Shibumi - Trevanian 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5! Senses Working Overtime!

SEE the assassin in his youth! see him as a child in war-torn Shanghai, as a young Go-Master in Japan, as a dutiful son and as a tortured prisoner, as an expert caver in Basque Spain, as an equally expert Stage IV Lovemaker! see him enact the "Delight of the Razor" upon his lovely and loving concubine! see him destroy his enemies in an equally subtle fashion!

HEAR the clock ticking! an assassin does not live forever! shall he go to his grave as a disposable pawn to the malevolent Mother Company? or shall he go to his grave in a state of meditative bliss? shall he go to his grave at all? listen to the sound of your heartbeat as you await his decision! he hears you, hiding in that cave, blind and foolish and terminally Western in your inability to truly listen. die, deaf Westerner, die!

SMELL the sour tang of fear, the smell of sweat flowing from under your arms to soak your expensive business suit as you contemplate who exactly you have crossed! you have crossed a Master of the "Naked/Kill" technique! smell yourself, businessman! you smell like a fool. die, fool, die!

TASTE the sumptuous flavors served to you in an assassin's lair! do they remind you of the unctuous flavors of french cuisine or the brassy flavors of american bbq? you are being served the flavors of the two nations our assassin despises the most! notice the meals of the assassin and his concubine: simple brown rice and sauteed vegetables. enjoy your fatty decadence, Westerner! will it be your last?

FEEL the calm and warming presence of the sublime meadow that is the assassin's mystical meditative psychic retreat. and what shall come to those blundering dolts who dare encroach upon this special Happy Place? you have one guess! it is a word that starts with D, foolish Company Man!

you think this is a tale of a deadly assassin forced into battle with evil corporate interests; forces that are set upon his destruction in order to further their evil corporate goals of fascist world domination. YOU ARE WRONG. this is a story that is about style. style over substance. style that equals substance. style that is superior to the whinging, entitled, utterly deluded and very Western sense of "substance" - substance that actually equals grandiose self-absorption. style that equals form and form that equals meaning. if you are looking for a book that will give you a fast-paced tale of devious dark deeds and sweet revenge and justice righteously served... look elsewhere, dum-dum! but if you are looking for a novel that takes you to a place of contemplation, a place of understanding that the things we do may not amount to much but the way we do things - the meaning that is implicit in how we actually move about in the world and how that represents what is truly important - that that is what is important, that that is what is genuinely meaningful... well, this is the book for you.
"...To be truthful, I hadn't expected such good form from you. Most people of your age and class are so wrapped up in themselves - so concerned with what they're 'into' - that they fail to realize that style and form are everything, and substance a passing myth." He opened his eyes and smiled as he made a pallid effort to imitate the American accent: "It ain't what you do, it's how you do it."
plus, a special bonus Sixth Sense included free of charge!

PROXIMITY AWARENESS

foolish Westerners like to imagine that the sixth sense is telepathy - or perhaps seeing dead people. ha! what use is that exactly? why waste time hearing the despairing dead in their various depressing doldrums? and what is the use of reading the tedious and predictable thoughts of your tedious and predictable fellow humans? i for one am happy to be spared the monotony of those "insights". instead, Shibumi offers a delightful and very useful sixth sense: Proximity Awareness! i would much prefer to be aware of when someone is approaching, or thinking about me, or contemplating using a camera or gun on me. all the better to avoid such monotonous interactions!