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BookMooch Adventures

BookMooch Adventures published on

Hypothesis: Putting the word “samurai” into BookMooch will give you the most tackspecularly splendid books in the universe.

* The Samurai Wizard, by Simon Hawke

Amazon review: Great addition to the series culminating in the death of one of the runestone bearers and all because Morpheus comes out of retirement.

* The Cybernetic Samurai, by Victor Milan

Amazon review: They in fact create Tokugawa, the first program with consciousness. They start training it with scenarios and ideas from Japan’s past, making him into a Samurai. Little did they know how much he would need the training! […] If you liked this book, there is also the second in the series: The Cybernetic Shogun.

* Time Machine #3: Sword of the Samurai, by Michael Reaves

Amazon review: Like the Choose Your Own Adventure series, but so much better because of the following reasons: 1- Almost all of them are based on FACT. This book mentions A BOOK OF FIVE RINGS by famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. As it turns out, that book actually exists, as did the author. This book also mentions how Musashi died in a cave towards the end of his life–also true.

* Samurai Bulldog By Chibinosuke Dogizaemon, by Jeff Hunter and JC Brown

Amazon review: The book covers the arts of war and peace, for example Bulldog Zen, “coming when called”, “the leash of no leash”, and techniques of meditation. The arts of war include such tactics as “the mysterious assault of the foul wind”, “making your own body into a bobby trap” and “the flurry of flying drool” all beautifully illustrated by J.C Brown, a calligrapher and illustrater living in Tokyo, whose other work includes “Zen for Cats”.

* The Cyberthief and the Samurai, by Jeff Goodell

Amazon review: This has to be one of the worst books I have ever read.

(This is appears to be a trashy-true-crime-story-style book about Kevin Mitnick, evidently the “cyberthief.” The “samurai” is Tsutomu Shimomura, who, having been raised in New Jersey, is unlikely to possess the requisite skill-set. (Related: I’ve been wondering about this cultural thing where some older CS guys grow their hair long. What status does that supposedly confer, “guru” or “maverick” or “I’m too busy installing my own personal Linux distribution on a ’92 Toyota Tercel/a hat/Christmas to teach any classes”?))

* Samurai Boogie, by Peter Tasker

Amazon description: Detective Kazuo Mori, a former youthful rebel whose indignation at social injustice has mellowed into a weary acquiescence, is a tough guy only when necessary. He gets his information by deception, pretending to be a figure of authority. His investigation into the alleged natural death of a government official leads him into the most secret places in Japanese society: corporate files. Angel, a young woman he rescues from a Yakuza boss, may appear to be a damsel in distress, but God help anyone who crosses her.

I am actually thinking about requesting this.

* The Samurai’s Garden, by Gail Tsukiyama

Amazon review: Given the potentially interesting subplot (the story of a love triangle doomed by the outbreak of leprosy in the village) and the fascinating period in which the book is set, this second novel by the author of Women of the Silk (St. Martin’s, 1991) has the potential to be a winner. Unfortunately, it is sunk by a flat, dull prose style, one-dimensional characters who fail to engage the reader’s interest, and the author’s tendency to tell rather than show.

I am going to write a book called The Pirate’s Wicker Chair, about a pirate who had an unfulfilling childhood, who goes home to fascist Italy to recuperate from scurvy. He gets involved (not “embroiled,” embroiling is far too indelicate) in a doomed love-triangle with the wife of a local actuary – his childhood friend with whom he can no longer relate – and a seventeen-year-old fishmonger with no arms. Despite its interesting, probably-symbolic subplot involving a mysterious tramp who claims he can transmute lead into saltpeter, my book will be sunk by my clear dislike for my characters, my dry, disdainful prose style that suggests I am handling the story with rubber gloves and tweezers to avoid contamination, and my inexplicable belief that Italy is landlocked.