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Well told and superbly narrated this book is an excellent overview of the Samurai. From the start to present day we see the history, the development, and finally the demise. The book shows how the idea of Samurai was used and abused in the 20th Century for political, social and media goals. Jonathan Clements has opinions and views but generally the book covers the topic in a level handed way to make the reader (listener) feel it is balanced and objective. Just over 12 hours long, it is a brief view of the Samurai which if this subject interest you, you'll fly through and find fascinating.
Loved the book and the narrator is excellent.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Absolutely loved this audio book. The details of the samurai and the period associated with certain characters were accurate and well presented.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
As a Japanese school child, Japanese History was just dates and names, but this audiobook brought these historical people and incidents to life for me. Samurai are all too often depicted through rose tinted glass, but Clements delivers the stories of human foibles with a dry sense of humour, and he got me laughing out loud often.
I have been a massive fan of European history but not of my own country, because of the way history was taught in Japan when I was a child. If this was my History textbook, I would have read it in bed.
The only reason why I gave four stars, not five, for the performance is because Keeble's pronunciation of Japanese words are often incorrect. Otherwise his delivery lets you suck into the drama of Japanese history.
It is well researched, and quotes and anecdotes are so well chosen that you cannot help but be interested in these historical characters and incidents. It is not a long book, but Clements achieves a lot, telling the story of the long era of samurai concisely, and educate and entertain you at the same time. I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in Japan or History.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Jonathan Clements or narrated by Jonathan Keeble?
Yes, but I would read any reviews first.
Who was your favorite character and why?
What aspect of Jonathan Keeble’s performance might you have changed?
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
It was interesting in places but it listed lots of facts without being thought provoking.