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The 47th Samurai

(Bob Lee Swagger #4)

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  4,558 ratings  ·  299 reviews
Bob Lee Swagger and Philip Yano are bound together by a single moment at Iwo Jima, 1945, when their fathers, two brave fighters on opposite sides, met in the bloody and chaotic battle for the island. Only Earl Swagger survived.

More than sixty years later, Yano comes to America to honor the legacy of his heroic father by recovering the sword he used in the battle. His searc
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Audio CD, 11 pages
Published September 11th 2007 by Brilliance Audio
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,558 ratings  ·  299 reviews


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Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
I'm sure that some will read this book and rate it lower than I have...there is a HUGE eye roll factor here in at least one way. I'll say this...do some mental exercise and beef up your "suspension of disbelief muscles".

I like the Bob Lee Swagger character pretty well. However the Bob here isn't quite the Bob we've met before. There's not a huge difference but anyone who's followed the series will probably see the differences.

This however is not the eye roll factor. I'll have to discuss that un
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Joe Moley
Jan 26, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
uh... really?

I was stuck at an airport recently with nothing to read so decided to pick this book up. Though it’s not my first choice, I generally enjoy the action/suspense genre and have read plenty of Clancy, Lee Child, and my newest favorite, Barry Eisler. This book seemed fairly intriguing as it seemed centered around Samurai and Japanese culture, two topics that should be near impossible to mess up. Unfortunately, had I not been on a flight with nothing to do I would have trashed this early
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Carol Storm
Mar 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bob Lee Swagger becomes a Samurai. I mean, really? I thought he was a rifleman! So what's next?

Bob Lee Swagger is a surfer. And he pals around with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, and together they break up a murderous hippie cult. ("Let go of the girl, Charlie. I mean it!")



Terence M
Aug 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook - listened to 4 of 12.5 hours - 1 star out of 5 - DNF

I started this novel with some reasonable expectations although GR readers reviews were pretty mixed. The narrator was OK, but the story - it just went everywhere and nowhere for me. After a couple of hours of thinking "umm ... am I going to like/finish this?". A couple of hours later I went back to the GR reviews and found that I had tilted way towards agreeing with the one and two star reviews, figured Bobby Lee wasn't going to get
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Nate
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really do try not to be cynical and always try to give the author credit when I’m reading because they did, after all, go through the effort of writing a book and getting it published. All the more so, really, because Stephen Hunter has been one of my recent favorite thriller writers. The dude is awesome. I also try my best to suspend belief at all times in the service of just having more fun with a book. All that said, this book was...just kinda dumb, really. Honestly, I was really trying to ...more
Robert
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very compelling read I burned through in three days. Stephen Hunter has always known how to weave a top quality yarn and The 47th Samurai is one of his absolute finest.
CD
Mar 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, action, suspense
Bob Lee Swagger is getting long in the tooth. Hunter's great character needs to come to resolution, and this West-East mashup isn't the vehicle to take Bob Lee to his retirement.

Those who read this story need to keep in mind that is that, a story. Maybe not a great entry in the Bob Lee sage, but still fairly satisfying and as well written as most of the rest. It does not rise to the pinnacle of Hunter's best works even while being recognizably a part of the total canon.

Another synopsis laden rev
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Jeff Stevens
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't read it for accuracy or believability.

But if you can suspend your disbelief, it's a thriller. Another Bob Lee Swagger book, and I enjoyed it every bit as much as the others, perhaps more. The cultural insights into Japan and the respect in which Hunter holds the culture are both interesting and touching. I actually believed, while reading it, in a "trees instead of forest" mindset, that Swagger could do those things with a sword even on so little training.

It's a lot of fun, but has its is
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Jarek
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has it all: original premise, likeable characters, fast paced action and a bit of dark humor. The narration by Buck Schirner is a perfect match for Stephen Hunter's writing, and the result is pure, unadulterated entertainment.
Sabrina
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Love Bob Lee Character, and will probably finish series, but I didn't enjoy the narrator - Buck Shirner..... Stephen Hunter always weaves a great story, but I felt this was not as good as the others, maybe just not my cup of tea/story ......
Ed
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thriller and Hunter fans.
Six-Word Review: Strange request, danger lurks, Swagger prevails.

