A Novel

Book - 2005
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A classic spy novel from the bestselling author, Trevanian, about a westerner raised in Japan who becomes one of the world's most accomplished assassins.

Nicholai Hel is the world's most wanted man. Born in Shanghai during the chaos of World War I, he is the son of an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father and is the protégé of a Japanese Go master. Hel survived the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world's most artful lover and its most accomplished--and well-paid--assassin. Hel is a genius, a mystic, and a master of language and culture, and his secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection known only as shibumi.

Now living in an isolated mountain fortress with his exquisite mistress, Hel is unwillingly drawn back into the life he'd tried to leave behind when a beautiful young stranger arrives at his door, seeking help and refuge. It soon becomes clear that Hel is being tracked by his most sinister enemy--a supermonolith of international espionage known only as the Mother Company. The battle lines are drawn: ruthless power and corruption on one side, and on the other . . . shibumi .
Publisher: New York : Three Rivers Press, 2005.
Edition: 1st Three Rivers Press ed.
ISBN: 9781400098033
Characteristics: 486 p. ; 21 cm.


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Mar 07, 2017

The character is reminiscent of a mythical Joseph Campbell hero. However, his obsession with certain activities were boring or a big turn off to most women, I believe. Too bad the author cast him in that light...otherwise, he would have been an awesome protagonist. Still the story was engaging.

Mar 18, 2016

Glad I re-read this, had forgotten what a true classic it was, and admittedly some slight cartoonish aspects, Trevanian uses fiction to convey much reality - - even more realistic in the present times [think Bain's G.R.I.D., or Global Regulatory Information Database]. Agree with all the character's commentaries on the USA!

Feb 27, 2013

Poor description. Shibumi was originally published in 1979 by Trevanian aka Rodney Whitaker. Prequel, Satori, was written by Don Winslow in 2011. Both gems. I give it 5 stars. A real find.

Jul 16, 2011

Should be considered a classic.


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