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Extended Audio Sample Gai-Jin: The Epic Novel of the Birth of Modern Japan Audiobook, by James Clavell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00040184850311 out of 53.00040184850311 out of 53.00040184850311 out of 53.00040184850311 out of 53.00040184850311 out of 5 3.00 (4,977 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Clavell Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Asian Saga Release Date: May 2015 ISBN: 9781504602099
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The heir to the magnificent English trading company, the Noble House; the direct descendant of the first Toranaga Shogun, 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Engrossing…entertaining…the broad portrait is accurate and as colorful as an ancient Kabuki play.”

    People

  • “Exhilarating…a rich, enveloping novel.”

    Cosmopolitan

  • “A well-told story…few eras of Japanese history were more violent, turbulent, and politically exasperating than the 1860s…Mr. Clavell revels in the turbulence of political death and rebirth.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A grand historical perspective that makes us feel we’re understanding how today’s Japan came into being…absorbing…full of rich characters and complicated action.”

    New York Times

  • "Gai-Jin is Shōgun plus!…Great entertainment.”

    New York Daily News

  • "Gai-Jin is major reading. If you like Clavell’s other novels, you’ll surely sink your teeth into this one. He is a master at capturing the Japanese persona…He dives deep into the complexitites of a monarchic society and the early attempts at cross-cultural negotiations. The result is nothing less than a saga.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “With great skill and intelligence…Gai-Jin is just the ticket. It has it all: murders, battles, rapes, earthquakes, sword fights, insanely convoluted political intrigues, and innumerable accounts of ‘pillowing’ with beautiful women.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Interesting, exciting…James Clavell fans will love it!”

    Milwaukee Journal

  • “Clavell keeps you turning the pages.”

    Los Angeles Daily News

  • “Compelling…The Japanese love fine jubako—lacquered boxes that fit within boxes that are in boxes. In Gai-Jin, James Clavell has written a jubako of a novel.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Unceasingly satisfying…Clavell is in top-notch form…He again melds plot-driven storytelling and colorful characterization in vibrant collaboration with an exotic, dynamic setting.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Once you’re into it, you…are swept along by spirited storytelling…Clavell writes at full throttle as if infused by the soul of Alexandre Dumas…You get your money’s worth if you want to spend it here.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 PC7 | 2/11/2014

    " Tended to ramble on. Reading it became a chore three quarters of the way through. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lizerati | 2/5/2014

    " The worst of the bunch by far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Esther | 1/26/2014

    " just my kind of story ;-) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 John Woodington | 1/25/2014

    " Wish I would've skipped this one. Long and boring, a thousand-page soap opera. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johny | 1/25/2014

    " James Clavell is either a psycho or a genius .. he tells his tales with great enthusiasm and adroitness. the length of his books kill you but its worth a read ... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liam | 1/21/2014

    " When I finished this book, I threw it away, so as to spare everyone else the misery. It started off strong, and had all the elements to be another great book, but the plot petered out and nothing really happened. The ending was a major let-down, especially after having read nearly 500 pages to get to it. Even if you're reading this series, I would skip this one (you won't miss anything). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emma Fulton | 1/20/2014

    " Probably the weakest of all the books in the Asian saga. It started strongly, but by the time I got two-thirds in I was just waiting for it to finish... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dajs | 1/19/2014

    " Second part of the book is alot better than the first part. But in my opinion not the best of James Clavell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marylu Sanok | 11/28/2013

    " This was an update to the original book - SHOGUN - and while it was interesting, it wasn't as good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Feathzzz | 11/11/2013

    " Kay, fucking long. Pretty good though, exotic, twists n turns, hot sex, lots of action and adventure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Todd Miller | 11/10/2013

    " One thousand one hundred and fifty pages.Yatto yomiowarimashita, "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 11/8/2013

    " Sad that Hag Struan was never finished. Love Clavell's Asian saga. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 9/21/2013

    " Perhaps drags on a bit bringing things together. But a good story nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kareem Makhlouf | 7/27/2013

    " Excellent novel. Though not as great as Shogun! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Alexander | 5/18/2013

    " Another wonderful James Clavell book. I was so upset when he died. He had great stories in his future. This one is set in Japan. I could probably read all of James Clavell books again. They are that great! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aeli | 4/9/2013

    " This is the Clavell book I liked the least, though it was not a bad read. You need to like Clavell to like this book...this is his "Bear and the Dragon" (see Tom Clancy for that reference). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Peter | 2/18/2013

    " I'm a big fan of epic stories and really enjoyed many of James Clavell's other novels but this one never really got off the ground for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 2/14/2013

    " Next in the "Struan Saga", Gai-Jin continues the history of Europeans in Hong Kong. This features a great love story amidst treachery, warfare and politics - outstanding! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Douglas | 12/30/2012

    " Did not like this period nor the characters that played upon it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark W. Cole | 12/28/2012

    " Takes place in Japan in 1863. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William Light | 11/18/2011

    " So far so good! I absolutely love Shogun and think I will equally enjoy this one. More to come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karla | 11/2/2011

    " Pirates, Japan, China, ships, trade? Sign me up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dweintrop | 9/5/2011

    " first 900 pages were really good, but Clavell doesn't wrap up 80% of the plot lines he created and spends the last 300 pages wrapping up the plots that i enjoyed the least. this book could have been two really good books but instead turned into one long book that lacked a conclusion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessi | 5/17/2011

    " I read this when I was a sophomore in high school and fell in love with James Clavell's writings. I love history, I love romance, and I love Japan and Gai-Jin has all three. I would most defiantly love to read this again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Plop246 | 12/18/2010

    " Another amazing novel by James Clavell. While not as super-awesome as Shogun, it's still a wonderful read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl S. | 10/30/2010

    " If you are up for 1234 pages in teeny tiny print, this is the book for you. Lots of intrigue and the story is engaging, but in the end I just wanted it to be overwith already. Really helpful if you have read the previous books in the "Shogun" series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aeli | 8/31/2010

    " This is the Clavell book I liked the least, though it was not a bad read. You need to like Clavell to like this book...this is his "Bear and the Dragon" (see Tom Clancy for that reference). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kurt | 8/29/2010

    " one of the best books ever ever written! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tocotin | 8/18/2010

    " Hate the title, but it was more interesting and accurate than Shogun. That being said, it was bad anyway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raylea | 7/1/2010

    " Loved it. Very complex story, you have to read each page carefully, but the depth and colour of the story is just fabulous. I think I have read some Clavell books out of order, and may now have to re-read Taipan. Oh well.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ahf | 5/3/2010

    " Better than Taipan, worse than Shogun. Very complex plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marylu | 1/27/2010

    " This was an update to the original book - SHOGUN - and while it was interesting, it wasn't as good. "

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About the Author
Author James Clavell

James Clavell (1921–1994) was a #1 New York Times bestselling novelist and an award-winning screenwriter and director. He is best known for his epic Asian Saga series of novels and their televised adaptations. 

About the Narrator

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.