Summary: More like a stream of conciousness on the ninjas
Comment: Although entertaining in it's oddness, the book is no source for
sound facts. Lewis is very diligent when it comes to frequently
reminding the reader that the ninja were a bunch of bloody-
minded assassins, and that they had their part to play in every
important stage of Japanese history.
But imparting any information on his source material seems to be
too great a task for the author, and the reader is left with the
unfortunate impression of Mr. Lewis being a rather overly
imaginative Ninjutsu enthusiast.
The structure isn't very logical. Similarities between the Ninja
and modern day SWAT-type special forces are brought up in many
times, but obviously the ninja would have been far superior
since the fact that they underwent ninja training for twenty
years is brought up at least three times in three different
chapters. (Although this fact would be in conflict with another
one from the book: a trainee could become a fully fledged ninja
at the tender age of 12.)
All in all, the book is a quick and entertaining read, so go for
it if you have too much money or find it from a library. But I
wouldn't go so far as to trust the "facts" in the thing.
Summary: Nice Book On Ninjas
Comment: This book does not teach you to become a ninja but more like teach you how ninja life was and the history behind these knights of darkness. It is a great book overall and you should read it if your interested in these elite shadow warriors of the past.
Summary: Encyclopaedia of Assassination
Comment: What a fantastic book! This is a must for all who are even remotly interested in the Martial Arts. Providing both insight an a wealth of information, I found this book difficult to put down. It is perfectly structured, and helpfully gives both English And Japanese names for tools and titles. And it will really put into perspective your ideas of hardship and the physical demands of your gym instructor!
What I love about this book is its depth. I begins waaaaaay back before the days of the actual ninja clans right to their deepest roots and tells of how they actually originated from China. Each of the ninjas rules and philosophies are reinforced by enjoyable stories of the exploits of the mystical shadow warriors, during which the author makes your feel like you have been thrown back into feudal Japan as well as any novelist could. You can really smell the bamboo and hear the gurgling streams (but, as Peter Lewis tells us, you will never hear a ninja, and if you do, you wont live to tell the tale!)
I can't stress enough how good this book is, and is will be as much as a pleasure for a non-martial artist as it was for myself.
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