The Pure Land by Alan Spence

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The Pure Land resurrects the dramatic life of Thomas Glover, the Scottish businessman who helped overthrow the shogun and whose tumultuous love affairs inspired the opera Madame Butterfly and the musical Miss Saigon. Alan Spence has transformed this true story into an unforgettable hundred-year saga that culminates in the annihilation of Nagasaki. Thomas Glover is a gutsy eighteen-year-old in Aberdeen in 1858 who grasps the chance of escape to foreign lands and takes a posting as a trader in Japan. Within ten years he amasses a great fortune, helps to modernize Japan, and, on the other side of the law, brings about the overthrow of the shogun. Yet beneath Glover’s astonishing success lies a man cut to the heart. His love affair with a courtesan—a woman who, unknown to him, would bear him the son for whom he had always longed—would form a tragedy so heartrending that the story became immortal. Called “a page-turner of the first order . . . an engaging and vivid historical novel, but also a meditative work of art” by The Times of London, The Pure Land is a modern epic, a rattling good adventure, a devastating love story, and a journey of the spirit.

About Alan Spence

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The writer is, by his own admission, a reluctant author. Writing for him has always been a personal and private journey, sometimes exposing deep emotions involving family and friends. The verses in this book were never meant to be read by anyone other than himself. It is only due to the constant bullying from his wife and daughter to publish that he has agreed to unleash his thoughts on the world at large.
Published December 1, 2007 by Canongate U.S.. 401 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Pure Land

Kirkus Reviews

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Fictionalized biography of the young adventurer-turned-businessman who helped shape modern Japan and may have inspired Madame Butterfly.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pure Land

Publishers Weekly

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Scottish writer Spence (Stone Garden ) fictionalizes the life of Thomas Glover, a 19th-century Scots entrepreneur who built a mercantile empire in Japan, and whos

Aug 06 2007 | Read Full Review of The Pure Land

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