Download Shōgun Audiobook

Shōgun Audiobook, by James Clavell Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: James Clavell Narrator: Ralph Lister Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Asian Saga Release Date: January 2015 ISBN: 9781481523868
4.00002064516129 out of 54.00002064516129 out of 54.00002064516129 out of 54.00002064516129 out of 54.00002064516129 out of 5 4.00 (54,250 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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After Englishman John Blackthorne is lost at sea, he awakens in a place few Europeans know of and even fewer have seen—Nippon. Thrust into the closed society that is seventeenth-century Japan, a land where the line between life and death is razor-thin, Blackthorne must negotiate not only a foreign people, with unknown customs and language, but also his own definitions of morality, truth, and freedom. As internal political strife and a clash of cultures lead to seemingly inevitable conflict, Blackthorne’s loyalty and strength of character are tested by both passion and loss, and he is torn between two worlds that will each be forever changed.

Powerful and engrossing, capturing both the rich pageantry and stark realities of life in feudal Japan, Shōgun is a critically acclaimed powerhouse of a book. Heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat action melds seamlessly with intricate historical detail and raw human emotion. Endlessly compelling, this sweeping saga captivated the world to become not only one of the best-selling novels of all time but also one of the highest-rated television miniseries, as well as inspiring a nationwide surge of interest in the culture of Japan. Shakespearean in both scope and depth, Shōgun is, as the New York Times put it, “…not only something you read—you live it.” Provocative, absorbing, and endlessly fascinating, there is only one: Shōgun.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An utterly engrossing classic that still thrills to this day. James Clavell’s Shōgun draws you in and never lets you go. This epic story epitomizes the will to battle fiercely despite impossible odds. A riveting must-read.”

    Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An epic novel that cuts bloodred deep into the beating heart of the timeless quest for power. Clavell’s work is rightly positioned among the must-read historical fiction classics.”

    Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Cartel and The Force

  • “A colossal work in every way…A huge panorama…but you won’t want it shorter by one sentence.”

    Cosmopolitan

  • Shōgun is irresistible…I can’t remember when a novel has seized my mind like this one. Perhaps it was the author’s Hong Kong novel Tai-Pan…James Clavell breathes narrative. It’s almost impossible not to continue to read Shōgun once having opened it. Yet it’s not only something that you read—you live it…People, customs, settings, needs, and desires all become so enveloping you forget who and where you are.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Adventure and action, the suspense of danger, shocking, touching human relationships…A climactic human story.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “One of those books that blots up vacations and imperils marriages because it simply will not let the reader go.”

    Washington Post

  • “Exciting, totally absorbing…Be prepared for late nights, meals untasted, business unattended.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Superbly crafted…Grips the reader like a riptide…Gets the juices flowing!”

    Washington Star

  • “A tale surging with action, intrigue, and love…A huge cast…Vast and dramatic…Stunning…savage…beautiful…An extraordinary performance.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Adventure, intrigue, love…death, bloodshed, and sex…Reader, you’ll love it!”

    Library Journal

  • An iBooks bestseller in Fiction
  • New York Times bestseller

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 | 12/6/2017

    " My husband and I started the book, but within 15 minutes, neither of us could tolerate the narrator's voice! After listening to the narrator of the previous book, Don't Kill the Messenger, we found this narrators voice extremely irritating . It will be a while before I try to listen to it again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 steve | 6/18/2016

    " I have read this book in print twice over the past 20 years. It is even better as an audio book and there are many parts I replay because what is happening is so good. I would say it is one of the best books I have ever read and I hope people read this and try it. The narrator does a great job. Please try it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Duanne | 6/10/2016

    " I just finished reading Shogun for the 4th time. I continue to enjoy like it was the first time. When you read the book you believe you are there with all your senses experiencing. This story stays with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 5/30/2016

    " I saw the mini series a couple of times and loved it so I thought I would listen to this. It does not disappoint! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Allyson | 2/20/2014

    " I loved this book back in the mid eighties. It put me to sleep for months on end. Since I had insomnia, that was great. By halfway through, I couldn't keep track of the plot or characters at all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 2/13/2014

    " Unabashed guilty pleasure. A thousand-some-odd pages -- none of them dull. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hawaiian | 1/24/2014

    " Although I have read Clavell before I did not read Shogun until after I saw the Miniseries. Enjoyed the clash of culture overview of east/west and thought the characters were excellent "

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

    " Aside from the length I found the historical and cultural aspects to the book to be fascinating and I guess that's what kept me turning to 1,125th page (Jesus I didn't realise it was that bloody long!!). My knowledge of 17th century Japanese history and culture would be very minimal but apparently aside from a few anachronisms the book is closely based on actual events. It's definitely a good page turner, despite the length and I did really enjoy it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 1/17/2014

    " If, like me, you are a fan of historical fiction, this book is going to rock your world. Set against the backdrop of 17th-century Japan, it has intrigue, romance, and just enough exotic appeal to make one begin planning a trip to this mysterious world with its alien customs that seem, although totally different to what a Westerner might be accustomed to, to put a whole new notion on the concept of what it means to be "civilized". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonja | 1/7/2014

    " Loooong. But good and interesting. Lots of Japanese culture and buddism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nishanth | 12/13/2013

    " It was like a roller coaster. Slow and uneventful at the start almost quit at a point(too many characters) but then.... Hallelujah!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Micah | 12/4/2013

