I have just finished re-reading Shibumi (my favourite book) for the umpteenth time. Still a great pleasure.
And now I have started to re-read Don Winslow’s book about Nicholai Hel called Satori.
This is my first time re-reading this since it came out in 2011.
I was very excited to read it at the time. A new story about Nicholai Hel (and some familiar characters from the original book). And an endorsement from Rodney Whitaker’s daughter Alexandra on the Trevanian website.
At the time I didn’t enjoy it to be honest. I didn’t recognise Winslow’s Hel to be the same person as Whitaker’s. I note that Whitaker had two conditions for the idea of another author writing about Hel:
The character of Nicholai Hel — the aji of Nicholai Hel — must be respected, and the book must be of a quality that would not disappoint his readers
Anyway, I’m not that far into the book but I spotted a glaring error on the second page!
Winslow says that Hel killed his father-figure Kishikawa with “a single finger-thrust to the trachea”. Anyone who read Shibumi know that he killed him with a pencil (naked/kill is not about killing with no weapon, it’s about being able to use anything as a weapon).
How could anyone make such a mistake about a well known detail, and then hope to re-create the character of Hel?!
Anyway, I am reading the book and (in spite of what I have said above) trying to do so with an open mind.
By the way, while I’m writing about Trevanian once again, I should mention the sad update that: