustbader is
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More about Eric Van Lustbader...

Other Books in the Series

Nicholas Linnear (6 books)
  • The Miko (Nicholas Linnear, #2)
  • White Ninja (Nicholas Linnear, #3)
  • The Kaisho (Nicholas Linnear, #4)
  • Floating City (Nicholas Linnear, #5)
  • Second Skin (Nicholas Linnear, #6)
The Bourne Legacy (Jason Bourne, #4) The Bourne Objective (Jason Bourne, #8) The Bourne Deception (Jason Bourne, #7) The Bourne Betrayal (Jason Bourne, #5) The Bourne Sanction (Jason Bourne, #6)

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