Books: Summer Reading

Shōgun by James Clavell. 803 pages.

Atheneum. $12.50. It is 1600, and English Captain John Blackthorne washes up in Japan during a failed attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Blackthorne is no simple salt but a bona fide Saturday-afternoon-at-the-movies hero with a "brooding, explosive violence that always lurked below his quiet exterior." His strength is as the strength of ten, and his brain is not bad either; he speaks English, Spanish, Dutch and Latin fluently. Hardly has he learned to say Konnichiwa (Good day) before Blackthorne is up to his clavicle in inscrutable Eastern...

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