Thursday, March 24, 2011

BAFFLING BINGO MYSTERY BOOK DAY: SATORI - A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S
"BAFFLING BINGO DAY"
I'M EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THIS THURSDAY'S
"BAFFLING BINGO DAY"
MYSTERY BOOK CHOICE IS.....
 
 GIVEAWAY ENDED
SATORI
A Novel Based on TREVANIAN'S SHIBUMI 
BY DON WINSLOW

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Prepare to meet the world's most dangerous man

Nicholai Hel-genius, mystic, and the perfect, formidable assassin-was first introduced to readers in Shibumi, the classic #1 bestseller by master storyteller Trevanian. Now critically acclaimed author Don Winslow continues Hel's story for the first time in this all-new, blockbuster thriller.
SATORI

It is the fall of 1951, and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six-year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hoda korosu, or "naked kill," is fluent in seven languages, and has honed extraordinary "proximity sense"-an extra-awareness of the presence of danger. He has the skills to be the world's most fearsome assassin and now the CIA needs him.

The Americans offer Hel freedom, money, and a neutral passport in exchange for one small service: to go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union's commissioner to China. It's almost certainly a suicide mission, but Hel accepts. Now he must survive chaos, violence, suspicion, and betrayal while trying to achieve his ultimate goal of satori-the possibility of true understanding and harmony with the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
DON WINSLOW was born in New York City but raised in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. His books include The Power of the Dog and The Life and Death of Bobby Z. In addition to his writing, Don has been an actor, director, movie theater manager, safari guide and private investigator. Don lives in the San Diego area with his wife, Jean, and son, Thomas. He invites you to visit him at his website www.donwinslow.com.

TREVANIAN's books have been translated into more than fourteen languages and have sold million of copies worldwide. In addition to Shibumi, Trevanian is the author of seven novels including The Eiger Sanction and The Loo Sanction.

Go HERE to read the "Author's Note" about SATORI.

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
SATORI by Don Winslow starts out as a thrill ride complete with an international setting and high stakes assassin and works hard to keep its momentum. With obviously extensive research, Winslow introduces readers to Nicholai Hel. Green eyed, blonde haired Hel was raised in the Far East by his Russian mother and German father. Nicholai is fluent in at least seven languages, extremely brilliant, and poised to the point of being over-confident at times. The year is 1951, and the story opens with Hel being released from an American-run prison in Tokyo. He was incarcerated for murder having committed an honor killing. While in prison, Hel is beaten by his captors to the point that his features are so deformed that he needs to have plastic surgery to regain his normal appearance. His release has been arranged, dependent on his taking on the role of a French arms dealer so that he can assassinate a Soviet politician who is currently in Beijing. First, however, he is tended to by the beautiful Solange, who Hel is quite taken with, while she teaches him what he needs to know to carry out this “assignment“. These feelings are highly unusual for Hel as he normally is very unemotional and in fact, often described as condescending to the point of being arrogant. After all he has been through, it isn’t hard to understand why Hel is quite suspicious of everyone. Once his training is complete, there begins a whirlwind of activity as one thing leads to another and Hel goes from one international point to another.

Winslow constructs an exceedingly involved tale that includes a very large cast of characters, even including a rather talkative but also self-indulgent dwarf. It is here in the second part of the story where so many characters of which many are killers after Hel, are introduced. I found it very hard to keep up with who they all were at times.  When I have to work that hard at a story, I tend to drift away from it sometimes and unfortunately, this was one of those times. There indeed are some wonderfully described locations and customs like the Japanese tea ceremony, that are fascinating. Even the term “Satori” is explained as somewhat of a Zen idea of awakening as well as making one able to understand what is really going on in any situation. From what I understand, that is the best definition I can give. Hel is involved in many of these finely scripted traditions but the one he is most into is a game called “Go”. This is a game of strategy and Hel applies it for use in his own life.

With all these thrills and excitement, one should be unable to put a book like this down. Unfortunately, I was not one who was able to keep up and therefore, it was harder after a while to pick it up and must admit I did find myself scanning through some of the middle parts to get back to the action that brought the story to its conclusion. I caution you to not base your interest in this book on just this part of my review because I think spring fever may have hit and I was just not into such a detailed, attention getting story. Finely written and highly touted, this is sure to be talked about by many. What happens to Hel and where he goes from here, should he survive, could mean a whole series for Don Winslow. Based on the work he put into this book, I would say he more than deserves the success and continuation of this character, especially for the readers who revel in this genre.. They won’t be disappointed, I am sure.

GIVEAWAY 

THANKS TO BRAD AND THE GOOD FOLKS AT
HACHETTE BOOK GROUP, I HAVE 2 COPIES
OF SATORI TO GIVE AWAY
 
--U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK THAT I CAN FOLLOW

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN GAIN MORE ENTRIES BY COMMENTING EACH ONE SEPARATELY

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, APRIL 7
GOOD LUCK! 

62 comments:

debbie said...

It does sound like a somewhat complicated thriller. It would be interesting to see what happens.
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debbie said...

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Connie said...

Hi! I like the fact that this book is a multi layered story that thrills. The main character essentially is reborn into another persona that takes care of things his own way. Thank you for the exciting giveaway! :)

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ktgonyea said...

Sounds wonderful :)

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Steve Capell said...

Spring Fever or not ... I am sure you gave this book an honest review like you do for all your reviews ... I like that! I like this genre and I'm willing to give this one a read if I am the lucky one! One final comment ... I like the cover of this book. Thanks for opportunity!

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traveler said...

This unique novel sounds compelling and special. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

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petite said...

A multi-layered story has been a favorite for me. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

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holdenj said...

The book sounds like you need a guide along with it! And I'm curious about Winslow' stint as a safari guide.
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holdenj said...

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holdenj said...

I subscribe via RSS feed.
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Karen B said...

Satori sounds very complicated but fascinating.
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Karen B said...

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Tore said...

It sounds very interesting. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Laura H. said...

Boy, that's unusual that you didn't particularly care for a book! But I do like this genre so I'd willing to give it a try. You know what they say...."one man's trash is another man's treasure". :-)

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Laura H. said...

Tweeted giveaway: http://twitter.com/#!/MamaHendo3/status/51390725434261504

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mamabunny13 said...

I agree with the other entrants...it sounds complicated and I can't wait to read it!
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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

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Linda Kish said...

It's a different kind of thriller for me but I'd like to give it a try.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am an Email subscriber

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I am a GFC follower

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Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds like an awesome thriller. I would definitely like to read this.

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Misusedinnocence said...

I follow on gfc.

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MarionG said...

I love international stories that have intrigue and mystery wrapped up in them. This sounds like an exciting book with a bit of a Japanese twist(another of my interests).Plus, I used to have a business by the same name which makes me curious. I've also read Shibumi which I loved. So for all those reasons I'd love to read this book.
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Cheers.

MarionG said...

I follow your blog on GFC as MarionG.
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dag888888 said...

I like international thrillers like Satori, count me in!

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Carol N Wong said...

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Karen B said...

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CherylS22 said...

I'd love to win this book because Nicholai Hel seems like an interesting character & the story looks like a great thriller.
Thanks for the giveaway!
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