i wonder if there is some academic thesis somewhere on "the attempt to repeat a formula." an obvious repeat of the Shogun mix, Gai-Jin falls short, being neither great, sweeping, nor stunningly novel, yet for true Clavell fans, the book is 1000 pages of more adventures in Japan for the Japanophile, for the Clavellophile. if the trade-off is between an excellent story in Hong Kong or a decent story in Japan, of course many would prefer the latter. all comes down to how many 'you turtle's egg' (Chinese curse) you can read before ripping up a paperback retailing .99
at its best: swords and early modern Japan; at its worst: a rehash.