I admit I'm a Stephen Hunter junkie. His stories are full of coincidences, improbable heroes, including Bob Lee and his dad, and unlikely scenarios but I read his books to escape reality not immerse myself in it. If a reader wants literature instead of an action-filled yarn, avoid Hunter.

In this issue, Swagger is visited by the son of a Japanese officer his dad had a deathly encounter with on Iwo Jima in WW II. Swagger Senior ended
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Martí Rogalski
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clancy-esque
A decent action thriller with a few interesting twists. I appreciate the work of authors that shows that they have put an effort into researching the information they include in their novels. My all time favorite Tom Clancy was one of them: the level of technical and political detail was always satisfying and showed to me that the author respects his reader and doesn't take their satisfaction with just a nice story for granted.

The same is the case here: I assume Hunter had consulted his work wi
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Stuart
Jan 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephan Hunter has been my movie reviewer of choice for more than 30 years. First, when I lived in Baltimore and read him in the Sun, then when he followed me down to DC and took a job with the Post. (That doesn't sound too egotistical, does it? Something tells me Oliver Sacks would have a field day parsing the self-absorption in that sentence.) That said, he (we) are still boys at heart. Full of all the fascination for things that go boom or cut and bleed. It was only a matter of time when all ...more
Chuck
Stephen Hunter must have spent considerable time researching Samauri, swords, and Japanese culture in general because it is so detailed that sometimes it gets tediously more noticeable than the plot. I did not enjoy this book as much as the previous appearances of Bob Lee Swagger, but am glad that I read it. Hunter's character's are fun, full of energy, all built around Swagger's indestructabilty and vulnerabilty. You have to love Hunter's sense of humor which is best exposed in his acknowlegeme ...more
Nadia
Things get better somewhere in the middle of book. There was finally some action going on cause I was getting kinda bored with all encyclopedia stuff that found it's way into the narrative.
The strangest thing in the book is how Swagger learned how to fight with a sword so good he could beat all those Japanese fighters who spent long years in learning and practice?
I actually liked how story echoed the legend about 47 samurai. The history repeats itself.
Howard Anders
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Hunter just keeps getting better. The series may have to end prematurely, however, if Bob Lee Swagger keeps getting chunks of his anatomy shot off, blown off, or as in "The 47th Samurai" carved off. And ol' Bob Lee ain't getting any younger. There are some lessons here, about loyalty and honor, and respecting the wisdom and experience of older generations, but Mr. Hunter doesn't let them get in the way of a good story. Outstanding read.
Fernando
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How the Japanese loved death! They feared shame, they loved death. They yearned to die, they dreamed of dying, possibly they masturbated to the idea of their own death. What a race of men they were, so different, so opaque, so unknowable ... yet so human.
T.W. Dittmer
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hunter did some real work on this one.

He brings the history and artistry of Japanese swordmanship to life.
Quinn
Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, 2009-books
A good solid read with excellent battle sequences.
Rex Fuller
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First rate. I will read all of the Swagger books Hunter ever writes.
Dav
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-2-prime
" Bob Lee Swagger and Philip Yano are bound together... Iwo Jima, 1945,...their fathers, two brave fighters on opposite sides...

...sixty years later, Yano comes to America to honor the legacy of his heroic father by recovering the sword he used in the battle. His search has led him to Crazy Horse, Idaho, where Bob Lee, ex-marine and Vietnam veteran, has settled...

Bob Lee finds the sword and delivers it to Yano in Tokyo. On inspection, they discover that it is not a standard WWII blade, but a leg
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CALVIN OGATA
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Stephen Hunter book I've read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot is classic Japanese - kataki (personal/family vendetta); the characters modern especially Swagger - Clint Eastwood gunny, Okada - CIA tough lady operative, Japan Self Defense Forces - they all train in a martial art e.g., Judo, Kendo, Karate, Aikido, Iaido.

