[PDF / Epub] ☆ Noble House Author James Clavell – Wildlives.co
This epic saga of a great British mercantile house in Hong Kong in the early 1960s is a 1400 page tome whose plot takes place in the space of one week The action in the novel is intense In Noble House, you get the feel of a staunchly capitalistic Hong Kong, a place that makes the setting of The Jungle look like a worker s paradise Clavell s hero, like most of Clavell s heroes, is an alpha male and the absolute monarch of the family business which controls much of Hong Kong s commerce and power The problem that I had with Noble House was the tendency of Clavell to minimize his Chinese characters, to glorify the ruthless, and to treat women as tools of the alpha male This is a common characteristic of Clavell novels, it just happens to be pronounced in Noble House The novel also had, dare I say it, too much action in it Within this one week period we read about espionage activities of the Soviets and the Communist Chinese, the machinations of Hong Kong, British and American corporations, horrible catastrophes such as bank failures, floods, earthquakes and riots, and plots involving organized crime That s a pretty heavy week, even for Hong Kong tycoon family It strains credibility, but then again this is a novel and not a history Novels are meant to be compelling, and one must admit that Clavell knows how to hold the reader s attention.If you are interested in the commercial empires of Hong Kong and the Far East, and you are willing to invest the weeks or that it will take for you to get through this monster, the I would recommend Noble House However, let the casual reader beware this is not for the less than dedicated The summer of 1990, I worked on a project in Phoenix, AZ For 6 or 8 weeks, I flew every Sunday afternoon from Dallas to Phoenix and flew home Friday night I was the only project team member in Phoenix, and my personality is not the kind to go out exploring on my own So a summer of plane flights and evenings alone were the perfect time to read this book I had a wonderful hotel room with a balcony facing northwest and almost every evening I would return to the hotel and sit out on the balcony and read this book until the sun went down.I loved the book and the escape it gate me from my loneliness that summer This Is An Alternate Cover Edition For ISBN The Tai Pan, Ian Dunross, Struggles To Rescue Struan S From The Precarious Financial Position Left By His Predecessor To Do This, He Seeks Partnership With An American Millionaire, While Trying To Ward Off His Arch Rival Quillan Gornt, Who Seeks To Destroy Struan S Once And For All Meanwhile, Chinese Communists, Taiwanese Nationalists, And Soviet Spies Illegally Vie For Influence In Hong Kong While The British Government Seeks To Prevent This And Nobody, It Seems, Can Get Anything Done Without Enlisting The Aid Of Hong Kong S Criminal Underworld Other Obstacles Include Water Shortages, Landslides, Bank Runs And Stock Market CrashesNov Dell Jumbo Mass Market Paperback, St Printing James Clavell Ding dong the witch is dead 6 months and 1400 pages later, I have finally finished this massive door stopper of a novel, and the best I can say about it is that its better than Gai jin, the massive tome about Struan s in 1870s Japan which also took me most of a year to get through I ve been reading a book of Clavell s Asian Saga per year since college, a privileged position on my reading list accorded to him because I so enjoyed Shogun, Tai pan and King Rat.The plot of this novel moves at a snail s pace for 1100 pages, and only picks up after that, at which point you ve been reading for months and still have an equivalent of a reasonably sized novel to go The plot meanders through about 20 sub plots only half of which get resolved to any satisfaction, and some of which get resolved by deus ex machina in a highly unsatisfactory way As always, the magic of Clavell is in bringing a time and place to life, as he brought to life 1500s Japan and 1840s Hong Kong He does that here as well, but the problem is that 1960s Hong Kong is too familiar to be interesting.I will say there are interesting bits The politics are fascinating, with the main character arguing emphatically that the US and Britain should help out the PRC on the grounds that they are thorns in the sides of the USSR which is the real threat This to the point of selling materials to China to create nuclear weapons and helping the Thread of the Silkworm guy to defect in order to secure the Bank of China s aid during a monetary crisis The gender politics are a fascinating mix of Randian ideas of self sufficiency and a kind of parochial British love of the nuclear family The action is also fascinating, since all of it takes place in scenes of tense negotiation in board rooms and pool halls and race tracks, rather than in any kind of violence.And I will say that I enjoyed the last 300 pages or so when the pace picked up and stuff started being tied together But none of that makes up for a plot that is too long and convoluted, and which takes 1000 pages to get moving. I wish it could go on forever The audiobook is perfection The follow up to Tai pan Clavell famously visited Hong Kong and ingratiated himself with the high society of the island He based his story around many real events, which he garnered from those very same socialites The building that tumbled down the mountain side during inclement weather was owned by my old landlord, Oscar Wong He used to tell me of the day james Clavell came to interview him about that night An epic battle between the Jardine s, Swire