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Noble House [Mass Market Paperback]

James Clavell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 11.99
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1986 James Clavell's Asian Saga

The setting is Hong Kong, 1963. The action spans scarcely more than a week, but these are days of high adventure: from kidnapping and murder to financial double-dealing and natural catastrophes–fire, flood, landslide. Yet they are days filled as well with all the mystery and romance of Hong Kong–the heart of Asia–rich in every trade…money, flesh, opium, power.

Frequently Bought Together

Noble House + Tai-Pan + King Rat
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.56

  • Tai-Pan CDN$ 10.82
  • King Rat CDN$ 9.92

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Product Details

Product Description


"The last time I was so taken with a spellbinding safari was when I read Gone With The Wind."—Los Angeles Times.

“Clavell’s biggest triumph yet…storytelling done with dash and panache...a rousing read.” —Washington Post

“Fiction for addicts…extravagantly romantic…a book that you can get lost in for weeks…staggering complexity…not only is it as long as life, it’s also as rich with possibilities.” —New York Times

“Tremendous entertainment…a seamless marvel of pure storytelling.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A mesmerizer…spellbinding.” —Los Angeles Times

“Breathtaking…only terms like colossal, gigantic, titanic, incredible, unbelievable, gargantuan, are properly descriptive.…Clavell has made himself the king of super-adventure thrillers.” —Chicago Tribune Book World

From the Publisher

The setting is Hong Kong, 1963. The action spans scarcely more than a week, but these are the days of high adventure: from kidnapping and murder to financial double-dealing and natural catastrophes -- fire, flood, and landslide. Yet they are days filled as well with all the mystery and romance of Hong Kong -- the heart of Asia -- rich in every trade... money, flesh, opium, power.

