Shōgun, James Clavell
Desert island time. My one food? Cheesecake and original Gardetto’s (Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that’s two, but it’s my island. Sue me.) My one book? Shōgun.
Shōgun is just simply my all-time #1 favorite book. I’ve read it four times – I don’t read anything four times – and I fully plan on reading it once or twice more before I die if things work out that way.
Why? It has just about everything you could possibly want in a story: Kings & peasants, soldiers & priests. True love, impossible beauty, sex, hope, and heartbreak. Unbelievable bravery, incredible deceit. Planning, scheming, warring, building, destroying, & backstabbing. Interesting characters, an exotic location, and a mesmerizing time period all set within one of the most fascinating cultures on the planet.
Whenever I read this book, I walk around for days afterward in what I can only describe as a literary hangover. The beauty and violence keep spinning around my head in a delicate ballet. Samurai swords continue their lethal flashing. And Mariko won’t let me go.
Is it great fiction? I don’t know. Is it historically accurate? I don’t care. When you love something, facts don’t really matter.