and the new Chinese Hong s who started to rise in the early seventies A great read, especially for those that live or have lived in Hong Kong. The Asian Saga the story of a Hong Kong business dynasty. A fascinating saga written with tremendous talent Very interesting page turner and one of the best books I have ever read Clavell includes a bank run, a bear raid, international intrigue, relationship sexual tension, smuggling operations, natural disasters, multi generational rivalry, blood oaths, espionogue and dramatic natural disasters in an extremely action packed period of little than one week A long book as are all my favorites but a very interesting read and one which I highly recommend Since I am reviewing the audible.com version I must also comment on the talent of one of the most talented readers on audible, John Lee I have listened to many previous books by John Lee, and I have always enjoyed them However, I have never listened to a book that allowed John to display his talent as well as this one Lee did an excellent job at all the different accents, the different personalities and the distinct situations.I recommend Clavell s Noble House yet in particular I recommend John Lee s rendition of this great asian saga. In many ways, this is my favorite Clavell novel I m kind of a big sucker for it It s a huge, vastly sweeping epic contained entirely within a single week in Hong Kong It s a blockbuster of a novel in every sense, bringing equal amounts of entertainment and intellectual provocation There s something else going on in this novel which gives it added joy for those who have devoured the rest of the Asian saga in Noble House, Clavell begins to tie together the characters from all his other novels The story focuses on the decendants of the characters in Tai Pan, while decendants of the characters of Shogun also make appearances And Peter Marlowe, who is Clavell s stand in for himself from King Rat, runs throughout the novel as a fairly important subplot, as an author who has recently achieved literary success with a novel about Changi, and is now researching a novel about Hong Kong a delightful piece of hyper fiction, which makes the reader all the aware that this fictionalized world is based on real people the Struans of this world being based on the real life Jardines. Another fantastic part of Clavell s Asian Saga, this continues the story of the Noble House, created by Dirk Struan in Tai Pan continued in Gai Jin It is set in Hong Kong takes place over a week or so in 1963 There are a LOT of words for such a short time period It s not as tight a story as Tai Pan, but similar in many other respects.Tai Pan took place in 1841, the founding of Hong Kong It follows the trials tribulations of Dirk Struan This book, Noble House, follows the green eyed devil s true heir through similar tribulations in Hong Kong over a century later The similarities differences are fantastic There are a lot of politics with crafty spies from China, America, England, Russia Cut throat business arrangements among these nations Japan play on a wildly open stock market banking system which tests Dunross ability as The Tai pan of the Noble House He s just a business man, yet one of the most influential people on the island who carries a number of cares that would break a lesser man.The blow by blow accounting of the week fits in an incredible amount of action There s very little rest for anyone as the perfectly drawn characters maneuver for position Motivations are wonderfully done There are no angels, but many sympathetic characters, especially Dunross, a main character that is easy to get behind, but even he isn t perfect The secondary characters are often as fully drawn full of surprises.The only complaint I had was that some of the Oriental characters were a bit two dimensional in some attitudes Not all of them, but the mass were Clavell does a great job in describing their poverty, drive, priorities, abilities, though This leads to some wonderfully comic moments an old, abandoned amah calculating percentages on her take with the precision speed of a calculator It s also sad people selling their children to feed the rest of the family.These books are listed in published order here on GR now That s NOT the chronological order, the order I d highly suggest reading them in.Sh gun Japan 1600, 1100 pages, published 1975 Tai Pan Hong Kong 1841, 725 pages, pub 1966Gai Jin Japan 1862 3, 1250 pages, pub 1993King Rat WWII Japanese prison camp holding Allied POWs, 350 pages, pub 1962Noble House Hong Kong 1963, 1375 pages, pub 1986Whirlwind Iran 1979, 1200 pages, pub 1986If you re tight on time, my suggestion would be to read King Rat or Sh gun as stand alones While all the books share some families, the time difference between these 2 minimizes that If you can find the time, Tai Pan, Gai Jin, Noble House make a great trilogy Skipping Gai Jin wouldn t hurt It wasn t yet published when I first read the series I didn t miss it Unlike the rest, it doesn t have a strong central character to root for, so it s rather jarring in that sense Definitely read this book after Tai Pan, though If you like audio books can listen to these 3 read by John Lee, you re in for a real treat He might be the best reader I ve ever listened to I m quite picky.I haven t read the final book of the series, Whirlwind I know it follows the Noble House, especially some plans that Dunross put into motion, but neither the setting nor the size made me want to read it There is no audio version of it that I can find at this time or I d give it a try, especially if it was read by John Lee.