Autumn Bridge PDF/EPUB å Paperback

Autumn Bridge PDF/EPUB å Paperback

    Download PDF books to life, and with it a secret prophecy that has been shrouded for centuries, and may now finally be revealed Takashi Matsuoka’s spellbinding novel is infused with spectacle, intricately woven, magically told Autumn Bridge is a feast for the senses, a work of truly dazzling storytellingFrom the Hardcover edition."/>
  • Paperback
  • 448 pages
  • Autumn Bridge
  • Takashi Matsuoka
  • English
  • 22 July 2019
  • 9780385339117

10 thoughts on “Autumn Bridge

  1. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    The overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the Restoration of the Emperor, the abolition of the samurai class, the dissolution of the domains, the unprecedented intrusion of foreigners into Japan, the destruction of the last heroic proponents of bushido--all these events had occurred in the span of less than ten years.

    The radical late XIX century changes in Japan society offer a rich filon of inspiration for the epic canvas of Takashi Matsuoka. This second 'Samurai' book is more of a companion book than a direct sequel to Cloud of Sparrows . The main characters are the same, but there is a definite change of focus from the cinematic action and political infighting among the elite feudal lords of the Shogunate towards the intimate, the philosophical implications and the personal struggle of the actors to cope with a changing environment. In order to examine in detail the way the Bushido code of honor and the century spanning vendettas between the great houses affected the progress of the Nippon nation into the modern era, the author relies more heavily on the supernatural elements (clairvoyance, communicating with the ghosts of ancestors) that were only hinted at in the first book.The power of seeing the future, more of a curse than a blessing for the Okumichi lords of the Akaoka domain, allows not only an exploration of the Oriental principle of predestination, but also permits the novel to jump forward and backward in time, connecting the fate of the witch princess Shizuka from the 14th Century to the one of Lord Genji, the last Okumichi Lord during the fall of the Shogunate regime.

    If you permit a fanciful interpretation on my part, the 'Samurai' duology is structured as an illustration of the yin - yang dialectic concept, with Cloud of Sparrows as the active, aggressive, destructive, fiery yang element and Autumn Bridge as the yelding, mysterious, creative, dreamy yin part. Thus, it may be possible to read the second book before the first, but they work best together. I let more than a year pass between my lectures, and I struggled a bit in the beginning remembering the details of who was who and what they were fighting about, but eventually it came back, with the help of adequate references in the new text.

    There are some very convincing female warriors in the epic: samurai and ninja fighting side by side with their lords, but I believe their importance in the later part of the story is more as a counterforce to the self destructive thirst for violence that has ravaged Japan throughout its medieval era. While Lady Shizuka and the American beautiful missionary Emily are interesting enough as principal characters, I found myself attracted more to the fate of the lesser ladies : Hanako, a lady in waiting in Genji household; Midori, a young girl given in marriage to a violent Okumichi lord at only 12 years of age; Lady Nowaki, the young unwed mother of Shizuka, and especially Kimi, a litle peasant girl near Mushindo Monastery that somehow ends up as the Abbess of the place and as a revered spiritual teacher.

    The jumps around the timeline and the non-linear plot progression might have been a distraction and gimmicky way of creating tension in the absence of major action sequences, but they come together beautifully towards the end, giving the novel a much larger scope than if it were following only the Lord Genji point of view.

    I was also less bothered by predestination and the visions of the future. I thought them unnecessary in the first book, as the historical events were interesting enough on their own, without recourse to the supernatural. But this second volume would not function at all without it, and I have come to the conclusion that this belief in the absence of free will was major characteristic of the Japanese mentality at the times described. One way the author solves the puzzle of prophecy, is by making it as vague as possible and exploring the ways the receivers of auguri misinterpret the message and the way their efforts at escaping their fate leads them down the same path they are trying so hard to avoid:

    The foreseen always occurs in unforeseen ways. (Lord Genji)

    In the end, there is always a choice, and the reason of the whole exercise of dwelling on the past is beautifully resumed by Mr. Matsuoka in one the few passages I've bookmarked:

    Knowing the future was like knowing the past. Events could not be controlled or altered, only one's attitude toward them. Like the earth itself, the heart had directions. Bitterness, anguish, fear, and hatred lay one way; equanimity, gratitude, kindness, and love another. This ability to choose the heart's direction was the true power of the prophet, which was no more than the only true power of every human being.

    I was tempted to rate the book only 3 stars, reflecting a drop in the quality of characterization and a slower overall pacing, the penury of action sequences and some dropped/underdeveloped storylines (Makoto, Saemon). But the epic did come together beautifully towards the end, and I realized I learned more than I expected about the people that made history, rather than about the actual historical events (which I cross c hecked on wikipedia). So it ends up with a well deserved 4 stars, and a recommendation to read both 'Samurai' books together before drawing conclusions.

    I wish there were more books written by Mr. Matsuoka, as I would be interested to read them too.

