James Clavell wrote many classic books including King Rat, Shogun and Noble House among others. Unfortunately he has since passed on so his book Gai-Jin was his last book. Other books include Whirlwind and Tai-pan.
Noble house is one of my favorites. This may be due to playing the board game of the same name and theme – without a doubt one of the best and under-rated board games in existence. The story is set in Hong Kong in 1963 and revolves about Struan’s – the Noble House and its battle for economic survival among its many competitors. It combines a good amount of fiction, legend and big business and produces a great novel. The struggle between the two great houses sets up the conflict that any great piece of fiction requires.
The reader is placed into a world that no longer exists – doubly so since Hong Kong has been returned to Chinese control. It is a world where Tai-Pans – heads of large companies battle each other for money, power and survival.
Into this world comes the American Company Par Con. Depending on whose side Par Con jumps may tip the balance in Hong Kong. Add in some spies, gun running, police and criminals, and a kidnapping and you have a great novel.
Hong Kong itself sets the backdrop for the novel and in the end its Hong Kong the affects the outcome of the struggle.
If you haven’t read a James Clavell started with this one or Sho Gun – which are his best followed by King Rat, Gai-Jin, Tai-Pan and finally Whirlwind which was the one book of his I could never get into.
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