Noble House (Asian Saga, #4)
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Noble House (Asian Saga #4)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  21,657 ratings  ·  280 reviews

The setting is Hong Kong, 1963. The action spans scarcely more than a week, but these are days of high adventure: from kidnapping and murder to financial double-dealing and natural catastrophes–fire, flood, landslide. Yet they are days filled as well with all the mystery and romance of Hong Kong–the heart of Asia–rich in every trade…money, flesh, opium, power.
Mass Market Paperback, 1376 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Dell (first published 1981)
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Craig
Jul 04, 2007 Craig rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
In many ways, this is my favorite Clavell novel. I'm kind of a big sucker for it.

It's a huge, vastly sweeping epic contained entirely within a single week in Hong Kong. It's a blockbuster of a novel in every sense, bringing equal amounts of entertainment and intellectual provocation.

There's something else going on in this novel which gives it added joy for those who have devoured the rest of the Asian saga -- in Noble House, Clavell begins to tie together the characters from all his other nove...more
Heber
A fascinating saga written with tremendous talent. Very interesting page turner and one of the best books I have ever read. Clavell includes a bank run, a bear raid, international intrigue, relationship/sexual tension, smuggling operations, natural disasters, multi-generational rivalry, blood oaths, espionogue and dramatic natural disasters in an extremely action packed period of little more than one week. A long book (as are all my favorites) but a very interesting read and one which I highly r...more
Michael Nash
Ding-dong the witch is dead!. 6 months and 1400 pages later, I have finally finished this massive door stopper of a novel, and the best I can say about it is that its better than Gai-jin, the massive tome about Struan's in 1870s Japan which also took me most of a year to get through. I've been reading a book of Clavell's Asian Saga per year since college, a privileged position on my reading list accorded to him because I so enjoyed Shogun, Tai-pan and King Rat.
The plot of this novel moves at a s...more
Andy
The follow up to Tai-pan. Clavell famously visited Hong Kong and ingratiated himself with the high society of the island. He based his story around many real events, which he garnered from those very same socialites. The building that tumbled down the mountain side during inclement weather was owned by my old landlord, Oscar Wong. He used to tell me of the day james Clavell came to interview him about that night. An epic battle between the Jardine's, Swire and the new Chinese Hong's who started...more
CD
Popular fiction bordering on great. As with many of James Clavell's works they could easily be viewed as dated rather than a period work or 'historical fiction'.

This view of mine is based on how Clavell relates the contemporaneous social and political views of the time in his works. Whether he was writing for the ages is doubtful, but the plot and story is timeless. Greed and intrigue and power are always sound subjects on which to build a tale.

Dated or not I've got to read this and several of...more
Ken Langwell
If you haven't read James Clavell's Asian Saga you are depriving yourself of an amazing journey that begins in the 15th century in Japan's feudal Shogunate period, capturing your attention and your imagination with "Shogun," and refuses to let go as you move through the series with Tai Pan, Gai Jin, King Rat, Noble House and finally Whirlwind.

Clavell was an incredible story-teller who opens up a world and a culture largely unknown to those of us in the West, and it is a profound loss to the lit...more
Cecilia W Yu
If you read this, you will understand why "May you live in interesting times!" is a curse in the Hong kong Cantonese culture! It is not an amazingly well written novel. But the content documents a time/people I know intimately. For that reason, it is a good start to understanding how complicated it is and how many world powers and non have their mittens in the continued existence of Hong kong. Nobel house is a simple beginners way of seeing how every civilisation that rules/ruled the world... co...more
Debbie
The summer of 1990, I worked on a project in Phoenix, AZ. For 6 or 8 weeks, I flew every Sunday afternoon from Dallas to Phoenix and flew home Friday night. I was the only project team member in Phoenix, and my personality is not the kind to go out exploring on my own. So a summer of plane flights and evenings alone were the perfect time to read this book. I had a wonderful hotel room with a balcony facing northwest and almost every evening I would return to the hotel and sit out on the balcony...more
Jim
Not quite as good as Tai-pan, but a continuation of it & anyone who liked the first will like this. I think this was published next after Tai-pan & is as well done. Set in the 1970's or 80's I think, it's similar in a lot of ways to Tai-Pan. One of the cool things is Clavell writes himself into this book as a reporter, Peter Marlow. It's not a huge part, but fun.
Ian
Wow... this was a good book... no, scratch that... this was a GREAT book. It built upon all of his previous novels, including Shogun. It has to be one of my favorites of his.
George
VAST AND VASTLY ENTERTAINING.

