15 December 2009

James Clavell's "Asian Saga" Book Reviews


I am reading James Clavell's Asian Saga currently. I started with Shōgun and am currently reading Gai-Jin. I understand that his books received critical acclaim and Shogun was even turned in to a mini-series.

While he may be a great story-teller (although all his stories are based on actual events of actual people with the names and some details changed), I would not call him a great writer nor his editor a great editor. I have found many spelling, grammatical, and factual mistakes. Yes, this is historical fiction, but putting things in the wrong time period is uncalled for in my opinion.

The use of 70's slang in books written about centuries before hurts the book, and the lack of knowledge of facts about some things hurts. Mr. Clavell seems obsessed with unneeded (IMO) sexual detail, and sometimes it make3s you think that these books are fantasies of how he wished his life had happened.

Shogun was full of so many unnecessary details and then just ended, summarizing what happened over the next few years. It is almost as if he just ran out of gas because he gave so much detail up to this point, that he just quit.

Thankfully, more details are filled in as one reads the further books of the saga, and for this, I am thankful.

That said, I still enjoy the books. I only wish his editor was more diligent and it would make these books much more enjoyable.




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