A brilliant, unforgettable, and long-awaited novel from best-selling author Ruth Ozeki
"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be."
In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine.
Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
Full of Ozeki's signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and listener, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
©2013 Ruth Ozeki (P)2013 Penguin Audio
I wish the author had enriched her description of the characters and their situation and not thrown in so many unlikely plot elements. The character of Ruth, whom I presume to be somewhat autobiographical, was unlikeable- I did not care if she never wrote again and I wanted her husband to divorce her. The titular nun did not seem very profound to me. Very serious topics were piled on and addressed only glancingly; e.g., rape, prostitution, suicide, depression, Alzheimers.
Not sure what the genre is.
Opening chapters and set-up were quite good. I was looking forward to elaboration of the "Time Being". The double entendre left for a lot of rich possibilities, which were not fully developed, in my opinion.
Way too much going on. What was the point of the injured cat? The rape scene was unbearable.
I started to lose interest in the end and may have tuned out when the explanation was offered, but I never learned the answer to the fundamental question of how the Hello Kitty box ended up in the water.
The Author narrated this book with authentic nuances of language, emotion, shaken confidence and love.
I flinched with each identification I had to each flawed and beautiful character and yearned for the healing company of the Great Grandmother.
Scene to me is more the setting of the events. The author puts you in a place that gives physicality to landscapes in your mind. The descriptions of place, detailed by the author through all senses, gave me a visceral feeling. The duality of beauty/danger in the Pacific Northwest, and of Nao in Tokyo.
This book touched me in many ways. I was angry, frustrated, jealous and curious. I laughed and cried. I want the print version so that I can experience the book in a different way. I want to share it with people I love. I want others to experience it.
The Author taught me something, or reminded me of something that was already in my heart. Either way, listening to this book has become the first step of that journey of learning and remembering. Thank you, Ruth Ozeki, for the First Step.
Probably the best book I have read. I would recommend this to simply anyone. It contains history, humor, and a sad teenage story line. A bit of everything.
yes would recommend it ,thoughtful ,funny .
the characters are beautifully drawn, unique interested plots and twists and turns
the teen girl and grandmother
nice mix of philosophy, intrigue, and plot
I'm a time being and this book was written for me. The story, the despair, the hope. Even Pesto tugged at my heartstrings. I cried a lot throughout this book. Bring a box of tissues to your reading chair, or your car as I did. I listened to the author read A Tale for the Time Being, hence the car, and she was brilliant as a reader. I want to read/listen to everything Ruth Ozeki has written. Thank you for a moving and thoughtful read.
A story to get your brain thinking and the author's reading helps with the emphasis
This audio book is very much enhanced by narration by the author. It could only be read aloud by someone fluent in both Japanese and English, and the author does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life with her voice as well as her written words.
It is refreshing to hear a discussion of WWII from a Japanese perspective, as it is a point of view less familiar to us Western readers, accustomed as we are to thinking of Hitler's Holocaust as the primary narrative of the era.
I loved the juxtaposition of modern day teen culture -- both Japanese and American -- with ancient Buddhist wisdom and ritual. But the really unique aspect of this book is the way the author dances around the concept of Time. Fortunately she waits until very near the end to speculate about parallel universes and quantum mechanics. By then the reader is so caught up in the fate of the characters she is willing to follow the narrative anywhere.
Say something about yourself!
A friend recommended this novel to me and I am so happy she discovered it!
It is a good thing the author read this--she has a beautiful voice--but especially because she is fluent in English AND Japanese--not that you need to know the Japanese words, but there are a few and many characters and the words are beautiful in her mouth.
The characters include a Japanese American writer living on the west coast of Canada, a young woman raised in California who moves with her family to Tokyo as a teenager--a very difficult time, her great grandmother who is a 90 something Buddhist nun, mother to a WWII kamikaze pilot.
It started out alright then completely floundered in the third section. Questions like, 'Where is she going with this?' Flashed through my mind.
I CAN appreciate how well she paints the characters in Japan. She really created that side of the story very well. It's Ruth's side of the story that I didn't care for at all.
There were moments that were very philosophical that I really enjoyed but they were like the last minute sparks from a dying sparkler.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.