    " A lengthy book, but worth it. Interweaving of Japanese culture and history into this book are brilliant, if disturbing at times. It is a Stranger in a Strange Land, but the victor is the man who does not fight it, but tries to understand and become part of this foreign culture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ingrid | 11/5/2013

    " Another historical novel, well written and worth the effort. I also recommend his Nobel House series, set in Hong Kong. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jake | 10/26/2013

    " Excellent read. Longest book I have read yet, but the story was a great story and it keeps you engaged during the entire read. Looking forward to next in series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 10/8/2013

    " Vast, Epic and compelling. I loved every word of this book. Despite its size and complexity, it never become dull or confusing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 9/17/2013

    " wow I read this a long time ago! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 8/10/2013

    " 5++. Magnificent understanding at 16th century Japan - the code of Samuri "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 7/28/2013

    " Even more remarkable the second time around. I think I may go for a 3rd in a few years and maybe even more than that. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 5/27/2013

    " This is my favourite novel of all time ... an absolute classic blockbuster ... creating an incredible historical world. It is also a subtle study of the acquisition of power. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dave | 1/24/2013

    " This book taught me to stop reading if it doesn't grab you in the first 50 pages. I read the whole thing and hated every page. I hoped that it would get better....it didn't. If you are not into hisorical novels, epic period dramas, give it a miss "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 D-day | 1/17/2013

    " I read this one not long after the mini series with Richard Chamberlain was first broadcast. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerome | 1/11/2013

    " When the pages started falling out of my paperback I new it was time to get a new copy! I have read and re-read this book a hundred times! It is epic in both size and wonder! This book will take you on a journey you will never forget! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisa | 11/13/2012

    " This book is over a thousand pages but you'll wish it was twice as long. It was immediately a favorite - rarely is historical fiction both so engaging and so informative. It brilliantly illuminates Japanese culture during what was probably the height of samurai culture. A new favorite! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 8/4/2012

    " Brilliant. Highly recommended. Gigantic characterizations, tightly plotted, and perfectly paced. The mini-series was good, but this book is absolutely outstanding. As with all great period or historical novels, the reader comes away thinking, "oh THAT'S what happened!". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 7/14/2012

    " Had not read it since high school. Got it from the library on my Kobo and throughly enjoyed it again. Perhaps I will get Tai Pan again. Anyhow, a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Madalyn | 4/7/2012

    " An interesting look into Japanese history and culture with a neat story to go with it! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nancy | 1/5/2012

    " Snoozefest-has no emotional connection whatsoever. Sorry, Sarah! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 6/8/2011

    " My favourite historical fiction novel. The detail is amazing, the plot laced with intricacies. Every minor character is invaluable to the story. Every major character could be the focus of a separate novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roxanne | 6/6/2011

    " My favorite book for the longest time... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew | 5/19/2011

    " Decent writing on a technical scale, but riddled with confusing historical inaccuracies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stefan | 5/19/2011

    " A brilliant portray of pre-industrial Japan during the Shogun's reign. Honor, austerity and self discipline are traits to live, or die by during this stormy era. Clavell has an uncanny way of involving his readers in his character's struggles for survival or supremacy. A great rollicking read. "

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

    " First read this beautiful book when I was around 15 or so, and have loved it ever since. Very well set, nicely descriptive and evocative of other times. I wanted to be a samurai! "

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

    " Perhaps one of the most engaging books I have read. A beautiful book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 5/12/2011

    " My favourite historical fiction novel. The detail is amazing, the plot laced with intricacies. Every minor character is invaluable to the story. Every major character could be the focus of a separate novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 5/9/2011

    " hard to read sometimes, but worth the time "

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

    " It's gripping; I would recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peteralee1 | 5/4/2011

    " Extremely detailed and thought out. Story of an English sailor shipwrecked on Japan and his assimilation into the culture of the time. Read anything by James Clavell. "

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

    " haven't finished it yet. So far, it can be a bit confusing keeping all the characters straight, but I'm really enjoying the way the author travels from one character's thoughts to the next character. Its often seamless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 4/27/2011

    " I read this book thirty years ago (yikes I'm old!) and it's such a neat introduction to history in the 1500s. I love the clash of the Western and Eastern cultures. Barbarians and Samurai forever! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany | 4/27/2011

    " Amazing- totally captured me from the first page. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 4/27/2011

    " It's my Mom's favourite book. She recommended it to me and I loved it too! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janosch | 4/25/2011

    " Tolles Abenteuer mit Spannung, Informationen und einer umfangreichen Szenerie. Die frühen Tage der langsamen Entdeckung Japans und danach in einer mitreißenden Art und Weise dargestellt.
    Alles was das Leserherz begehrt. Liest sich gut. "

About the Author

James Clavell (1921–1994) was a novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war. He is best known for his epic Asian Saga novels, which launched with the 1962 bestseller King Rat, and their televised adaptations. He also wrote screenplays for such films as The Great Escape and The Fly, and was a writer, director, and producer on To Sir, with Love. His books Shogun, Noble House, Tai-Pan, and Whirlwind were #1 New York Times bestsellers.

About the Narrator

Ralph Lister is an actor, voice actor, and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. He spent fifteen years in London theater before moving to the United States to focus on film and television. He has held numerous roles in Shakespeare and modern dramas, as well as starring roles in independent films. His voice and character work can be heard in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearland 13 Going On 30. He lives in Los Angeles.