Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Favorites from the Past: Shogun

Building on the My Favorite Reads theme over At Home with Books, I'm 'borrowing' her logo, and making this a Friday Favorites column every week. This week's showcased book from the past is Shogun by James Clavell. I was living in Japan when I read this, so the rich panapoly of scenery, history, and culture was quite vivid to me. I loved being able to learn more about the history and culture of that exotic country, and remember asking all my Japanese friends about various customs, foods, and locations. It's the story of John Blackthorne, a European sea captain, who ends up in Japan during the era of the Shoguns. I don't remember many details (it's been over 20 years since I read it) but I do remember that it was historically accurate, and that Clavell did a magnificent job bringing that history to a fictional setting. It is a dense read (particularly at the beginning and especially if you're not familiar with Japan) but one that was well worth it. I suspect most Americans over the age of 40 have seen the movie (or was it a mini-series?) starring Richard Chamberlain. We waited anxiously for Armed Forces TV to show it overseas so we could compare the book to the film. I'm partial to the book, but on the other hand, who doesn't like Richard Chamberlain? If you want a good summer read, with rich characters, an exciting plot with lots of action, incredible scenery, and a history lesson on top, go find a copy of this one. I'm going to have to find time to re-read it myself.

1 comment:

  1. I think I will do this each friday. Sounds good to me. Infact the book I posted today is the best read of this week.

    Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill


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