8 Following


I like to read classics, historical fiction and world lit. Oh and I love short stories.

Shogun: A Novel of Japan (James Clavell)

Shōgun - James Clavell

I quit after a 100 pages.
The novel starts on a ship full of Dutch sailors speaking German. It goes downhill from there.
This author needed an editor. Badly. He lets boring dialogue go on for pages, in which characters keep on saying the same thing. loose interpretation of 4+ pages of nonsense conversation:
- "I'm scared"
- "what are they going to do?"
- "I want a beer"
- "I'm scared"
- "They're scary"
- "... beer?"
OH MY GOD! This same conversation is repeated a few scenes further. As if the author thinks that's the only way to show a long scary wait, not knowing what is going to happen next. This novel could be done in less than 600 pages, instead of the 1200+ in my copy.

Also, he shows no respect to the reader's intelligence. First, kimono's are referred to as "silk robes". Then the dress of one Japanese character is suddenly called a kimono, only to be referred as a "kimono, the name of the silk robes worn by the Japanese" a couple of pages later. If you're going to introduce us to Japanese culture / terminology, do it in the right order.

I'm open to recommendations of fiction set in the same time and place (feudal Japan is fascinating!), but give me something that at least has seen an editor...