"The last time I was so taken with a spellbinding safari was when I read Gone With The Wind." -- Los Angeles Times.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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The police officer was leaning against one corner of the information counter watching the tall Eurasian without watching him. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Winded Oct. 8 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is Clavell's last book of his epic series. I am glad that I read Tai-Pan (thanks to another customer review's suggestion), so that I was able to follow the characters and historic development of Noble House. Noble House is much better than Tai-Pan and is definitely an easier read.
Noble House has a pretty good plot. I found the Russia, world-domination plot a little underdeveloped and could have been wiped out entirely out of the equation, thus, saving a couple hundred pages of this lengthy 1200+ epic novel.
The main characters are exciting to follow: Ian Dunross, Casey, Bartlett, Quillan Gornt, 4 Fingers Wu. Some are developed enough to recognize throughout the novel: Peter Marlowe, Brian Kwok, Philip and John Chen, Suslev. And some could have been left out: Haply, Inspector Smyth, Havergill, etc.
A pretty decent read, but very, very long. This could have been shortened and still be a powerful novel - even more so.
It makes sense to read these in order because of continuing saga's. I took the shortcut and only read Tai-Pan and Noble House and this was enough to follow the storyline.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Set 120 years after the events of Tai-Pan, Ian Dunross is the latest in Dirk Struan's line to head Struan's, also known as the Noble House. To survive, Struan's always skates the financial edge, and Quillan Gornt, descendant of Dirk's enemy, Tyler Brock, is quite happy to push it over the edge.
Even though we meet many fine characters, from American businesswoman Casey Tcholok to smuggler's son Paul Choy, Hong Kong itself is really the star of this novel. Seeming almost anarchic at times, the colony (as it then was, the novel is set in 1963) and its people, Chinese and British, seem to worship one god, Money.
Clavell ties in references to his other novels--characters from King Rat show up and relive their wartime hatred, many of the characters discuss and live out the heritage of Tai-Pan, and a Japanese character mentions briefly the events of Shogun.
This is the sort of book that will keep you up reading until 4 a.m.
What I didn't like: I found the character of Peter Marlowe most annoying. He shows up all the time, acts like a know it all, and is really Clavell's way of writing himself into the book. Also, about six different times, it is mentioned that the U.S. is starting to get involved in Vietnam, and each time, a precient character chirps (or at least thinks) that the U.S. will regret it. Hindsight is 20/20, the novel was published in 1981.
A good read.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's 1963. Hong Kong business conglomerate Noble House teeters on its foundations, dangerously close to collapse. With enemies and fair-weather friends on all sides vying for a chunk of the fallout rubble, Ian Dunross Struan, tai-pan of the Noble House, must somehow wheel and deal his way into at least twenty million dollars to pay off his debts and save his inheritance. But the tai-pan's struggle is just the surface layer of story, for in _Noble House_ James Clavelle weaves an incredible amount of subplots and historical tangents into a seamless whole-a massive tome that should give the consistent reader many hours of entertainment. Included in this week and a half of Hong Kong history: cold war espionage, bank failures and hostile takeovers, stock market fluctuations, drug smuggling, kidnapping, murder, high-price concubines and the men that desperately seek to please them, horse racing with enormous sums on the line, and the ever-present threat of a sudden typhoon or earthquake to interrupt everyone's fun and put things in perspective.
_Noble House_ is structured in the typical novel format, being a slow, steady rise of tension and the continual addition of complications, always building the conflict and potential consequences, until release: climax and conclusion. Keeping the reader interested in both plot and characters over 350+ thousand words shows great skill on the part of the author. But what impressed me most about _Noble House_ were Clavelle's insights into the human condition: the fallible, fragile nature of both interpersonal and professional relationships; the overpowering lure of greed and lust; the strong contrasts in eastern and western thought processes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Modern Continuation of Tai Pan June 1 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Like all of Clavell's books since 1980, I bought Noble House the moment I knew it was available. Unfortunately, that was during a week of law school finals. Although I finished the thousand pages in a few days, my grades turned out to be a full level below all my other semesters. That's how spellbinding Noble House is. This book is certainly top rate in terms of plot, suspense and characters in its own right, but what bound me to it during all my spare time was the interrelationship with the characters from Clavell's previous Hong Kong novel, Tai Pan and, to a lesser extent, King Rat. The same was true later with Whirlwind and Gai Jin, neither of which gathered a speck of dust in the bookstore before I bought it. Even today, I mourn over the fact that Clavell didn't live long enough to write another 2 or 3 books in his series. I have never read any other author who leaves so many questions unanswered and so many critical issues unresolved, but does so in a way that feeds the curiosity so strongly rather than disappointing. It is a tribute to Clavell's monumental skill as a storyteller that this is a strength of his novels rather than a major irritant to his readers. Very few of those readers stopped at one Clavell novel and, as far as I know, almost everyone who has read one goes on to read all the rest. Unlike so many of today's authors, he writes about heroes who aren't made of cardboard and who hold genuine mystery no matter how closely they are observed.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good for a repeat read
Published 23 days ago by Bob van Riezen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
An amazing book. So much more than the 80's tv special. Brings you back to its original settings in the 60's and the turmoil before vietnam and so forth
Published on Aug. 17 2012 by Marc
4.0 out of 5 stars Noble House
As I said earlier I was very disappointed because I did not receive a new copy of Noble House, but with your recent refund of 20 % I reappraised your standing to 4 star. G.W. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2012 by G.W. Sampson
James Clavell was a WONDERFUL Writer (yes, with a capital W) and NOBLE HOUSE was a gift he left to us!

Through his eyes we visit Hong Kong in the 1970's. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2007 by NeuroSplicer
3.0 out of 5 stars detailed and intriguing !!
A very good novel about Hong Kong. As a native of Hong Kong, it fascinates me.
To my knowledge. Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by Andrew C. LING
3.0 out of 5 stars A typical action-drama
Not bad, if you like a story about businessmen wheeling and dealing, although a bit long.
Published on June 2 2004 by Paul Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than taipan
This book is the best book i ever read, but again this book is not recommended for lower class because it might offend them. But if your in upper class well one must have it.
Published on May 20 2004 by za
4.0 out of 5 stars Review by Shane Kennedy - Author of Highbinders
Author James Clavell wrote six epic novels that he referred to as "The Asian Saga" consisting of Shogun, Tai-Pan, Gai-Jin, King Rat, Noble House, and Whirlwind. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2003 by Shane Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge, engrossing novel!!!
This book doesn't have the historical sweep, grandeur and other-worldly feel of SHOGUN, but it is even more densely packed with political and personal machinations, intrigue,... Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2003 by RMurray847
2.0 out of 5 stars Gave up half-way through...
I guess I'll have to be a wet blanket and say - I couldn't finish it. I made it about half-way through and just couldn't keep all the characters straight and trying to understand... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2003
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