I first read Trevanian ‘s Shibumi when I was 15 or 16. Years later I came across this copy in a second-hand book store. I was 34 at the time, and it reconnected me with something I’d I felt on my first read, but had subsequently forgotten. The author himself called it a parody of the spy thriller genre, though I suspect he was pouring water on the more obsessive responses among its cult following.
I don’t mind the idea of an author making fun of tropes, if they do it well. Cervantes and Don Quixote comes to mind.
I tend to think of Shibumi nowadays as an academic execution of the genre. I just love it, and 32 years after my first read, 15 years since my last, I’m about to dive in for the third time. I wonder if it will surprise me again and transport me to that place and feeling I know it inspired in me, but which I can’t recall.