Shibumi

Shibumi is a novel by [ext] Trevanian.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n13/n65790.jpg?alignright.jpg

Description

From the back cover:

Nicholai Hel

Born in the ravages of World War I China to an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father, raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go master, he survives the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world's most artful lover and its most accomplished - and highly paid - assassin. Genius, mystic, master of language and culture, Hel's secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection... shibumi.

The parts are titled as follows: Fuseki, Sabaki, Seki, Uttegae, Shicho, and Tsuru no Sugomori.

The concept of Shibumi is said to be "great refinement underlying commonplace appearances; authority without domination".

Trevanian spent some time as a boy in Japan in the 1940's.

Synopsis

from Barnes & Nobles:

Nicholai Hel is the world’s most wanted man. Born in Shanghai during the chaos of World War I, he is the son of an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father and is the protégé of a Japanese Go master. Hel survived the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world’s most artful lover and its most accomplished—and well-paid—assassin. Hel is a genius, a mystic, and a master of language and culture, and his secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection known only as shibumi.

Now living in an isolated mountain fortress with his exquisite mistress, Hel is unwillingly drawn back into the life he’d tried to leave behind when a beautiful young stranger arrives at his door, seeking help and refuge. It soon becomes clear that Hel is being tracked by his most sinister enemy—a supermonolith of international espionage known only as the Mother Company. The battle lines are drawn: ruthless power and corruption on one side, and on the other . . . shibumi. St. Louis Post Dispatch (...) Hel is a genius, a mystic, and a master of language and culture, and his secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection known only as shibumi.

Trevanian is a master of international intrigue...this novel should establish his reputation in the forefront of the cloak and dagger genre. More Reviews and Recommendations Biography

Trevanian’s books have been translated into more than fourteen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

Reader comments

http://www.trevanian.com/images/shibumisum.jpg?alignright.jpg

  • tartuffe This book is worth a read, especially for Go players. Certainly an understanding of Go and Asian (especially Japanese) culture allows a deeper exploration of the book. In addition to the previously mentioned chapter titles, concepts such as aji keshi, ko, furikawari, hane, kaketsugi, nozuki?, yosu-miru, kikashi are adopted to other endevours.

Shibumi last edited by HermanHiddema on August 18, 2008 - 14:15
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