"...the poor fool still doesn't understand that we Chinese are not stupid foreign devils - or devils from the Eastern Sea - who'll line up patiently for hours. Oh no, we civilized persons understand life and it's every man for himself." - page 449

Set in Hong Kong, 1963, NOBLE HOUSE (Asia Saga #4) is another of James Clavell's epic soap operas, replete with all the drama, romance, lust, greed, and intrigue that make soap opera so compelling. With the extra added attra...more
Wendybird
Jan 01, 2010 Wendybird added it
Shelves: abandoned
Was reluctant to quit on this book as so many gave it high marks. At chapter 18 I'd just had enough. This very lengthy story with a cast of what seems like a thousand characters is told through dialog, the thoughts and private perspectives of these myriad characters and had little literary appeal for me. After 300 pages, I still don't know or understand what motivates them aside from money. I've enjoyed other novels that similarly read like screenplays, but those are one quarter the length of No...more
Cathy
I loved this book ... but I will admit a clear bias. It is about my home town. Rarely can an author nail a culture in which he did not live but Clavell gets it. This semi-sequel to Tai Pan is gripping, like all Clavell's novels and once you pick it up, you don't want to put it down. His characters are interesting and feel like people you have met or wish you will never meet, depending on the circumstances. I suspect that people who have never been to Hong Kong may not find it as interesting as I...more
Walter
This epic saga of a great British mercantile house in Hong Kong in the early 1960s is a 1400 page tome whose plot takes place in the space of one week. The action in the novel is intense. In Noble House, you get the feel of a staunchly capitalistic Hong Kong, a place that makes the setting of "The Jungle" look like a worker's paradise! Clavell's hero, like most of Clavell's heroes, is an alpha male and the absolute monarch of the family business which controls much of Hong Kong's commerce and po...more
Sue
This book is over 1000 pages, yet it kept my interest piqued the whole time. Clavell does an excellent job of entertaining and educating. The cultures of Hong Kong and the history of the businesses and race relations was very interesting. The plot was think and kept me wanting more.

I believe I'll read this one again someday. The sequil: Gai - Gin picks up where this one leaves off - carrying on the genereations and the rivalries.
Anelia
Не толкова добра, колкото "Шогун" или поне на мен така ми се стори. Хубавото е, че освен като продължение на "Тай-пан", в "Търговска къща" Клавел продължава историите на някои от героите си от предишните си книги, дори и на тези от "Шогун". Действието се развива бързо и няма как да ти доскучее, докато я четеш. Героите са многопластови, изградени с много мисъл и план.
Jeruen
For one week in 1963, heavy rains pour in Hong Kong. At the same time, there are landslides, bank runs, kidnappings, espionage, and other high-profile incidents that happen in and around the British colony. And caught in the middle of these are the CEOs of foreign companies based in this island. For one week, this book narrates the events surrounding the daily life of two rival CEOs, when the CEO of a third company based in the USA arrives looking for a partnership with either one of them. The n...more
Eliza
Well, that was unexpected. On multiple fronts.

First: the freakishly, deliciously complex plot.
I know, the audiobook is 56 hours long, what was I expecting, but James Clavell milks more out of a single week than anyone I've ever seen. Shit happens in seven days, and the condensed time frame works marvelously to his advantage. Clavell explores the microscopic details of life in Hong Kong, weaving together narratives from toilet maid to Tai-Pan with expert flair and panache. It seems, it smells, i...more
Delicious Strawberry
James Clavell is known for his thick books, this one is nearly 1400 pages long! Normally I like thick books - more story to read - but this one simply isn;t as good as Shogun. There were parts of this book that were really good and exciting, but other parts were very podding and I found myself frustrated with them.

Shogun was so interesting because Blackthorne/Anjin was immersed in Japanese culture and had to learn how to survive and fit within it, but the rest of the books did not follow this fo...more
BoekenTrol
To be read, after I read the library book many years ago. Liked it a lot, found thsi copy in a second hand book shop et voilà :-)

21-12-12
All along while reading this book, I couldn't shake the feeling, that I might not have read this one before.
ususally, even after many year, I do at least remember part of the plot, the main characters, some of the twists and turns. But while reading this book, I finally came to the conclusion, that I did not read it. It must have been one of Clavell's other bo...more
Myra
From Amazon: "The setting is Hong Kong, 1963. The action spans scarcely more than a week, but these are days of high adventure: from kidnapping and murder to financial double-dealing and natural catastrophes—fire, flood, landslide. Yet they are days filled as well with all the mystery and romance of Hong Kong—the heart of Asia—rich in every trade…money, flesh, opium, power."

