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Extended Audio Sample Satori Audiobook, by Don Winslow Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.29 out of 53.29 out of 53.29 out of 53.29 out of 53.29 out of 5 3.29 (21 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Don Winslow Narrator: Holter Graham Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781607886938
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It is the fall of 1951, and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six-year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hoda korosu or “naked kill”; is fluent in seven languages; and has honed extraordinary “proximity sense,” a sort of sixth sense for the presence of danger. He has the skills to be the world’s most fearsome assassin and now the CIA needs him.

The Americans offer Hel freedom, money, and a neutral passport in exchange for one small service: to go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union’s commissioner to China. It’s almost certainly a suicide mission, but Hel accepts. Now he must survive chaos, violence, suspicion, and betrayal while trying to achieve his ultimate goal of satori—the possibility of true understanding and harmony with the world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An over-the-top blast…Elegant, well-researched, and magnificently plotted, Satori is exhilarating.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • In his 1979 international best-seller, Shibumi, acclaimed author Trevanian introduced readers to handsome mystic and ingenious assassin Nicholai Hel. In this compelling prequel, Winslow, whose popular novels include Savages (2010) and The Dawn Patrol (2008), details Hel's life leading up to Trevanian's opus. Satori opens in the fall of 1951, in the throes of the Korean War. Twenty-six-year-old Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Now his captors are offering to release him-at a price. He must go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union's commissioner to China. Though Hel is blond with striking green eyes, his worldview is more Eastern than Western. (He was raised by an aristocratic Russian mother in Shanghai and later lived in Japan, where he studied the ancient and notoriously challenging board game, Go.) Hel is a master of hoda korosu, "the naked kill," and blessed with an uncanny proximity sense, which makes him hyperaware of potential danger. He'll need every tool in his deadly dossier to earn freedom. Winslow renders breathless suspense and a cast of dark, devious characters from all corners of the globe. Recommend this one to fans of Baldacci and le Carré, as well as, of course, Trevanian. Booklist (starred review)
  • An intricately plotted, fast-paced thrill ride. Carrying on the legacy of Trevanian's SHIBUMI, Don Winslow skillfully brings the character of master assassin Nicholai Hel to life, creating a story so engrossing you won't be able to put it down. Winslow has truly done the Trevanian legacy proud. Nelson DeMille
  • A grand, sprawling, magnificent entertainment. Trevanian, in the skilled hands of Don Winslow, is alive and well, and dare I say, better than ever! For those of us who look back on Shibumi as a highlight of their reading lives, Satori does not for a moment disappoint. Those who have not read Shibumi are in for a treat. My immediate question upon turning the last page was "when is the next one coming out?" I cannot wait! Christopher Reich
  • Satori is first-rate spy fiction, full of explosive action, exotic locales, and surprising romance, and Nicholai Hel is an assassin you'll cheer for: intent on vengeance for a terrible injustice, as comfortable with philosophy as he is familiar with the mechanics of stopping a man's heart, beset by enemies in a game whose true nature he can only divine by playing through to the end. Barry Eisler
  • "A home run . . . carefully choreographed, bare-knuckled action . . . elegant writing, a mature, confident narrative and characters so real you can almost touch them on the page . . . Winslow has done the creator of Shibumi and the Nicholai Hel character proud. David Baldacci
  • Trevanian's Shibumi was one of the all-time great thrillers. Don Winslow is one of the best thriller writers we have. Put the two together and the result, no surprise, is sleek, smart, and deadly. SATORI is a must-read. Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and Vanished
  • “An expertly calibrated espionage thriller.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “Winslow renders breathless suspense and a cast of dark, devious characters from all corners of the globe. Recommend this one to fans of Baldacci and le Carré, as well as, of course, Trevanian.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An impressive prelude to a highly esteemed classic thriller.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Fans of Shibumi’s extravagant style will no doubt enjoy Winslow’s contribution to the Hel story, and, just like Trevanian, Winslow imbues the James Bond–esque superspy atmosphere with a deep knowledge of Eastern cultures, including the ancient Japanese game of Go…Perfect for Shibumi fans and anyone else who likes their espionage over the top.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 VelveetaRanch | 2/17/2014

    " What a wild ride! From Japan to China to Vietnam - plenty of spies, assassins, shady characters and underhanded dealings. Don Winslow does an excellent job of carrying on in Trevanian's footsteps and is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason Williams | 2/5/2014

