Summary

Recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called Endo's supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century's finest novels".
Considered controversial ever since its first publication, it tackles the thorniest religious issues of belief and faith head on.
A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.
©1966 Shusaku Endo (P)2009 Audible Ltd
Show More Show Less

Critic reviews

“Brian Moore’s Black Robe, about the fate, usually violent, of 17th century Jesuit priests bent on converting the native Canadians had to be the last grisly word on the subject. Or so I thought. Then I head this … Utterly mesmerizing.” Sue Arnold, The Guardian
Show More Show Less

Regular price: £14.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Buy Now for £14.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sandy on 18-09-10

How a man comes face to face with God

This novel follows the journey, literal and metaphysical, of one man, a missionary in 17th century Japan. He realises how human he is, and how inhumane his fellow humans can be. In the end he comes face to face with his own humanity, and in doing so comes face to face with God. Endo reaches the heart of the link between faith and the church. At times I found this novel sad, sickening, disheartening, yet as it progressed it became illuminating, challenging and ultimately life-affirming. A truly remarkable novel, one of the best books I have ever come across.

Read more Hide me

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Heisenberg on 07-10-17

The silence of God in the face of suffering.

The story of a Portuguese missionary in 17th century Japan and how he comes to explain to himself God's silence in the face of persecution and suffering. It is a study in betrayal, with the story of Judas, as a persistent theme. Inevitably, the readers (listeners) religious beliefs will colour the message and understanding of the novel, but not I think, of his or her enjoyment, of what is an excellent, well written novel, beautifully read.

Read more Hide me

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

See all reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Helgi Sigurbjörnsson on 12-10-17

Remarkable

Well worth listening to and then some. But there is one thing you NEED to know before you listen. Martin Scorcese has added foreword to the book that require a spoiler alert. In his admiration for Shusaku Endo's work he gives away important information that will affect how you interpret the story. Suffice to say that it is better to hear his interpretation of the book after but not before you listen. The actual story starts at 5:40 min and is not marked in any way on the audio file.

Read more Hide me

992 of 994 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By DAS on 07-03-17

Intense

A thought provoking story that was sad & inspirational in a dark & complicated way. Since there is soon to be a movie release of this book, I wanted to connect with the literature before seeing it on the big screen. It is not a "happy" tale yet very impactful & certainly worth the time. The devotion, courage and spirit in the lead character who is constantly at battle with himself, his faith or his antagonists shows a side of human nature that develops into intrigue, suspense & absurdities that are present in life. I enjoyed this audio version made pleasant by the narration of David Holt. It brought me to a difficult question wondering what would I do in the same circumstance?

Read more Hide me

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

See all reviews