Shibumi – Trevanian

I just read the novel Shibumi, it is the most popular book of the beloved writer Rodney William Whitaker, whom most of us know as Trevanian. I immediately added it to my list of “I wish I had read it earlier”. If you haven’t read it, I’m sure you’ll feel the same. Before I move to the book, let me give you a piece of brief information about the author, just in case you may want to talk about him.


Although Rodney William Whitaker is most famous for his books under the name of Trevanian, he has published books under the names Nicholas Seare, Beñat Le Cagot and Edoard Moran as well. In an interview with the New York Times, he revealed his real self, saying that; “Trevanian is no longer in fashion, and I can speak now.” When the rumour of Trevanian being Robert Ludlum began to spread, the author said: “I don’t even know who he is. I don’t read anybody except Proust from the 20th century.” He is something else, isn’t he?

Shibumi - Trevanian

The book that will make you read adventure novels

Let’s talk about Shibumi. My book club chose it, and I cannot be more thankful. I haven’t read a book like Shibumi for a long time. When I was a child, I was impressed by my father and read a lot of Clive Cussler, but I left this kind of adventure novels to other books with time. I mean, I miss it!

I try not to mention the subject of the book as much as I can. The same goes for this book. I’ll tell you why I like the book again as usual. First of all, the characters are beautiful; each one is sitting, drinking wine, and you want to join them. Trevanian’s style is so elegant that you’ll never understand you’ve been reading for hours. If you have to pause, you’ll be eager to continue cause Trevanian knows how to keep the reader on tenterhooks. On the hand, you’ll be learning a lot of general culture about the Basque people and the Go game. In summary, Shibumi is one of those good books that you have to read at least once. Enjoy.


About the book: Shibumi

Half German, half Russian, Hel was raised by a Japanese general and survived Hiroshima to become a mystic, however a master of the senses, and the most deadly assassin in the world. 

Nicholai has left his past behind him to live a life of isolation in a remote mountain fortress, determined to attain a state of effortless perfection known as shibumi. Then Hannah Stern arrives at his door. 

Hannah needs protection from a sinister organization known as the Mother Company. But, as Hel knows all too well, they are not easy to escape. And now they’re coming after him too. The battle lines are drawn: ruthless power and corruption on one side, and on the other…shibumi. 

About the author: Trevanian

Rodney William Whitaker was an American film scholar and writer who wrote several novels under the pen name Trevanian. Whitaker wrote in a wide variety of genres, achieved best-seller status, and published under several other names as well, including Nicholas Seare, Beñat Le Cagot and Edoard Moran. 

Shibumi - Trevanian

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

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