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Extended Audio Sample Shibumi, by Trevanian Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Trevanian Narrator: Joe Barrett Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Nicholai Hel, born in the ravages of World War I China to an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father, and raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go master, survives the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world’s most artful lover and its most accomplished and highly paid assassin. Genius, mystic, master of language and culture, Hel’s secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection—shibumi.

Now living in an isolated mountain fortress with his magnificent Eurasian mistress, Hel faces his most sinister enemy, a super-monolith of espionage and monopoly. The battle lines are drawn: ruthless power and corruption on one side, and on the other, shibumi.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Trevanian has both wit and intelligence…Something for everyone.”

    New York Times

  • “Riveting…storytelling by a genuinely original author.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “One hell of a pleasure to read.”

    Washington Post

  • “It’s hard to imagine a more nearly perfect spy story.”

    Milwaukee Journal

  • “Barrett, with his pleasing low-toned voice, narrates with skill, taking the time to develop Hel’s personality along with his concubine, his deep-voiced Basque friends, the nasty Americans, and other multinational types. An intriguing listening experience with more depth than most books of this genre.”


  • “Trevanian's seventies-era storytelling loses nothing in this audio treatment….Reader Joe Barrett embodies the author's voice ably, whether he's enigmatic assassin Nicholai Hel, narcissistic agency head Mr. Diamond, or a laughable Basque sidekick.”


  • An Audie Award Finalist in Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Carla | 4/1/2011

    " This was a reread-I'd forgotten how the author savaged Americans,and my my super elitest, sexist, all of the nonpc ists. A thriller for the seventies! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Takoinche | 2/5/2011

    " Narrativa excelente. La histotria me atrapó desde el primer momento. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tammy | 1/16/2011

    " The protagonist has a few James Bond-like qualities but unlike Bond's they are skill sets that are entirely believable and interesting. A fun book to read. "

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