9780385343275

Gai-Jin

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780385343275

  • ISBN10:

    0385343272

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-05-19
  • Publisher: Delta
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Summary

The heir to the magnificent English trading company, the Noble House...the directdescendant of the first Toranaga Shogun battling to usher his country into the modernage...a beautiful young French woman forever torn between ambition and desire...Their lives intertwine in an exotic land newly open to foreigners, gai-jin,torn apart by greed, idealism, and terrorism. Their passions mingle with monarchs and diplomats, assassins, courtesans and spies. Their fates collide in James Clavell's latest masterpiece set in nineteenth-century Japanan unforgettable epic seething with betrayal and secrets, brutality and heroism, love and forbidden passions....

Author Biography

James Clavell, who died in 1994, was a screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Although he wrote the screenplays for a number of acclaimed films, including The Fly (1958), The Great Escape (1963), and To Sir With Love (1967), he is best known for his epic novels in his Asian Saga.

Excerpts

Chapter One


Yokohama

14th September 1862:
The panic-stricken girl was galloping full speed back towards the coast, half a mile ahead, along footpaths that led precariously through the rice swamps and paddy fields. The afternoon sun bore down. She rode sidesaddle and though normally expert, today she could hardly keep her balance. Her hat had vanished and her green riding habit, the height of Parisian fashion, was ripped by brambles and speckled with blood, tawny fair hair streaming in the wind.

She whipped the pony faster. Now she could see the tiny hovels of the Yokohama fishing village clustering the high fence and canals that enclosed the Foreign Settlement and spires of the two small churches within and knew, thankfully, in the bay beyond were British, French, American and Russian merchantmen and a dozen warships, both steam and sail.

Faster. Over narrow wooden bridges and canals and irrigation ditches that crisscrossed the paddy and swamps. Her pony was lathered with sweat, a deep wound on his shoulder and tiring rapidly. He shied. A bad moment but she recovered, and now she swerved onto the path that led through the village to the bridge over the encircling canal and to the main gate and the samurai guard house, and Japanese Customs House.

The two-sworded samurai sentries saw her coming and moved to intercept, but she charged through them into the wide main street of the Settlement proper on the seafront. One of the samurai guards rushed for an officer.

She reined in, panting. "Au secours... Æ l'aide, help!"

The promenade was almost deserted, most of the inhabitants at siesta or yawning in their countinghouses, or dallying in the Pleasure Houses outside the fence.

"Help!" she called out again and again, and the few men spread along its length, British traders and off-duty soldiers and sailors mostly, some Chinese servants, looked up startled.

"God Almighty, look there! It's the French girl... "

"What's amiss? Christ, look at her clothes... "

"Cor, it's her, the smasher, Angel Tits, arrived couple of weeks ago... "

"That's right, Angelique... Angelique Beecho or Reecho, some Frog name like that.... "

"My God, look at the blood!"

Everyone began converging on her, except the Chinese who, wise after millennia of sudden trouble, vanished. Faces began to appear in windows.

"Charlie, fetch Sir William on the double!"

"Christ Almighty, look at her pony, poor bugger will bleed to death, get the vet," a corpulent trader called out. "And you, soldier, quick, get the General, and the Frog, she's his ward—oh, for God's sake, the French Minister, hurry!" Impatiently he pointed at a single-story house flying the French flag. "Hurry!" he bellowed. The soldier rushed off, and he trundled for her as fast as he could. Like all traders he wore a top hat and woolen frock coat, tight pants, boots, and sweated in the sun. "What on earth happened, Miss Angelique?" he said, grabbing her bridle, aghast at the dirt and blood that speckled her face and clothes and hair. "Are you hurt?"

"Moi, non... no, I think not but we were attacked... Japanners attacked us." She was trying to catch her breath and stop shaking, still in terror, and pushed the hair out of her face. Urgently she pointed inland westwards, Mount Fuji vaguely on the horizon. "Back there, quick, they need—need help!"

Those nearby were appalled and noisily began relaying the half news to others and asking questions: Who? Who was attacked? Are they French or British? Attacked? Where? Two-sword bastards again! Where the hell did this happen... ?

Questions overlaid other questions and gave her no time to answer, nor could she yet, coherently, her chest heaving, everyone pressing cl

Excerpted from Gai-Jin by James Clavell
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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