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
The characters - and their plights - really came to life for me, especially the storyline set in Japan. Alternating between storylines was particularly effective at keeping the story moving. I found it fascinating to get a glimpse into modern-day Japan - and a look back at the kamakazi bombers from WWII. There was a lot about this book that piqued my curiosity - and satisfied it.
In some sense, it may be similar to The Orphan Train, since the story oscillates from past to present or location to location.
Authors often can't read their own work convincingly, but she did a good job. Her performance sounded true to the voices - both of Ruth and of Now.
There's a bit of metaphysical magic in here. I was fine with it, but I could see that derailing the entire thing for someone like my mom, who wants her books to be fully based in a reality she can understand. If you did NOT like The Art of Racing in the Rain because the dog was able to talk, then you may have issues with this book. But if you're able to suspend disbelief, then dive right in - it's a pleasurable ride, and well-written to boot.
i think it went on too long and the author didn't know when to quit. i also felt the author exhausted every Japanese stereotype known to man which made the plot feel contrived.
have not read any of her books before
have not heard any other performances.
i would love to see this book as a movie. i feel it would make a better movie than a book
i really liked the idea for this story, finding a special treasure on the beach from a faraway place.i live on the beach and have often found treasures and considered finding something very special and making a connection through my find.
This was an incredible novel, with wonderful characters and profound insights. The characters were engaging, despite their cultural differences, and their emotional struggles affected me greatly. There were a few times I had to pause and reflect, and the passages about suicide were very difficult to listen to. But I am so glad that I worked through them. It was a journey worth taking.
I am in awe of Ruth Ozeki, and her ability to move between cultures and times so well. Buddhism, quantum physics, and a Japanese schoolgirl --- who would have thought?? I absolutely loved this book.
I cannot think of a comparison --- this was a true original.
I have not read/listened to Ozeki before, But I have already added her previous books to my 'must read' list. Ms Ozeki's voice added to the story, as she moved seamlessly from English into Japanese. I also liked her afterword, and the observation that reading aloud differed from reading a print book. She is clearly a rare voice (no pun intended).
A movie would not do this story justice. There is too much internal dialogue, and the sensational aspects of the storyline (kamikaze pilots, the recent tsunami) would distract from the real story.
Read this book!! Sad, touching, profound....I was deeply moved and, unlike many other books, this one has stayed with me.
I would love to know what becomes of Nao....
The story is told so simply but has incredible depth. I don't know how she does it but death and life are brought together and valued equally. There is a profound respect for our desire to live and our desire sometimes to die before our time is really up. Japanese culture and American culture cross over in our modern world - with communications across the sea and the internet.
All the characters are brilliant.
Ruth is the author and Ruth is one of the main characters, also an author. Coincidence? Well, the author tells her story beautifully. The cross cultural references are endearing powerful and real.
I am waiting patiently for the best book on earth!!
I loved the story was read by the author. She gives you the true meaning of how she wanted to spotlight different parts, Shes read it the way she wanted you to understand it!
I love the character of young girl Nao!! It made the entire story~
Than and Nao~
This was a great story. The author got lost in how to end it, in my humble opinion!
The characters, especially the Japanese characters really draw you in.
The Japanese story line, past, present and future??
Now was my favorite.
The ending just didn't do it for me. It got super confusing and I wasn't even sure what happened to the characters that I loved so much through 3/4's of the book.
Science Ficition / Philosophy / Social & Political Commentary nut!
Three words? Reaching..Across...Time
My favorite character was Ruth. I can relate to her, very down to earth. I like characters that are driven to something, but they don't really know why, but must piece things together. Ruth has her own problems that some how manifest themselves to her reasons to reading the diary...
Ruth's performance was good, She gave each character a life, and a place.
*SPOILERS*I"M WARNING YOU!!!I very...very rarely ever feel emotionally distraught..but the scene of them cremating and burning the body of Jiko...really hit me hard...
A very good book. Starts out a bit slow, but it really comes into it's own when Nao meets Old Jiko. I love this book. The interplay between Ruth's world and Nao's world is just so touching... They reach across to each other and it really seems like they effect each other. I love that idea, of two people from two different times, reaching across the void to interact with each other, and effect the outcome of each other's lives.
If you want a quiet book, that isn't action based, and scandelous, and you like the theme please check it out..
The more you love books... the more books you love!
This book did a wonderful job of transporting me into the life of a Japanese teenager - a life I know very little about - as well as transporting me into the life of a woman living on British Columbia's coast - a life I know very well :) I enjoyed hear familiar Vancouver Island place names, and to read descriptions of familiar flora and climate.
Ruth Ozeki did an excellent job of narrating. She seems fluent in Japanese and French, and each character was easily distinguishable.
A great read - highly recommended.
No, I found both the story, if you want to call it a story, and the narration grating.
I doubt it.
Didn't spend that much time. After chapter 3, I gave up
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