What's really impressive is the sword and swordsmanship terminology and usage in the fighting scenes. Hunter spent a lot of time reading samurai and sword books
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John Cheeseman
The irony of Stephen Hunter's character Bob Lee Swagger laughing at "The Last Samurai" for Tom Cruise becoming a Samurai in 6 months when Stephen Hunter's character becomes one in a week is hilarious. I enjoyed some aspects of this book, found I had to turn off about 80% of my brain to do so though, learnt some things like the Japanese using white as our black and some of the history of Japan, Samurai and Katana's.
The story itself though is utterly ridiculous and you could poke so many holes in
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Marshall
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read books which have good characters and good dialogue and a story which moves quickly and, hopefully, teaches me something. This entry in the Bob Lee Swagger meets all those requirements. For those who want a totally believable plot, this book will fail - middle-aged Swagger becomes a master swordsman in one week. I can overlook those things while enjoying this foray to Japan, as Bob connects to a chapter in his father's life and metes out justice to the bad guys he meets, with a sword. Near ...more
Nick
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Swagger series by Stephen Hunter, however The 47th Samurai was not the typical Swagger novel which was just slightly disappointing. Usually, Swagger gets mixed up in some revenge scenario involving a lot of gun play and shooting, but this novel takes Swagger to Japan where not one single bullet is fired throughout the entire 450-plus pages. Swagger trains with a sword to take his revenge as a traditional samurai. The writing was wonderful as Hunter novels unually are, but I was just a ...more
Manolo
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like his stories, I like the character. But I have the impression that the stories got each time more complicated and less credible.
Bob Lee can be good, can be a fighter... But fight real samurais with just a few sword classes?
Again, I like that Stephen Hunter does his deep research before every story, but why shall he use all that super specific terminology?
I get lost between weaponry terms in the last 2 books and with samurai wording in this last.
I still think the first book was by far the b
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chris p letizia
This would have been 3.5 stars if that was an option. The dive into Japanese samurai and sword culture was interesting and a nice supplement to the story. As often in these types of books, the protagonist gets "lucky" again and again. The culmination of the fight with Kondo was a little disappointing. The hip replacement saving him was a stirring commentary but to believe that he would last even one exchange with a master such as Kondo stretched the limits, even in a fantasy book, a little too f ...more
Summer Seeds
Hated it. Absolutely hated it. Honestly, it was just kind of dumb. I didn't understand why there had to be so much about porn and sex. Some old man from the mid-west is never going to be a samurai, especially not from watching fictional films. And no way is the guy going to be able to take on the yakuza after like a week of sword training. It was stupid.
Chuck
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What would happen if an ex-marine and Vietnam vet were to travel to Japan and tackle a bunch of sword-wielding Yacuza gangsters? This is the story of a sword! A Japanese World War II sword that has a secret history that attracts powerful men.

The story is a thriller and kept me very involved and entertained. I won't tell you more, but if you can find a copy it is worth a read.
Nalin
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 4th entry of bob lee swagger series.

Those who read this story need to keep in mind that is that, a story. Maybe not a great entry in the Bob Lee sage, but still fairly satisfying and as well written as most of the rest. I actually liked how story echoed the legend about 47 samurai. The history repeats itself.
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Stephen Hunter is the author of fourteen novels, and a chief film critic at The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Other books in the series

Bob Lee Swagger (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger, #1)
  • Black Light (Bob Lee Swagger, #2)
  • Time to Hunt (Bob Lee Swagger, #3)
  • Night of Thunder (Bob Lee Swagger, #5)
  • I, Sniper (Bob Lee Swagger, #6)
  • Dead Zero (Bob Lee Swagger, #7; Ray Cruz, #1)
  • The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger, #8)
  • Sniper's Honor (Bob Lee Swagger, #9)
  • G-Man (Bob Lee Swagger, #10)
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