  2. Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk says:

    It is interesting how people react differently to books, just like people. When I finished Autumn Bridge I felt as if someone had just died. There was a moment during which I actually felt empty and wanted to grieve. I felt the same way after reading Cloud of Sparrows, yet when I started to read this, its sequel, I remembered very little of that story... it came back to me in visions, like personal memories. There will be people who will read both books and wonder what all the fuss is about... I can't answer that, how the books affected me is a personal thing and could well be linked to the numerous facets that make up my interests and maybe in the sentimentality (I've chosen a word harsh critics might use) that runs through the stories. Autumn Bridge is suffused with a beautiful idea; it is about love and fate and about a period in Japan's history that was as difficult as giving birth (the quite rapid change from a static, almost mediaeval society to a modern, industrial power). When you know the outcome how do you behave? When all is frozen how can things flow?

  3. Sharon Sharon says:

    If James Clavell's Shogun had been as good as Cloud of Sparrows, I might have finished reading it.

    I am serious.

    Cloud of Sparrows is the story of Lord Genji, a Japanese noble who allows Western missionaries to come to his domain. One member of each generation in his family has the gift of prophecy, and Genji has had a vision that his life will be saved by an outsider one day. So, he allows Westerners into Japan after two centuries of isolation.

    The missionaries are led by Reverend Cromwell and his fiance, Emily. They wind up embroiled in internecine warfare by virtue of being Genji's guests. Further complicating matters is the geisha Heiko, whose loyalties are split between Genji and her mysterious master/patron. It becomes apparent far before Matsuoka reveals it officially that both Heiko and Emily nurse a tendresse for Genji ... and this causes additional complications as well.

    The characters are interesting, the history is well-researched, and the book is perfectly paced to keep one's interest. I found myself drawn into the time period perfectly, and was reluctant to put this book down even when the necessities of life dictated otherwise.

  4. Einahpets Einahpets says:

    I read Cloud of Sparrows when I was a teenager and it had been my favorite book since that day. When I found out that there was a secuel I felt like I had to read it almost as a matter of life or death.
    And when I finally got it I found myself getting scared. I didn't want to get disappointed by the second part because the first book was so special for me (I could say that book came to me just in the right moment of my life and it changed me).
    It wasn't the case.
    Autumn Bridge is so good and beautifully written that it just suck my life for the major part of 2 weeks. I couldn't stop myself from reading it. I read it everywhere. I think about it on my work, with my family and friends even on my dreams (I literally dreamt about this book).
    In this book we get to know Genji's ancestors their lifes and deaths and how everything was connected. I just love the way how the book show us past, present and future almost at the same time I felt like I myself had the gift of foretelling (which sadly I don't).
    I won't lie the book gets pretty confusing some times because it continually jump from past to present and to future every time I flipped the page. I had to reread some parts because I got lost (I think that could also be because I felt so excited about the book that I read it quickly... too quickly some times)
    But that wasn't a major problem the story by itself was so catchy that I just wanted to know more.
    The book end gaves you an awkward feeling because we already knew how it was going to end almost from the beginning of the book (as I repeatedly say the book shows you present, past and future as they were one) so when you get to the ending part you feel a little helpless because there wasn't anything that could be done to avoid it (and believe me the main characters tried hard) is like sitting and watching a lion eating a baby zebra and you couldn't help it no matter how much you wish you could.
    But don't get me wrong I have no complaints about it for me it seem like it had the right end. Everything came to a satisfactory conclusion and we know what happen to almost all the characters that the book show us.
    I can't explain myself enough to say why these books (Cloud of Sparrows and Autumn Bridge) are so good and special for me. My best advice could be just read it and judge it by yourself. I would recommend it to anyone but that's just my humble opinion.

  5. BDT BDT says:

    To start off, I loved Cloud of Sparrows. Matsuoka is a gifted writer, and it's a shame that he hasn't written more.

    When I first started reading this, I was concerned that it wouldn't live up to Cloud of Sparrows, and had a difficult time understanding the book's structure (frequent jumps back and forth between time periods). However, it all began to make sense after about 25% through, and I found myself racing to the finish.

    The sheer depth of emotion and description of the flaws of each and every character made the story real. All of the plot holes in Cloud of Sparrows are woven together and answered in ways that were impossible to predict. The reader gets a sense of the rise and fall of the Tokugawa regime, with particular focus on the decline and fall of the samurai class.

    The complexity and incredible plot development makes this even better than Cloud of Sparrows. Not as much violence as with the first book, but the ending is masterfully crafted.

  6. Marc Jentzsch Marc Jentzsch says:

    A worthy sequel to Cloud of Sparrows, Autumn Bridge fills in the few big gaps left by the previous book. Though it's difficult to say what truly constitutes the present of the narrative in Autumn Bridge, we are also introduced to a slew of new characters, past, present, and future. Perhaps that's the point, though, that for each of the characters, their story is their present and as we read, so it is for us. Throughout the narrative, there is little regard for chronological storytelling and oddly, the book is stronger for it.

