James Clavell was a British (Australian-born) novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war. He is best known for his epic Asian Saga series of novels and their televised adaptations, including 'King Rat', 'Tai-Pan', 'Shogun', 'Noble House', and 'Whirlwind'. His works are known for their in-depth exploration of Asian business and culture, and have been praised for their engaging narratives and historical accuracy.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
Set in the 17th century, this novel follows an English sailor who becomes a samurai in feudal Japan. The protagonist, shipwrecked and stranded in a foreign land, must navigate the complex political and cultural landscape of the time, filled with war, intrigue, honor, and love. The story is rich in historical detail, providing a vivid depiction of Japanese society during the Tokugawa Shogunate era.
2. King Rat
Set in a Japanese POW camp during World War II, the narrative revolves around the lives of Western prisoners who struggle to survive under harsh conditions. The story focuses on an American corporal, known for his savvy trading and black market dealings within the camp, earning him the nickname "King Rat." His entrepreneurial spirit and cunning allow him to rise above the desperate circumstances, but his actions and morality are called into question as he forms complex relationships with fellow prisoners. The book explores themes of survival, power dynamics, and the moral ambiguities of life in captivity, as alliances are formed and tested in the face of adversity and the fight to stay alive.