The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Other Novels To Discuss > Shogun by James Clavell (Spoilers Likely)

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message 1: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) yeah, probably I'll start it tonight.


message 2: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) I just started it on Saturday...I've made it to page 130 so far and I am completly hooked.

I read "36 Views of Mt. Fuji" by Cathy Davidson and I loved it, it's a memoir about her traveks in Japan,very insightfull! If you are wanting to learn a bit about the culture this may be a good book to try!


message 3: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Since I know you are past it, what did you think of the whole "duck incident"? Wasn't that the perfect way to get across so many cultural differences at once and let Blackthorn grow a little. I think that's genius writing.


message 4: by Kandice (new)

Kandice No, no, no. I mean when he killed the duck, and then left it hanging from the porch or whatever to "cure". He had ordered that no one in the household touch it, but the old gardener did because it was such an affront to the household. He knew that he would be killed for it, but felt it was an honor, not only because he was restoring chi, but because he was old and arthritic and ready to die. And Fujiko kills him! I mean really, really kills him. No big deal. Move the duck...die!!!!


message 5: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Sorry. I think in my mind, I just interchanged them. I had forgotten about the actual duck scene. Like we said before, there are so many scenes in that book that literally have me laughing out loud. Like a loon, so less!!! Every reading!!!!!!


message 6: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) Kandice, I know you said you've gone through 3 copies of this....how many times do you think you've read it? Just curious.


message 7: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) oh nevermind...13 times? Very nice. Definitely starting it tonight.


message 8: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Well, I first read it when I was about 13, so I've had 26 years to fit those 13 reads in.


message 9: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) LOL


message 10: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Whatever...


message 11: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I think you are right. That scene does convey that in their culture, it's just a given. Everyone has sexual equipment, everyone has desires, sex is not love, it's a fact of life. You get that right away without him spelling it out. Those old ladies are so cute! I can imagine their wizened little faces in my head. That's another part that makes me giggle.


message 12: by Kandice (new)

Kandice No spoilers, please, but if anyone has read this, would you consider the ending happy, sad or hopeful? Fiona asked me, and I really think the ending is all about the hope fo life continuing.


message 13: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) that is probably the best kind of ending for a book like this...its so long and you get so involved in the story, you don't really want an ending that you can't imagine life going on.

Is that what you mean by hope?


message 14: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Yep! I think when you invest such a chink of time into a really long book, there shouldn't be a miserable ending. It needs to be believable, of course, not butterflies and unicorns, but not completely depressing!


message 15: by Rebbie (new)

Rebbie | 140 comments I LOVED this book! And I loved TAI-PAN, too, which is also by Clavell, but can't remember if it's before or after--I think after, but it's not the same characters. I keep trying to talk my niece into reading these wonderful books, she's 16 and very capable, but just doesn't seem interested.


message 16: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Tai-Pan is after. There is an entire "Noble House" series by him. Shogun, Gai-Jin, Tai-Pan, King Rat. They are supposed to follow the ancestors of Blackthorn throughout history. I've read them all, but none hold the magic of Shogun.


message 17: by Kandice (new)

Kandice *zips*
*double zips*


message 18: by Emilly R (new)

Emilly R (rosario0829e) | 198 comments Hi wellcome,you will enjoy this site


message 19: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) oooo babies!


message 20: by Allison (last edited Apr 14, 2009 11:55AM) (new)

Allison (inconceivably) So I'm a little over halfway through it, took a break to read The Thornbirds...but man oh man, this is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. I can't believe I can honestly say that not one of the 650 pages I've read so far has been wasted. Every single tidbit adds something to the story, its brilliant.

I have never felt so desperate to read a book, yet so desperate to not finish it, you know? Maybe I'm weird...but you guys should all still read it!

Thanks K ;)


message 21: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) I hope I'm supposed to like Torenega, because I really do. I'm going to be pissed if he turns out to be a scuzz.


message 22: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Toronaga is a good guy, don't worry. All rulers have to make hard and unpopular decisions, but he IS good...


message 23: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) Fiona wrote: "... and sexy."

Torenega? Doesn't it talk about his big belly?

I'd prefer the duck :P


message 24: by Allison (last edited Apr 14, 2009 12:49PM) (new)

Allison (inconceivably) Fiona wrote: "All the better to cuddle up to I reckon (bellies not ducks)."

You can have Torenega :) I'll take Blackthorne.

Or Mariko! I have a girl crush on her, she rocks.


message 25: by Allison (new)

Allison (inconceivably) well you are a self proclaimed daimyo, you can make them all your consorts :P


message 26: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Toronaga has a big belly, but that's just a physical manifestation of his status. I imagine it's one of those very round, tight, hard bellys, like on a Buddha or something. I always picture him sitting cross legged in tabis (is that what their called) on a tatami, very straight and dignified....I think he's a little sexy too....


message 27: by Kandice (new)

Kandice That is NOT the most flattering picture. His name is Toshiro Mifune, right? He's a big star in his country. You have to be able to find a better shot!


message 28: by Kandice (new)

Kandice He looks a little flustered, that's true. You SOUND a little flustered!


message 29: by Kandice (new)

Kandice What I love, is that it's not just Blackthorn because he's been presented as attractive, it's lots of characters, because they are all made so real. They are people you could know. Or want to know. The sort of characters you wonder what happened to after the book was over.


message 30: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Shogun: One of the greatest historical fiction novels ever. The mini-series is only overshadowed, in my opinion, by "Band of Brothers." Try Clavell's other books. I particularly recommend Tai-Pan.


message 31: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Kandice wrote: "Toronaga has a big belly, but that's just a physical manifestation of his status. I imagine it's one of those very round, tight, hard bellys, like on a Buddha or something. I always picture him sit..."

In Samurai Society, the belly was seen as the seat of Wa or spirit/power and in fighting gave the fighter stability. Ever wonder why Sumo wrestlers are so heavy? Toranaga was man enough to dress like a woman to escape the Royal Palace.

Toshiro Mifune is the Marlon Brando of Japan w/o all the BS.


message 32: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Fiona wrote: "I have one reserved at the library - Gai-something which I'm a bit apprehensive about as it's over one thousand and hardback. I hope it's worth a neck ache over!"

Gai-Jin is the title. Set in the middle of the 19th century right after Perry's arrival. Some of the same characters as in Noble House plus descendants from Shogun and Tai-Pan. 1232 pages of excellent writing. Go for it. There will be no more Clavell novels as you most likely know.


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