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4.5 out of 5 stars62
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on October 24, 2015
Not as good as Shogun and Gai-Jin but enjoyable non the less.
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on September 27, 2014
good for a repeat read
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on August 17, 2012
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
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on January 8, 2012
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. Sampson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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. Clavell, like a virtuoso connaisseur of the human condition he is, manages to interweave a multitude of stories into a continuous carpet of a city living fast, taking risks, winning and loosing but never giving up.
Heads of huge conglomerates on the verge of foundering - yet never letting go of their rival's throat; dirt-poor Chinese maids striking it rich by a sudden turn of their joss; photographer-Wo and his trophy collection; drug-running smugglers asking for favors-you-can't-refuse; cold war spy networks riddled with double and triple agents; an American stock-market runner trying his hand in raiding Hong Kong companies; ladies getting "pillowed", men getting wooed, fortunes made and lost in the 10 days these all take place. Will the Noble House survive?

To quote Balzac, behind every great fortune lies crime. To prove him right, Noble House is but a thinly veiled reference to Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd, a real company. Anticlimactically, although a British company operating in China, it is nowadays incorporated in Bermuda - and trying to forget its opium-running past (like so many City of London companies respectable today yet founded on drugs and dead natives).

All these stories are presented masterfully, without ever loosing the reader's interest or dropping the ball of building tension. There were less than a dozen writers who could do this - starting with Homer.

My copy was so worn I had to replace it.

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on June 22, 2004
A very good novel about Hong Kong. As a native of Hong Kong, it fascinates me.
To my knowledge. all the events that took place in this book had happened in Hong Kong or Asia in some ways.
I must , however, comment that it is much too long for the layman who is not familiar with Hong Kong or China. This is not a spy novel nor a thriller and I wonder if such a person have the patience or time to go through it. In this day and age of television, this could be a great TV series but such a long and detailed book may not have much appeal. In any case, I must commend James Clavell for producing this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2004
Not bad, if you like a story about businessmen wheeling and dealing, although a bit long.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2004
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.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2003
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. Each book, while not always directly interrelated, has overlapping characters and themes that build upon one another while exploring the experiences of Europeans in Asia. While King Rat is often referred to as Clavell's strongest work, (Whirlwind his weakest) its dark setting of a Japanese POW camp during the Second World War is often too unsettling for many readers. Noble House allows a reader the option of seeing just how engrossing Clavell can be as a writer while not having to deal with the biting nature of humanity's dark side as portrayed in King Rat. Set in Hong Kong during the early 1960's, Noble House's plot evolves around the wheeling and dealing of modern day "Tai-pans" or Big Bosses of large, wealthy corporations. Clavell balances his hero, Ian Dunross, against an equally imposing counter-hero, Quillan Gornt, creating a clash between two corporate-titans that is exciting, interesting, and at times very witty. At over 1370 pages, Noble House is not a quick read, but if you are interested in reading only one of Clavell's books, Noble House should be your choice.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2003
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, "pillowing," colorful characters and tension than any of Clavell's other books. I began it with feelings of apprehension, thinking "Oh, no, 1400 pages of Hong Kong corporate good can THAT be?"
Well, it's pretty darn good!!! Yes, there's corporate intrigue, but it's actually kept to a minimum. There are murder mysteries, kidnappings, disasters, sexual intrigue, huge sums of money being thrown around, and lots of detailed glimpses into the psyche of the Chinese, Europeans and just the unique world of Hong Kong in general.
If I could have, the book would get 4.5 stars. I have just a couple of problems with it. 1) As in TAI PAN and GAI JIN, the end of the book features a major natural disaster which has the effect of sorting out some of the problems the main characters are feels like a deux ex machina from a Greek tragedy, especially now that Clavell has done it three times! 2) The ending feels a bit rushed. We've invested 1300+ pages into the book and its interesting characters...a richer ending would be in order. (Although for rushed, unsatisfying endings, you can't beat GAI JIN!)
That being said, the book is richly rewarding, and frankly, quite amazing. Clavell has successfully juggled perhaps dozens of storylines and scores of characters. The outline for the book alone must have been hundreds of pages. And all of it takes place in the course of one week!
Please, if you haven't read other Clavell books, read them in order!!! They are all great, but to be truly appreciated, they BEG to be read in order: SHOGUN, TAI PAN, GAI JIN, KING RAT, NOBLE HOUSE and WHIRLWIND. All are very rewarding, exciting reads.
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