It’s no surprise that BANJIN reads like an epic mini series or major motion picture. That’s because it was written by Andrew Laszlo, ASC, who was the cinematographer on SHOGUN, the 10-hour, Golden Globe-winning saga starring Richard Chamberlain, based on James Clavell’s bestselling novel.
The prolific Andrew Laszlo is well known as one of the top Directors of Photography in the business, having shot more than 60 motion pictures and television specials. He is also famous for his prodigious storytelling prowess, as show in this, his seventh book. It is his best book yet.
Told with a cinematographer’s attention to detail and a filmmaker’s gift of creating images from words, BANJIN is the kind of historical fiction that keeps the reader spellbound and sleepless–because it’s impossible to put down.
In SHOGUN, the year is 1600. The place, Japan. Rival Samurai warriors battle to become Shogun. John Blackthorne, English navigator on a Dutch trading ship is shipwrecked on the coast of Japan. He becomes an ally of Toranaga, falls in love with his interpreter, and becomes assimilated into Japanese culture.
BANJIN picks up more than 200 years after SHOGUN. The year is 1843. Another shipwreck. A Japanese boy, Masahiro, is blown in storm away from his village to a desolate island, rescued by American whalers and brought to New Bedford, Massachusetts in a voyage that would make Conrad, Melville or Dana proud. As John Mong, the boy is well educated at Exeter, advises Congress, goes back to sea, joins the Gold Rush in California, and returns home to Japan. He becomes Lord Tanaka Masahiro, and helps open Japan to the west as a leading character in the Meiji Restoration.
There’s enough action, intrigue, passion and character development to fill a half-dozen regular novels or Hollywood movies.
Andrew Laszlo’s book BANJIN will undoubtedly become, as they say, “Soon to be a Major Motion Picture.”
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