Gai-Jin

by James Clavell

Hardcover, 1993

Collection

Description

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.

Rating

(380 ratings; 3.7)

User reviews

LibraryThing member DRFP
Like all Clavell's novels I found Gai-Jin very easy to read and entertaining. However, a few years on from having read this work I can remember very little in the way of details.

A good read but not Clavell's best.
LibraryThing member TadAD
Not as good as Tai-Pan or Noble House, and nowhere close to Shōgun.
LibraryThing member jimmaclachlan
This follows Dirk's (hero of Tai-Pan) son Cullum & his wife. I didn't like it nearly as well as any of his other books. If you like the series (Shogun, Tai-Pan) then read this once as the background helps a lot for "Nobel House". "Shogun" references are also in here. Clavell does a good job of tying his novels together.
LibraryThing member DaddyPupcake
I was very excited about reading this book. The first few chapters were great. But after the beginning the story just went downhill for me. By the end of the book, I didn’t care one way or the other about any of the characters and just could wait to finish reading it. I still feel that Clavell was a brilliant writer, but this book really stinks. The only real positive thing I can say is that it is neat to see how Japan was struggling to move into the industrial era.… (more)
LibraryThing member brose72
Part of the Japan saga by James Clavell. This book is certainly no match for Shogun. The story and characters are somewhat lackluster. Not a page turner and not as informative about Japan as one might expect.
LibraryThing member Elcee
I have to agree with some of the comments above, what I most enjoyed about this book was the reading about Japanese history that it prompted me to do and not the story itself. At times in the book I didn't really care what happened to the characters, possibly because the book was very long and the story drawn out. All in all though I'm glad I read it.… (more)
LibraryThing member losloper
In the closed society of Japan in 1862, a bitter battle for commercial supremacy rages between the Struan and Brock trading houses. Young Malcolm Struan confronts the complex politics of the Japanese Court and the samurai of the warlords to succeed in love.
LibraryThing member soylentgreen23
I am a completist: that's the only reason I read this book, the third in James Clavell's celebrated 'Asian Saga.' It isn't a very good book, sadly. It's too long for what it is, and concerns itself with too many trivial matters that really aren't interesting and just weigh down the book.

However, it is still worth fighting through, as Clavell's love of Asian culture and history are clear to see; though too much time is spent detailing the lives and affairs of the British and other traders in Yokohama, the account of life in nineteenth century Japan is quite fascinating at times.… (more)
LibraryThing member ejj1955
A nice long one--more than a thousand pages--this book is part of his Asian saga and comes between Tai-Pan and Noble House, telling the story of Tess and Colum Struan's son, Malcolm, in the Yokahama settlement in Japan. Also in the huge cast of characters is Yoshi Toranaga, a descendant of the Toranaga of Shogun. This tale is less successful than the others, taking a long time to develop tension, with characters not as strongly drawn or memorable as many of Clavell's others, although Angelique, Malcolm's beloved, is an exception.

Given the bits of the family and company history this fills in, though, I'm looking forward to my re-read of Noble House in the near future.
… (more)
LibraryThing member HadriantheBlind
A disappointment, after some of Clavell's other historical fiction. This one seems to massive, too sprawling, and not even in the incredibly interesting way that he usually does.
LibraryThing member dbsovereign
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.
LibraryThing member renbedell
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.… (more)
LibraryThing member Audacity88
Not as good as Shogun, but still has that immersive quality where you feel less like you're reading a book and more like you're experiencing a world in miniature. And whereas Shogun is ultimately about Japan and not England, Gai-Jin does a good job of giving a view into the pros and cons of the Japanese and European ways of life side by side.… (more)

Publication

Delacorte

Original publication date

1993

ISBN

38531016-1

Language

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