The Last Samurai
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The Last Samurai

4.17 (3,307 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Helen DeWitt's 2000 debut, The Last Samurai, was "destined to become a cult classic" (Miramax). The enterprising publisher sold the rights in twenty countries, so "Why not just, 'destined to become a classic?'" (Garth Risk Hallberg) And why must cultists tell the uninitiated it has nothing to do with Tom Cruise? Sibylla, an American-at-Oxford turned loose on London, finds herself trapped as a single mother after a misguided one-night stand. High-minded principles of child-rearing work disastrously well. J. S. Mill (taught Greek at three) and Yo Yo Ma (Bach at two) claimed the methods would work with any child; when these succeed with the boy Ludo, he causes havoc at school and is home again in a month. (Is he a prodigy, a genius? Readers looking over Ludo's shoulder find themselves easily reading Greek and more.) Lacking male role models for a fatherless boy, Sibylla turns to endless replays of Kurosawa's masterpiece Seven Samurai. But Ludo is obsessed with the one thing he wants and doesn't know: his father's name. At eleven, inspired by his own take on the classic film, he sets out on a secret quest for the father he never knew. He'll be punched, sliced, and threatened with retribution. He may not live to see twelve. Or he may find a real samurai and save a mother who thinks boredom a fate worse than death.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 132 x 203 x 35mm | 490g
  • New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 081122550X
  • 9780811225502
  • 151,240

Review quote

The Last Samurai is an original work of brilliance about, in part, the limits of brilliance.show more

Rating details

3,307 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 49% (1,621)
4 29% (973)
3 14% (467)
2 5% (159)
1 3% (87)
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