The Ninja (Nicholas Linnear, #1)

ISBN: 0449209164
ISBN 13: 9780449209165
By: Eric Van Lustbader

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Reader's Thoughts


A good novel of the orient. It gives the reader insight into the shinobi way of life in a modern light, and an excellent blend of the Japanese and American way of life. It is a very sexually charged novel, so be aware that there can and will be sex scenes. It doesn't seem to be too out of place, and helps to strengthen the reader's ideal of the characters' relationships. It also presents a reader with an older way of life, and gives you a good fashion tale of blood, revenge, and love. One of the greatest books that I have read for a while, and for some reason or another it puts me in the mind of Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X. Hm. Anyway! A good book, I plan on continuing the series at any rate.


Excellent book....Nicholas Linnear is an excellent protagonist who excells @ martial arts . I have enjoyed all of the Linnear books and only wish there were more of them.

William Bentrim

The Ninja by Eric Van LustbaderI have tried reading Lustbader before. I guess, considering his success, that it is me. Sounds like a blow off for a relationship but his books sell well. I just find them disjointed. This plot features a Ninja which should be enough right there for excitement. I just found the jump from character to character just too much. I did not finish the book. I don't say that very often. I pride myself on plowing through just to see the end. I couldn't get interested enough to plow through. Again, Lustbader sells a ton of books so somebody out there is captivated, I'm just not one of them. web site:


I'm probably giving this book a higher rating than it deserves, because I'm remembering it from when I read it as a teenager. It's a cheesy, blood-splattered "Oriental" (I deliberately use the pejorative term) novel of dubious verisimilitude with steamy but pointless sex scenes. It was written when the ninja craze was just beginning in the U.S. In short, it's mindless pulp entertainment with not much of a plot, but I still have fond memories of it.


I read a lot of Van Lustbader's books as a teenager. Always a little shiver of "whoa, I don't think I should be reading this at my age". Sigh, that innocence is long gone.


This book was written the 90s and very popular. It is being release in e-format. It is not my kind of book, I am sure if you like adventure and suspense you will probably like it. I will not finished and gave it 2 stars for the excellent writing.Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

Yatish Joshi

I came to know Eric Lustbader when he started writing the sequels to Robert Ludlum's famous Bourne series. This though was my first exposure to a purely original Lustbader work and it was a pleasure. I read this book right after completing Barry Eisler's Graveyard of Memories which was set in modern Japan so it felt surreal traversing medieval Japan via Linnear's eyes and covering its ninja/samurai history.It was a fascinating read but I felt that the love story and the fantastical elements incorporated in a ninja's armory detracted from an otherwise engaging read.


Found this at a ice cream shop on the outskirts of Vegas, needed a read having finished Fear and Loathing on the plane. Pretty unmemorable for the most part; I gave up when he introduced a peripheral character (a minor character's daughter) who happens to be a high priced hooker of the stars so he can include a chapter of lesbian hot tub sex. He didn't mention the hooker again for fifty pages, so I became disgusted and put the book down. Bummer. Not recommended.

Vincent Stoessel

This book right here is not for anyone born after 1975. It's wrong in so many ways, it's 1980s through and through from Reagan America to our obsession with everything Japan. Lustbader took that Shogun/Bushido/Ninja obsession and ran with it on this Nicholas Linnear series and some of the other Asian based series that he wrote during this fertile period. Having said all that, I enjoyed this book.

Farai Moyo

A nice introduction to a complex character as tortured and broken as Saigo is. Never having been to the Orient and sampled their cultures and ways, I was thrown into a mysterious world of the Ninja who in this book are not the super human beings of the Michael Dudikoff style but more, falliable relatable humans that have excelled at a ceratin task not just martial arts. Lew is a Ninja in his relentless persuit of justice, a super cop who up-holds the moral ideals of society, the law, Justine, the impertous student while her father is the all powerful sensei who hides behind his wealth and arrogance dispatching others to do his bidding.

Ron King

I really enjoyed parts of this book. Not sure I would read it again, but I made it to the end and gained a few insights along the way. If you choose to check this out, be warned, there are numerous very graphic sex scenes. I could not recommend this book.

Dave Etherton

I first read this book in the early 80 when it came out and I loved it then.Got it reduced price on kindle I had wanted to re read it and have thoroughly enjoyed it again the second time round. but it does mean I will have to get the rest of the series now......


