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Gai-Jin (The Asian Saga Book 3) av James…
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Gai-Jin (The Asian Saga Book 3) (utgåvan 2021)

av James Clavell (Författare)

Serier: The Asian Saga (3)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,234265,382 (3.65)24
The heir to the magnificent English trading company, the Noble House; the direct descendant of the first Toranaga Sh?gun, battling to usher his country into the modern age; a beautiful young Frenchwoman forever torn between ambition and desire-their lives intertwine in an exotic land newly open to foreigners, gai-jin, and torn apart by greed, idealism, and terrorism. Their passions mingle with monarchs and diplomats, assassins, courtesans, and spies. Their fates collide in James Clavell's masterpiece set in nineteenth-century Japan-an unforgettable epic seething with betrayal and secrets, brutality and heroism, love and forbidden passions.… (mer)
Medlem:GTDave
Titel:Gai-Jin (The Asian Saga Book 3)
Författare:James Clavell (Författare)
Info:Blackstone Publishing (2021), 1263 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Gai-jin av James Clavell

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Gai-Jin is the weakest of the three Clavell novels I have so far read, Shogun and Tai-Pan being the other two. The strengths that Clavell brought to bear in the first two books of the Asian Saga, clear storylines and focus, disappeared in Gai-Jin, which, in some parts, frankly, is a mess. Its principle fault is that the story bobs and weaves, which is fine if you are a boxer, but not so effective if you are a novelist. In fact, I felt that the main strength of Gai-Jin was that it was an elongated backstory for a prospective mini-series for television. (It had the feel of TV script.) Alas, by the time Clavell published it in 1994, Gai-Jin was part of a genre, historical fiction, which had already pretty much seen its best days as an adaptation for television mini-series.

In fairness, this is an enormously ambitious work. Clavell has taken a vast range of characters whose lives were drawn from historical figures, and done quite a good job of giving them a resurrected life in literature. Along with Shogun and Tai-Pan, King Rat and Noble House are the other novels in the Asian Saga which have been rendered into film or television. And I have seen all of them several times. Gai-Jin was the first of Clavell's novels for which I had no previous image imposed as to what the characters were like. It's impossible to watch Shogun and not see Richard Chamberlain and Yoko Shimada or Tai-Pan and not see Bryan Brown and Joan Chen. So I was happy to find that, like Dickens, Clavell does create characterizations that stand independent of film and television personas. All are vividly pictured in my mind bar one--Malcolm Struan for whom I simply cannot attach a face or even strong overall physical presence.

The story, however, does not satisfy the reader. Really, what is the story? I'm not quite sure. All the way through, I felt it should be the tale of Toranaga Yoshi. But he seems a mere afterthought towards the end. Meanwhile, the Europeans take center stage. And they are a repulsive bunch. To make this Angelique Richaud/Struan's story to me is an abomination. Like most of the main characters, she is a foolish, greedy child, a gold digger in fancy and in fact no matter how much Clavell tries to redeem her towards the end. His other novels have been stories of older, grizzled survivors. Gai-Jin contains too many pompous entitled barely adult know-it-alls. Yes, the opening of the Asian and Pacific trader to Europe was something accomplished by young adventurers. But Angelique, Malcolm, Phillip Tyrer, Settry Pallidar, and Edward Gornt became so annoying that I kept wishing the Japanese would kick them all the way back across the Pacific.

So what happened, here? A failure to focus on the right story, I think, the story of Toranaga. Several times, you feel the novel is turning that direction. But it quickly resumes with the petty affairs and plots of Angelique and her bevy of admirers instead. Clavell was much better when he focused his sympathies on the Japanese in Shogun and the Chinese in Tai-Pan.

(And why did Clavell slip in a couple of metric measurements when the rest of the novel uses English weights and measurements, which is historically accurate?) ( )
  PaulCornelius | Apr 12, 2020 |
A historical fiction novel about European foreigners trying to set up business and trade in 1862 Japan. It is a very well written, highly engaging novel that has a large cast of interesting characters. The book mostly follows the drama of the foreigners with bits about Japan culture at the time as well. There is dealings with the Noble House, which is seen in other books in the series as well. It is an absolutely fantastic book. There is only one part that really drags on for no real reason, with how big this book is, it would have been nice to edit that down. ( )
  renbedell | Feb 29, 2020 |
Now I have to read the whole saga! This one took me a week. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
What a sprawling book. Not sure what to say.

I guess it will be interesting to see what the next book is like, since I couldn't see where the Noble House is going... ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Not as good as his _Shogun_ and _Noble House_, it is said this is because Clavell was dying while he wrote this one. Lacks clarity and focus of a main character to follow throughout the book. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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This novel is for you, whoever you are, with deep appreciation - for without you, the writer part of me would not exist.
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The panic-stricken girl was galloping full speed back towards the coast, half a mile ahead, along footpaths that led precariously through the rice swamps and paddy fields.
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The heir to the magnificent English trading company, the Noble House; the direct descendant of the first Toranaga Sh?gun, battling to usher his country into the modern age; a beautiful young Frenchwoman forever torn between ambition and desire-their lives intertwine in an exotic land newly open to foreigners, gai-jin, and torn apart by greed, idealism, and terrorism. Their passions mingle with monarchs and diplomats, assassins, courtesans, and spies. Their fates collide in James Clavell's masterpiece set in nineteenth-century Japan-an unforgettable epic seething with betrayal and secrets, brutality and heroism, love and forbidden passions.

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