Publisher's Summary

Recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called Endo's supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century's finest novels".
Considered controversial ever since its first publication, it tackles the thorniest religious issues of belief and faith head on.
A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.
©1966 Shusaku Endo (P)2009 Audible Ltd
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Critic Reviews

“Brian Moore’s Black Robe, about the fate, usually violent, of 17th century Jesuit priests bent on converting the native Canadians had to be the last grisly word on the subject. Or so I thought. Then I head this … Utterly mesmerizing.” Sue Arnold, The Guardian
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Helgi Sigurbjörnsson on 12-10-2017

Remarkable

Well worth listening to and then some. But there is one thing you NEED to know before you listen. Martin Scorcese has added foreword to the book that require a spoiler alert. In his admiration for Shusaku Endo's work he gives away important information that will affect how you interpret the story. Suffice to say that it is better to hear his interpretation of the book after but not before you listen. The actual story starts at 5:40 min and is not marked in any way on the audio file.

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965 of 967 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Karen W. Lam on 01-03-2017

Beautifully Written and Narrated; Troubling Ideas

Powerful story with a slow build. I'm torn, being a non-Catholic with strong negative emotions about evangelism and Asia. There's one section of the book, describing Japan as a "swamp" that will always deny Christianity from taking root, that hit me like a tidal wave.

I have a feeling this book will stick with me long afterward and I may have different thoughts on a second or third listen/read.

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38 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sandy on 18-09-2010

How a man comes face to face with God

This novel follows the journey, literal and metaphysical, of one man, a missionary in 17th century Japan. He realises how human he is, and how inhumane his fellow humans can be. In the end he comes face to face with his own humanity, and in doing so comes face to face with God. Endo reaches the heart of the link between faith and the church. At times I found this novel sad, sickening, disheartening, yet as it progressed it became illuminating, challenging and ultimately life-affirming. A truly remarkable novel, one of the best books I have ever come across.

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24 of 27 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Heisenberg on 07-10-2017

The silence of God in the face of suffering.

The story of a Portuguese missionary in 17th century Japan and how he comes to explain to himself God's silence in the face of persecution and suffering. It is a study in betrayal, with the story of Judas, as a persistent theme. Inevitably, the readers (listeners) religious beliefs will colour the message and understanding of the novel, but not I think, of his or her enjoyment, of what is an excellent, well written novel, beautifully read.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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