I have not finished it because:- two much graphic and not so good sex;- the story was overcomplicated by this going back and foward in the life of the "hero";- too many people, too many names;- it is probably a good book but not my type of book.Non ho terminato il libro per le seguenti ragioni:- troppo sesso grafico e privo di emozioni;- la storia é stata ipercomplicata per via di tutti i salti temporali per spiegare le varie questioni nella vita dell'eroe;- troppe persone e troppi nomi da ricordare-,- é probabilmente un buon libro per alcuni, ma non per me.THANKS TO NETGALLEY AND OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA FOR THE PREVIEW!

Joel Gomes

Comprei este livro há cerca de dez anos, mais ou menos ou menos vinte depois do seu lançamento, e só agora o li. Porque é que eu faço esta referência que, à partida, não deveria ter qualquer influência na minha apreciação do livro? Precisamente porque não deveria, mas tem.Gostaria de dizer que foi o enredo que me levou a comprar este livro, mas não foi. Também não foi a recomendação feita na contracapa por Robert Ludlum, autor de, entre muitos outros, A Identidade de Bourne (série que foi continuada a partir do quarto volume, O Legado de Bourne, pelo próprio Lustbader). A triste realidade ("triste" não será a melhor palavra, mas por agora serve) foi que só comprei este livro pelo preço a que estava a ser vendido: 1,95€.E foi precisamente por isso que este livro ficou tanto tempo na estante à espera de ser lido. Por um lado, as recomendações, os restantes créditos, bem como o enredo, despertavam-me a curiosidade; por outro, o preço a que o adquirira fazia-me pensar se as boas referências não estariam a ser exageradas.Quando comecei a ler pareceu-me que estavam, quando terminei a sensação é exactamente a oposta. "The Ninja" é um livro cuja apreciação depende da nossa predisposição para o ler. OK, esta frase é um chavão: nenhum livro é devidamente apreciado se tivermos de o ler contrariados. No caso de "The Ninja" esta frase continua a ser um chavão, mas um chavão que faz o seu sentido. Certos livros podem ser lidos ligeiramente, este não. A forma como está construído, as camadas dentro de camadas, toda a filosofia oriental, bem como o conflito Ocidente versus Oriente, tudo isso é importante. Descurar algum destes aspectos é descurar uma obra que custou começar a ler. E que custou um pouco mais acabar.

Schuyler Wallace

Prolific writer Eric Van Lustbader has created an impressive resume of novels and short stories of the thriller and fantasy genre; so many, in fact, that gathering together the titles into some sort of a timeline and subject tally becomes an impossible dream. I’ve read many of them and dreamlike could describe the construction of most. They are generally so layered with history, fable, eroticism, quirky characters, and mystery that keeping a grasp on the storyline becomes challenging. But Van Lustbader makes the process work and the reader is swept into the entanglement by a clever plot written in elegant language.“The Ninja,” originally published in 1980 and the first of the Nicholas Linnear series, was an immediate hit with readers and was famous for Van Lustbader’s daring use of violence using Japanese martial arts as a backdrop and his vivid sexual images. I read it once more in its new edition and was again smitten with the beautiful writing, the extensive research, and a storyline that was spellbinding despite the author’s tendency towards pomposity and a know-it-all attitude.In the novel Linnear is seemingly known worldwide for his knowledge of Japanese martial arts, its history, and its application. Law enforcement officials everywhere call upon him to solve mysterious deaths that appear to be caused by the maniacal attacks of rogue practitioners of the “gentle” art. It entered my mind many times as I read that a ninja would be wise to sneak up behind Linnear and quickly put a bullet in his head rather than to try and engage him in the traditional battle of swords, sticks and hands. But there apparently is some sort of honor code that prohibits such practicality and, of course, would erase a character that Van Lustbader relies upon to make a lot of money.So I read Van Lustbader, suffer through the confusing cast of characters he always presents, drool at his descriptive sexual antics, recoil at the violence of the numerous physical encounters he describes, and when the book is finished move on to something less complex while feeling entertained and more intelligent. I recommend Van Lustbader’s work if you have an interest in sagacious writing and over the top sexual encounters. It would help if you also like the sound of swords hissing through innards, bones disintegrating, and the gurgle of life’s blood through crushed windpipes. Apparently I find these niceties appealing enough to give the book three stars.

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