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Gai-Jin

The Epic Novel of the Birth of Modern Japan
Narrated by: John Lee
Series: The Asian Saga, Book 3
Length: 50 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (314 ratings)

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Summary

The heir to the magnificent English trading company, the Noble House; the direct descendant of the first Toranaga Shōgun, 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 19th-century Japan - an unforgettable epic seething with betrayal and secrets, brutality and heroism, love and forbidden passions.

©2015 James Clavell (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, different from Shogun

Another masterpiece, flawed but brilliant. The reader is phenomenal at creating distinct and recognisable voices for each character, though his Japanese accents and pronunciations are appalling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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50h of epic listening!

Now, this was a Clavell book that I had only read once when it came out (having read and re-read his first 4 Asian Saga books multiple times). I vaguely recalled the original read as being slightly disappointing - long book, not as gripping as e.g. Shogun. However, I've been delighted to re-encounter it, reading the series in chronological order probably helping a little bit.

The story itself is as complex as ever, with a wide range of characters on both the European and Japanese threads. Once you have them straight in your head, they take you along with them, with every more twisted connections and secrets.

The narrator did a brilliant job, apparently coping with ease in switching from Scottish accents to English to French to Japanese to Russian to American.... you get the picture.

For me, then and now, the characters didn't capture my emotions as much as e.g. Blackthorne, or Dirk and May-May. But I enjoyed the story much more on this 2nd encounter, and rate it highly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Extremely captivating!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! It tells more than a beautiful story. This book brings you in the mind of its characters and they live you and makes you better. Absolutely Epic

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gai-Jin?

The duel between Toranaga Yoshi

What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He gives life to characters. When you listen this audiobook they are standing in front of you.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No! You do not want the pleasure to finish so soon

Any additional comments?

The best thing about this book are the characters. They are all so complex and perfectly described. By the end of the book they are friends and they live you.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant!

Fascinating, having lived there spot on regarding the Japanese culture and habits. The amazing reader, was Easton the ear and brought the story to life perfectly.

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Gird yourself !

James Clavell is already established as an excellent writer; “Gaijin” however disappoints. There is a divide between the exotic Japanese narrative and the parallel, awkward China-trader-end which is burdened by agonisingly slow action and multiple weak accents ... the French being particularly painful and almost proves too challenging. Only a loyalty to the writer and conscientiousness prevailed over the 50+ hours. It improves near the end.. but you can be satisfied with the brilliant Shogun and Taipan.

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Hard Going. ....

Not as engaging as Shogun or Noble House which are stunning books, characters don’t seem to develop enough. Difficult to follow the many characters and as for Angelique, I have to agree with other reviewers, she’s very irritating! Narration I thought was first class. It’s a long book and takes some commitment to complete. Ending is somewhat sudden and disappointing, I would have loved to know what happened next!

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Another excellent Clavell story.

I should have waited a little longer after finishing 'Shogun' before getting into this. Fantastic, but took a little longer to become engrossed in.

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Makes 50 hours feel like nothing.

Cavell's writing is superb, yet another audio book I couldn't stop listening to, the characters and the story are gripping and leave you wanting to know more even after 50 hours, love it.

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excellent read

Great contrast between Western and Eastern culture with good character description, captivating action-driven read and excellent character interactions

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Amazing, though not as brilliant as the first

Very clever and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it doesn't have the scale of Shogun

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  • Oru
  • 05-12-17

Horrible narration, god awful pronunciation


James Clavell did a great job with Shogun, so it saddens me this book got so little attention during production. I hope Clavell is picked to remake this shameful attempt at Gai-Jin,

This book is actually great. Four stars at the very least, but as an audio book it's hard to rank.

This is due to the poor quality of the narration. The accents are off. The French accent is hard to listen to, but the Japanese ones are something out of a nightmare. Stereotypical to the point of being racist. It's the worst I have ever heard in an audio book.

Furthermore I have no idea how so many pronunciation errors got through the production either. Edo, becomes Yeido.
Sensei, is spoken something close to senzai. Which sounds like they are saying detergent in Japanese. There are plenty of such errors, and with the god awful pronunciation on top of that, I for one can't enjoy or listen to it anymore.

I hope that a new version is released.







3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Seb O.
  • 03-11-19

Such a masterpiece, must read or listen

Definitei one of the best trilogies ever. It was difficult to continue with daily tasks, even breathing takes a second role when such a novelist weaves there stories...

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 15-05-19

awesome 👍 worth it to keep track of it to the end

a very good book, the naration seems odd atfirst and might seem a bit... but it is a great work and we'll read. intriguing plot, whit space for imagination and as the last lines state, God's or no God's, dosent matter, a sense of humor is good, ne?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ketola Sami
  • 08-04-19

Much better than advertised.

I have to say that reading reviews of this book made me bit skeptical about how I would like it, but I was happily disappointed in the end. The readers performance on characters is okay in my opinion, I don't really mind the exaggerated Japanese or French accents, as even if it might be bit over the top, it makes the characters easily discernible. The Japanese names on the other hand are often very badly pronounced and I'd really hoped that the reader would have known the basics of Japanese. Anyways, it might not be a top production, but i've heard worse.

Many have commented on the story that they stopped around the halfway point of the book. Without any spoilers, I'd say that it's a great mistake as the book gets much better after the halfway point, and the plot is very enjoyable in the end even taking into account the rough points.

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  • Sarkis
  • 06-07-17

Captivating

A captivating insight of Nipon (Japan) history. But with a plot very close to Shogun just from a different prospective and as a back plot of the main story, surrounded by lots of small stories of love, blackmail, life and death completing the "Big Picture" very nicely. Turning this book into a masterpiece.

PS: Be prepeared for a treat.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 25-04-17

Compelling though the least of Clavell's Asia Saga

A plethora of characters and a meandering story, it's none the less compelling for its historical perspective (of a sorts).

The narrator does a fine job, though accents (especially the Japanese) border on the worst sort of stereotype. Japanese pronunciation is also not up to scratch.

buy if you liked Shogun and just want more