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3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on February 2, 2004
Though there have been numerous negative comments surrounding this book, I thought I would tackle it anyway. And I have to say it was well worth it.
I will admit that at times, Clavell has characters 'space out' when they are in the middle of a conversation. At times it is difficult to keep up with the transitions he goes through.
But I still had to give it 5 stars because I loved every minute of this book. The characters are superb and if you have read shogun and tai-pan then you feel like you are still in the same book only later in life.
Read it, it will not disappoint you...
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on August 11, 1997
I heard somewhere that this was the sequel to Shogun. It is not. And I am glad it is not. Shogun is perfect as it is. But this is most deffinantly a sequel to Tai-pan. Many of the characters from that novel are mentioned, but only one ever appeaers in this book. The rest are either dead, or are the post office's best friend. So in this book you get a lot of Tai-pan-isms of business dealings and rude servants. But because the Toranagas are still in power, after 250 years, from Shogun, you get a lot of Shogun-isms too. Like sneak attacks, swords, and pillowing. But all that there is to follow up on Shogun is about a pageworth of what happened to Blackthorne (sort-of). But you learn alot about the Noble House, and that's good.
I am giving this book a 10 because there is somthing on every page, and some great action scenes. Plus if you know a thing or two about the real Japan and its history, you will discover a lot of subtle things about this power struggle going on, that are kinda hidden throughout the text.
The big problem is (and I know this is why it has recieved less than favorable reviews) that there is no real ending, and throughout the book I never knew who to root for. The shishi, Yoshi, Angelique, Malcom,or what? (But I know that we are supposed to boo Tess). Plus I loved the last page of Tai-pan, and this book burst that bubble. But it is Clavell, and his writing is facinating
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on January 6, 1997
Hold onto your hat! James Clavell has done it again. After "Shogun" and "Tai-Pan," one has to wonder how he could come close to a better effort, but in "Gai-Jin," he's done it. Action that begins right in the first pages never lets up. This book is exteremely well written, the characters well developed, and all eventually tied together in a remarkable climax that will shock even the reader accustomed to Clavell's writing.

The story of the Struan family continues with young Malcolm, the next in line to be Tai-Pan after the death of his father in "Tai-Pan," and Angelique, the object of his affections and his mother Tess's objections. Clavell takes the reader all over Japan, including right into Osaka castle and conflict with the Japanese, with more drama and suspense than one could hope for.

"Gai-Jin," set around 1865, not only gives the reader an insight into 19th century Japan, as the Shogunate era is approaching its end (in 1868), but it also ties in the stories of "Shogun" and "Tai-Pan" with references back to characters and events from those books. I would recommend reading those two first, then take on Gai-Jin; it all makes for sense that way. If you can't wait to get into it, though, go ahead -- Clavell has not made Gai-Jin dependent on the others.
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on April 22, 2001
I'm not sure why this book received so many low ratings. I liked it and was able to plow through its 1,230 pages within a few weeks. The story is similar to Tai-Pan as it involves a taipan with a forbidden love interest. It takes place in Japan in the 1800's and concentrates on the resistance/animosity the Japanese have to the colonial British. There is not much for us to learn about Japan like we did in Shogun. I suppose the book could have been a bit shorter but I liked it just the way it is. If you've read the 1st two books in the series I'll bet you'll like this too.
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on August 11, 1999
This novel is based on a bona fide historical incident which sounds like it should have made the foundation for a great novel. However, Mr. Clavell should have let this one lie if he didn't have a decent story to go along with it, but he didn't. The story wallows along for hundreds of pages, and the only thing that seems to motivate any of the characters is the pursuit of the cheapest kind of prestige. After investing many hours of tedious reading, you might expect something to happen at the end, but don't hold your breath.
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on April 8, 2000
This wonderful read is absolutely engrossing and gorgeous instyle. It intcludes war, sex, betrayal, love, death, life....Everything you could want in a book. It is NOT as good as SHOGUN or TAI-PAN, but it is the next best book. I also recommend THE POWER OF ONE, THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, IT (king), A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and OF MICE AND MEN.
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on March 31, 1999
I was surprised to hear that people didn't enjoy this book! I loved it. It definitely was not Shogun, but then again, what is??? I still think that this book provided much entertainment and suspense. I couldn't put it down! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of James Clavell's novels. (Why is Whirlwind out of print?)
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on August 3, 1999
Awsome, there was a fate crawling behind every corner, many characters, good choice of words, makes you feel like you are there, it was one of the best books I've read in a long time.
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on May 31, 2013
Great purchase, couldnt be happier, Ive read every book in the series so far and keep coming back for the next one.
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on August 26, 2013
The late James Clavell was a master story teller and this is one of his best efforts. Hard to put down.
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