A new tour de force from the best-selling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for fans of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone.
Profoundly moving and gracefully told, Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life.
So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja's family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
©2017 Min Jin Lee (P)2017 Hachette Audio
"If proof were needed that one family's story can be the story of the whole world, then Pachinko offers that proof. Min Jin Lee's novel is gripping from start to finish, crossing cultures and generations with breathtaking power. Pachinko is a stunning achievement, full of heart, full of grace, full of truth." (Erica Wagner, author of Ariel's Gift and Seizure)
"Both for those who love Korea, as well as for those who know no more than Hyundai, Samsung, and kimchi, this extraordinary book will prove a revelation of joy and heartbreak. I could not stop turning the pages, and wished this most poignant of sagas would never end. Min Jin Lee displays a tenderness and wisdom ideally matched to an unforgettable tale that she relates just perfectly." (Simon Winchester, New York Times best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman and Korea: A Walk through the Land of Miracles)
"A deep, broad, addictive history of a Korean family in Japan enduring and prospering through the 20th century." (The Guardian)
Enjoyed the beginning but characters and story disjointed and not well developed. as it went on sex and foul language substituted for good storytelling and character development.
the story was great but the narrator sounds child like. it takes a few hours to get used to her voice, inflection, and tonality. sometimes it seemed like she was reading a childrens book.
Narrator had sweet voice but not suited to story. Into the book, some profanity and descriptions of sexual encounters were either not credible or seemed that way because of the narration.
Somehow the narrator's voice doesn't "fit" with this story of Korean/Japanese culture. I nearly returned it but decided to keep listening. Though this takes place during two world wars and the Korean conflict, it is not about war or destruction. Instead I learned a lot about an era of major cultural differences between these two countries and the effect on families that were inevitably mixed race. I had no idea before reading Pachinko that Koreans were considered second class at best.
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