    " When I read Shibumi, I thought the book was awkwardly arranged and slow paced. After reading Satori, I missed the arrangement and pace of Shibumi. I'm a fan of Don Wilson but Shibumi had a vibe and a writing style that Wilson couldn't, and didn't try to, imitate. Instead he wrote the book in his own personal style, which made the book very entertaining but didn't leave me with the feeling I had at the end of Shibumi. I definitely recommend this book to anybody who read Shibumi if only to revisit the character of Nicoli Hel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Bannister | 1/5/2014

    " Doing justice to Trevanian's work was always going to be a challenge, but Don Winslow pulled it off. Satori is a terrific read and true in spirit to its predecessor Shibumi- an old favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew Campbell | 12/23/2013

    " Winslow hasn't done wrong by me yet. More satisfying than any James Bond movie- though just about as limited. But that's OK, limitations are what make genre fun. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim Hennessy | 11/29/2013

    " SATROI was an exposition heavy, paint by numbers espionage thriller that was entertaining enough but, hardly the best use of Don Winslow's skills. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 LKM | 11/8/2013

    " I really wanted to like this, but I just couldn't stomach the whole writing style of it and had to drop it. I just felt like I was reading a fanfic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul Garrety | 10/30/2013

    " Fast paced action, does this well. Some of the characters are a little wooden but overall good read, "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lynne | 10/21/2013

    " Lots of violence, assassination attempts, narrow escapes, dead bodies, characters from different cultures who I tended to confuse. For me, not really worth the effort "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Douglas Green | 10/20/2013

    " Espionage during Mao's China? Stalin's Russia? Then off to supply arms to the Viet Minh? The protagonist's most deadly weapon is his harnessed Qi? This has been one of my favorite leisurely read reads in a long time. Very eager to learn how to play 'Go'. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Toney | 4/12/2013

    " this was my second Winslow novel, but this was based on another authors characters (so not entirely a Winslow novel). The intrigue was good, but all in all i'm not a spy novel fan as of yet. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul Reeve | 6/12/2012

    " Big fan of Don Winslow so very disappointed by this. Quite fun but very one-dimensional. Winslow and his characters keeps telling us how brilliant the lead character is, but never show us. Go and Read The Power Of The Dog, or Isle Of Joy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 3/16/2012

    " An engaging story with lots of intersecting storylines. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 2/12/2012

    " This was excellent. Was a huge fan of Trevanian's "Shibumi". This is a very worthy prequel written by a new author. Loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 1/27/2012

    " Different from his other books; he was asked by the family of late author Trevanian ("Eigar Sanction") to write this prequil to "Shibumi". Thoroughly enjoyable (as are all his books IMHO), so now I have to read "Shibumi". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marco | 8/1/2011

    " it is not by Trevanian but by Winslow... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 5/16/2011

    " Winslow did a fabulous job creating a prequel that is both believable as a prequel and a stand alone book that is extremely entertaining it will serve to introduce a whole new generation of readers a fine book in its own right and a courageous professional choice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 5/8/2011

    " Fast paced action, does this well. Some of the characters are a little wooden but overall good read, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 3/25/2011

    " Now I'm looking for my copy of "Shibumi" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 3/4/2011

    " This was not my typical read but really did enjoy it.
    Don Winslow has a great way of capturing the reader.
    I would recomend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 2/16/2011

    " I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

    Don Winslow's novel Satori, which is based on deceased author Trevanian was so good that I now want to track down every novel of T's just so I can see how the story line's character evolves. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim | 2/1/2011

    "

    SATROI was an exposition heavy, paint by numbers espionage thriller that was entertaining enough but, hardly the best use of Don Winslow's skills. "

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About the Author
Author Don Winslow

Don Winslow is the author of the highly acclaimed, multi-award-winning novel The Cartel, a New York Times bestseller, which also garnered the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and made the “Best Books of the Year” lists for the New Statesman, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Amazon. His other books have won the Shamus Award, Maltese Falcon Award, and the Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize. Winslow has also written for film and television.

About the Narrator

Holter Graham, award-winning audiobook narrator, has appeared in many films, including Fly Away Home, Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive, and Hairspray. His television credits include Army Wives, Wasted, Damages, and Law & Order, among others.