Shogun (The Asian Saga #1) Unrated DNF@68%

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Title: Shogun
Series: The Asian Saga #1
Author: James Clavell
Rating: Unrated / DNF@68%
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 1113 / 757
Words: 438K / 298K

When I read this in 2010, I loved it. It wasn’t perfect but the utter foreignness of the setting (1600’s I think, in Japan) made for an enthralling read.

This time, all I could read were the sailors swearing like sailors. The biggest part was that they would claim to be Christians and then take Jesus’s name in vain as part of their daily routine. I’m not blaming Clavell for including it, which is why I’m leaving this unrated, but it is not something I want to get comfortable with. It was starting to bug me and then it happened with several of the characters multiple times in just a few pages, so I decided I had had enough and dnf’d the book.

I don’t know why it bothered me so much this time and not so much back in ‘10. While I am older, I don’t feel like I can say I am more mature as a Christian, if anything I realize just how much in the shallow end of the pool I really am. My own temptation to swear at work is waaaaaay greater and thus harder to fight against. I’m less involved at church. I didn’t think much about it when I just dnf’d it, but now that I am writing, it is a puzzling aspect to me. I haven’t come to any conclusion but now I am curious. Something changed in me and I don’t know what it is. I’ll have to keep on cogitating on it.

I definitely won’t be re-reading the rest of the Asian Saga, as I remember not enjoying them nearly as much as I did Shogun back then. So another re-read that didn’t quite work out. I seem to have gone through a list of books like that in the last month or two. Good thing my tbr is close to 300!

Unrated DNF@68%

42 thoughts on “Shogun (The Asian Saga #1) Unrated DNF@68%

  1. Oh, a pity. I’m a mild mannered guy myself, but I don’t expect sailors not to swear, nor Christians not to be hypocrites, so I didn’t mind all that in Shogun, one of my favourite historical novels ever :⁠-⁠)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The swearing was the smaller aspect and if it had only been that I might have been able to go on, but noted to myself not to re-read it again.
      But the blasphemy, whether hypocritical or not, was the tipping point. having it be hypocritical was just insult to injury.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It will be interesting to see if you will figure out why and how you’ve changed. Interesting you’ve caught up on it because of a reread. Any idea why you are less involved at church? A time issue? Corona changed your habits?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not to go too deep down a theological path, but I think it goes something like this.
      The older I get the more I have come to realize just how sacred the Trinity is. God’s very nature requires a level of respect and honor that we don’t give and yet out of general mercy we’re not all immediately slain. I am realizing more and more that God is perfect and I am not and just how naturally unbridgeable that gap is. The sacrifice that Jesus made by bridging that gap is coming to mean more and more to me.

      I think the less involvement is because we’re actually at a healthy level of involvement instead of carrying a weight on our shoulders like we did at our last church. We don’t do something every time we go to church and can actually sit in the pew and take in the sermon. So in my less emotional states of mind, I realize how good that is. When I’m all riled up or tired or whatever (like I was when I wrote this review), suddenly less means something bad, even though it really doesn’t.

      Energy levels definitely play a part. We’re both in our 40’s now and are working full time+. Covid simply forced us to decide how important public worship was to us and we decided it was one of the more important things, so it’s a priority now.

      A while back you expressed surprise that I was still following you. Your comment here exemplifies why I do. You ask just the right questions that allow me to think on these bellybutton issues 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Do I understand correctly that because you realize more that the Trinity deserves respect, that you are less willing to put up with profanity?

        Anyhow, thanks for elaborating, your words are inspiring. In a way, with becoming older, I’ve had a similar experience in that I have come to appreciate and respect the miracle of creation the more I experience it & learn about it. It is an ongoing process.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The TV series was quite robust and broke a fair few taboos re swearing, nudity, seppuku, boiling people etc. Richard Chamberlaine was a good enough Blackthorne, Toshira Mifune an excellent Toranaga, and Yoko Shimada a perfect and beautiful Lady Toda Mariko. The costumes were amazing. NBC had it’s highest weekly ratings and it started the rise of sushi restaurants in America. ( I have the series on DVD 🙂 )

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I really enjoyed what I read this time overall too, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the other issues. I liked several of the japanese characters, as I thought Clavell did an excellent job of contrasting how they thought in comparison to the Europeans.

      I have heard of it but have avoided it because of the issues Fraggle mentions.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, when I went on to read the rest of the Asian saga, I was less than impressed with each successive book.

      My goodness, you are really a re-reader aren’t you? Shogun, Wolfe, anything else you’ve devoured multiple times?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ive always been interested in this novel, but it looks like a mammoth of a novel and there are 3?

    Maybe the short of what bothers you regarding swearing here is that you dont like the use of Jesus or God’s name used as a curse? I know growing up I had a big problem with the american tv shows just going omg omg all over the place, I also remember that at some point there was a discussion with the conservatives among the time regarding that specific swear word. You wont see Afrikaans shows using it like that, not that I know of at least. Anyway, I just thought it interesting to read how it irks you that a few years ago it did not bother you and now it does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Technically, this is a standalone. He has 4 or 5 more dealing w China n Japan but they don’t really tie into this.

      You are correct. Not taking God’s name in vain is one of the 10 commandments after all.
      I guess I’ll be pointing to this stage in my life when it changed for me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Even if it’s not necessarily offensive, I still cannot stand over usage of swearing. I don’t even mind swearing but repeating the same tag lines or swearing excessively to appear edgy is highly annoying and takes me out of what I’m reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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