I love reading a good novel on vacation. Nothing beats sitting poolside, by the beach, in a hammock, or even on a long bus or train ride reading a great novel. Depending on your tastes, it could be a work of true literary greatness or maybe it’s something mindless and fun.
I have read many novels, but none have influenced my travels more than Shōgun by James Clavell. Years ago, while living in Austin I found a used copy of Shōgun at my local bookstore and decided to give it a try. I spent more than a few days laying out at Barton Springs devouring this epic novel. By the time I finished, I made a strong commitment to investigate Asia as a place to live and work which ultimately resulted in moving to South Korea and Taiwan. I spent five years living in Asia as a direct result of this novel and have traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia, and many others.
It is an understatement to call this novel “epic.” Shōgun is over 1,000 pages long, packed full of interesting characters, action, romance, NINJAS!, and so much more. I recently gave a copy of Shōgun to my friend Ryan Nell as he traveled through Central America. This is what he had to say:
“Just wonderful. The most enjoyable, un-put-downable, wise, sad, insightful thing I have read in ages. Put it on the top of your reading list now.” –Ryan Nell
I’m not much of a critic, but I’ve hope I’ve done my job informing you that this is a must-read book and you’ll find it particularly fascinating if you’re traveling to Japan . However, you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out Pat St-Denis’ review of the book here. He is a respected book blogger and is far more eloquent than I and does it without any major spoilers.
If you do decide to purchase this novel, please do so by clicking on one of the Amazon links above to support the Outside the Cube Travel.