With all of that going on, this had the potential to be a 4-star book. The underlying story of an American company trying t...more
James
Noble house has become one of my favorite novels. This historical novel that is part of Clavell's "Asian Saga" contains large quantities of the Seven Deadly Sins, with avarice and lust leading the way. The story is set in mysterious Hong Kong in 1963, with its beautiful women, wealthy men, cultural clashes, and fascinating intrigue. A longtime feud between two of the largest financial houses revolves about Struan's - the Noble House - and its battle for economic survival. The plot is further com...more
Eryk
Clavell's Asian Saga was fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed his first three books, including King Rat, Tai-Pan, and Shogun. Each offered a spirited historical fiction account of larger than life characters at the center of major milestones in the intersection of the east and the west. Unfortunately by the fourth book, Noble House, I started recognizing a clear formula to the tales that may have intended to draw parallels between the previous books and the current story, but instead robbed the n...more
Andreas
The sequel to Tai Pan is set in the early 1960s, a time when Hong Kong had come into its own as an economic powerhouse with liberal laws allowing huge fortunes to be made and lost. The story focuses around Struan’s, the company founded by Dirk Struan from Tai Pan. The company is in trouble from several fronts, and both inter-company and political intrigue play a part.

Struan’s is rather obviously based on real life company Jardine Matheson, still one of the most important corporations in Hong Kon...more
Ty Parsons
What an epic of a book. Despite reading over half dozen other books during, Noble House took me 10 months to read. The story is huge, the character intense, the layers throughout the plot immense, the exotic, exciting story goes on and on. But this is just James Clavell, his books classic pieces of literature. I absolutely loved Shogun, but there were a few things that let Noble House down, the ending one of them. This book is so huge, that it was hard to wrap up and didn't have the surprise I w...more
Spirohir
I very much enjoyed this book, long as it was, and it is a brilliant novel about Asia and Hong Kong during the uncertain age of the 60s. Vividly set in the chaotic world of Hong Kong, this is a novel where the location is very much a character on its own. The twists in the plot and the outrageous turns of events are gleeful and ironic. The smells, sounds and sights of Hong Kong just leap out of the pages at you.

The one thing that prevents me from giving the book the full 5 stars though is that...more
Arizona Mildman
Again, like "Shogun, Volumes one and two" and "Tai Pan", "I Loved It!" As Shogun and Tai Pan, the first and second volumes, the Noble House shows us the historical followup as seen through the eyes of the same European family with a generations of additions and ruthless, horrible twists, with all the family love stories and affairs as well as rivalry and resentment. Clavell, with his expertise as a historical fiction writer, and insights as to Asian culture, like Louis L'Amour is to Western writ...more
Vidya
The book is HUMONGOUS....1300 pages in all....i actually took it in for the christmas hols but ended up reading only after the beginning of the new yr! the begining is interesting..the middle a bit boring and towards the end it gets fairly gripping.It is about the working dynamics of the Chinese mafia settled in Hong Kong and the various ups and downs of a particular clan.The whole book,set in the 1960's, chronicles the happenings spread over only 5 days but there is obviously a lot of flashback...more
Debbie
Book five in the Asian Saga (by time period of the story, not publication date).

Ian Dunross is the current tai-pan of Noble house, the trading company originally started by Dirk Struan, a charismatic and ruthless businessman. Though the Noble House has controlled trade in Hong Kong for many years, the company is in trouble. An American businessman and a long-time rival scheme to take over the Noble House. Meanwhile, the various governments seeking to control Hong Kong engage in varying levels of...more
Mark Sequeira
As others have noted, this is a page-heavy book. The author must have a Russian great-aunt hiding around a corner as each book gets longer and longer. If it wasn't about Hong Kong and that I had read Tai-Pan, I wouldn't have read it (or finished it?). There is a fair amount of smut in the book, I imagine to keep it interesting and appealing to some readers. And it appears less 'historical' than Tai-Pan as well. As a Portugese descendant from a ShangHai family, I can only say that the Chinese rep...more
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Goodreads Librari...: I don't think the ISBN for this book is correct 3 14 May 31, 2014 06:34AM  
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James Clavell, born Charles Edmund Dumaresq Clavell was a British novelist, screenwriter, director and World War II veteran and POW. Clavell is best known for his epic Asian Saga series of novels and their televised adaptations, along with such films as The Great Escape, The Fly and To Sir, with Love.


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James Clavell. (2007, November 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia....more
More about James Clavell...
Shōgun (Asian Saga, #3) Tai-Pan (Asian Saga, #2) King Rat (Asian Saga, #1) Gai-Jin (Asian Saga, #6) Whirlwind (Asian Saga, #5)

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“He took a deep breath of air. Once again he caught a strangeness on the wind, neither pleasant nor unpleasant, neither odor nor perfume—just strange, and curiously exciting. “Superintendent, what’s that smell? Casey noticed it too, the moment Sven opened the door.” Armstrong hesitated. Then he smiled. “That’s Hong Kong’s very own, Mr. Bartlett. It’s money.” 0 likes
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