    If I had to register any complaints about this book it's that too little attention was paid to San Francisco (though what there was, was expertly crafted) and that the end of the book seems to go into a nosedive with its breakneck pacing. It's a little jarring for things to suddenly begin moving so quickly when they have taken their time all along, time that was well spent in developing characters and events and tying them into the time-jumping narrative.

    In Cloud of Sparrows, flashbacks were placed well and were used to add detail and show us the raw ends of the characters. This can be hard for a lot of writers, even good writers, to do well. Most do it so poorly that flashbacks are normally an instantly aggravating bit of the text, like songs and poems and dream sequences. They pull me straight out of the story. In Autumn Bridge, the narrative asides move to exist on a different plane altogether, as seemingly random placement of events in the past, present and future congeal into a masterful tale that doesn't seem disjointed at all. Rather, they seem to build the story in ways that build toward the inevitable conclusion, pulling us along like cats chasing the sunlight as it stretches and slides away to the horizon.

    More mystical than the first, Autumn Bridge is every bit as grounded. We see a culture in flux and this change is portrayed with a casual mastery reflective - no doubt - of Matsuoka's upbringing. The final denouement is tragic, absurd, even heartwarming all at once and again showcases a talent for the portrayal of the clashing forces at work in Japan for the last 150-odd years.

    I cannot recommend this book (or its predecessor) highly enough.

  7. Shari Shari says:

    Dramatic, lyrical and creative. I found this book better than Cloud of Sparrows. The going back and forth in time was a bit confusing at first, but it immediately made sense and even added depth to the setting and characters and moved the story forward by tying the loosed ends in Cloud of Sparrows. This book also gives background to the pre-Restoration era. It's the story of Japan just as much as Genji, Emily, Kimi and Lady Shizuka's.

  8. Virginia Virginia says:

    Loved many parts of this story, but found some things about it incredibly problematic. One character arc contains a serial sexual abuser who has a redemption arc, which I find unacceptable.

  9. Liz Chapman Liz Chapman says:

    Some readers have written very long reviews of this book but I just want to say I really enjoyed reading it. It did remind me in places of James Clavell's Shogun but I liked that book as well. I did get a bit confused with the constant time changes in the story but I sorted it out in the end. If you want a synopsis of the book read other reviews I'm just happy I read it.

  10. Charnette Charnette says:

    Once again Matsuoka amazed me. I'm eagerly awaiting his next book, because I simply loved both of his books (this one and Cloud of Sparrows).

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Autumn Bridge✺ [BOOKS] ✮ Autumn Bridge By Takashi Matsuoka ❄ – In the year , in the highest tower of Cloud of Sparrows Castle, a beautiful woman sits by the window, watching as enemies gather below and fires spread through the night As she calmly awaits her fate, In the year , in the highest tower of Cloud of Sparrows Castle, a beautiful woman sits by the window, watching as enemies gather below and fires spread through the night As she calmly awaits her fate, she begins to write, carefully setting down on a scroll the secret history of the Okumichi clan…of the gift of prophecy they share and the extraordinary destiny that awaits them For six centuries, these remarkable writings lay hidden—until they are uncovered by an American woman, a missionary named Emily Gibson, who arrived in Edo harbor in , in flight from a tragic past Soon an extraordinary man would enter her life: Lord Genji of the Okumichi clan, a nobleman with a gift of prophecy who must defend his embattled family—and confront forbidden feelings for an outsider in his midst Emily, too, soon finds herself at a turning point; courted by two westerners, she knows her heart belongs to the one man she cannot have But Emily has found a mission of her own: translating Genji’s ancestral history, losing herself in an epic tale of heroism and forbidden love For here is the story of Lady Shizuka, the beautiful witchprincess who has enchanted Okumichi men for generations…of Genji’s ancestors, Lord Hironobu and Lord Kiyori, and of the terrible betrayals that befell them…and of Genji’s parents: a wastrel father and his child bride whose tragic love has shaped Genji as a leader and as a man As Emily sifts through the fragile scrolls, she begins to see threads of her own life woven into the ancient writings And as past and present collide, a hidden history comes to life, and with it a secret prophecy that has been shrouded for centuries, and may now finally be revealed Takashi Matsuoka’s spellbinding novel is infused with spectacle, intricately woven, magically told Autumn Bridge is a feast for the senses, a work of truly dazzling storytellingFrom the Hardcover edition.

About the Author: Takashi Matsuoka

Takashi Matsuoka is a firstgeneration Japanese American writer living in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Before commiting full time to the writing profession, he used to work at a Zen Buddhist temple His books, historical novels depicting American missionaries' visits to Japan, are often compared to Shōgun and the rest James Clavell's series In addition to writing novels, Matsuoka also worked.