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Noble House

(Asian Saga: Chronological Order #5)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  37,534 ratings  ·  577 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN13: 9780440164845.

The tai-pan, Ian Dunross, struggles to rescue Struan's from the precarious financial position left by his predecessor. To do this, he seeks partnership with an American millionaire, while trying to ward off his arch-rival Quillan Gornt, who seeks to destroy Struan's once and for all. Meanwhile, Chinese communists
Mass Market Paperback, 1376 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Dell (first published April 1981)
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Rich It is part of his "Tai Pan" series which is fantastic. However, it can stand alone as well as the novel takes place generations down the line from Tai…moreIt is part of his "Tai Pan" series which is fantastic. However, it can stand alone as well as the novel takes place generations down the line from Tai Pan. I recommend reading both books, Tai Pan has such a great story or discovery, life and conquest that this book continues. (less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Business is war!

This is the fourth novel of the "Asian Saga" by James Clavell.


I loved the TV miniseries adaptation of Noble House, starring Pierce Brosnan, Deborah Raffin, John Rhys-Davies and Ben Masters. In fact, I can say that it's my favorite TV miniseries. I have it on DVD and crossing fingers that they'd release it on bluray anytime soon.

So, it was logical that I'd want to read the original novel...

...boy! I didn't think that it was so thick
Jul 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
I gorged my famished literary appetite on this one around the summer of 1981. That choice of books may sound strange to my GR friends, but that was just ME that year. It was a year marred by the market-slavery of Reaganomics, but back then I just didn’t care.

Cause I played Freddy Mercury to the rabid Me Generation that surrounded me on all quarters…

Any way the wind blows
Doesn’t really matter -
Nothing really matters
To me.

You see, that was the year my Mom’s suffering finally ended with her passing
Mr. Person
Jul 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Another fantastic part of Clavell's Asian Saga, this continues the story of the Noble House, created by Dirk Struan in Tai-Pan & continued in Gai-Jin. It is set in Hong Kong & takes place over a week or so in 1963. There are a LOT of words for such a short time period. It's not as tight a story as Tai-Pan, but similar in many other respects.

Tai-Pan took place in 1841, the founding of Hong Kong. It follows the trials & tribulations of Dirk Struan. This book, Noble House, follows the green-eyed de
Michael Nash
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wish it could go on forever. The audiobook is perfection :-)
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Ken Langwell
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Hasham Rasool
The Asian Saga: the story of a Hong Kong business dynasty.
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jan 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Not quite as good as Tai-pan, but a continuation of it & anyone who liked the first will like this. Is almost as well done. Set in the 1960's, 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. ...more
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Dull. Full of unlikely coincidences. Very sad coming from the man who wrote my all-time favourite book, Shogun.
L.A. Pontes
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's the sixties and the Noble House is caught in serious trouble. Led by several disastrous administrations it finally encounters a new Taipan worthy of the title. A man who won't stop at nothing to assure that the company remains the number one company in the Hong Kong multibillionaire trading business.
Both Taipan and Noble House, even more, gravitate around wealth and power. I'll tell you, it may be part of a formula after all its appeal is very strong, but it sure works. It builds an aura of
Marat Beiner
Actual rating is 3.5 stars, but Clavell you know...
This book had some great moments (like connection to "King Rat"), but yet it was short to deliver.
It had too much boring scenes and too much "business talk" for my test.
Before I read this book, I read "Gai-Jin" which considers far worst book than this one, but I loved it.
I was hopping that this one (considers as one of his best) will be at least as good as "Gai-Jin", unfortunately for me it wasn't.
I think that this book is better in a second rea
Radu Stanculescu
Not the best story, but some of the best characters out there. Also, the reader for the audiobook version is amazingly versatile. I do recommend giving it a chance as audiobook, although it's 54.5 h long... ...more
Laura Noggle
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wrenching. Delicious. Classic Clavell and Hong Kong in 1963.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I so love the sagas. Historically rich and covers all facets of the era and place.
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Someday I'd like to hear from someone who lived in Hong Kong to determine this books accuracy, especially regarding the way the Chinese refer to each other. The NY Times seems to think the book was quite accurate. It certainly was entertaining. I ended up liking it even more than I thought I would. All of it's many threads and plot points flowed together in the end. No small feat for a 55 hour audiobook! The 1988 mini-series isn't bad either and it was 6 hrs (available for $7 in HD on VUDO right ...more
Paul Cornelius
Written in 1981 but set in 1963, Noble House is the flip side view of Hong Kong from another novel set in the colony during the late 1950s, The World of Suzie Wong. Whereas Suzie Wong was a sympathetic portrait of cheongsam clad prostitutes desperate to survive in the muck and poverty of Hong Kong, Noble House is a lengthy soap opera detailing cheongsam clad dragon ladies and their wealthy husbands and boyfriends.

This is not meant to disparage Noble House, where once again James Clavell demonst
Brian Wade
I finalllyy finished this huge brick last evening. "Good grief" said C. Brown. What a monster of a book/story, even by Clavell standards. Many subplots; too many. I enjoyed NH - 3.5stars - but the story and subplots were convoluted. Granted the book takes place within the time span of 1week, but there was too much going on in the story line. I loved Shogun and really liked Tai-Pan. Gai-Jin, not quite as much. I'd rank NH on par or just below Gai-Jin in order of enjoyment. This is a must read for ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
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
Al Philipson
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second story in the Hong Kong story by Clavell.

In Tai-Pan, we learned a lot about the founding of Hong Kong and the establishment of Struans, the "Noble House" around 1841.

This story takes place in the "modern" Hong Kong of 1963 and a direct descendant of Dirk Struan ("Old Green-eyed Devil") takes over the leadership of the house and becomes THE Tai-Pan. But Struans is in trouble. It's up to Ian Dunross to save the company, it's place at the top of the Hong Kong hierarchy, and possibly the f
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes after finishing a book, I wish to go back and re-rate all of the other books I have read as the more recent one eradicates the older ones from the top of the list. This book re-created that effect...

I don't know how the author classified the novel, but for me this is an interesting mix of business and thriller. The reader is one of the few to know what is going on some of the time with most of the other people grasping at straws they only think may exist. This adds incredible levels of
Ren Bedasbad
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book
A very large book with an incredible amount of engaging sub-plots that you completely forget what the point of the book is (if there is one), and just get lost in the myriad of well-written characters and an accurate portrayal of being a businessman in a 1960s Hong Kong. There is a lot going on in this book, which actually keeps the length of the book interesting and exciting. It held my attention the entire way and I only wanted to learn more about the characters and the motivations behind all ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add recoprocal ACE info 3 13 Dec 10, 2017 01:36PM  
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Goodreads Librari...: I don't think the ISBN for this book is correct 3 16 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.


James Clavell. (2007, November 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Other books in the series

Asian Saga: Chronological Order (6 books)
  • Shōgun
  • Tai-Pan (Asian Saga, #2)
  • Gai-Jin (Asian Saga, #3)
  • King Rat (Asian Saga, #4)
  • Whirlwind (Asian Saga, #6)

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