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Extended Audio Sample Satori, by Don Winslow Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (799 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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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