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Convenience Store Woman

Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (200 ratings)
Regular price: $20.97
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Publisher's Summary

Tokyo resident Keiko Furukara has never fit in - neither in her family, nor in school - but when at the age of 18 she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of national convenience store chain Smile Mart, she realizes instantly that she has found her purpose in life. Delighted to be able to exist in a place where the rules of social interaction are crystal clear (many are laid out line-by-line in the store's manual), Keiko does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and mode of speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a "normal" person excellently, more or less.

Keiko is the perfect employee - never late, always worrying about how to maximize sales, brilliantly conscientious, and highly energetic. Managers come and go but Keiko remains at the store for 18 years. It's almost hard to tell where the store ends and she begins. At 36, Keiko is very happy in her life, but the people close to her, from her family to her coworkers, pressure her to settle down with a man and to find a proper profession. Eventually, she is pushed to make a huge change. The static world of Keiko is upended - but will it be for the better?

A brilliant depiction of an unusual psyche and an extraordinary world, Convenience Store Woman is both an ironic and sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures to conform, as well as a charming and completely fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine.

©2018 Sayaka Murata and Ginny Tapley Takemori (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Louise
  • Laguna Niguel, CA, USA
  • 08-07-18

So good

Easy listening from the point of view of a woman with asperger syndrome. I love the book and the look into Japanese culture especially regarding single women. I especially love the ending.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Quirky and original

I really enjoyed this quirky and dark-humored story. The main character, Keiko, is so bizarre and original. There isn't much of a plot, but it's a fascinating look at societal expectations. Nancy Wu did an excellent job narrating.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Odd, yet realistic

This is the story of a strangd young woman. Something is a bit off about her, as though she is missing a few of the moving parts for her humanity to work. She makes herself into a machine, only giving herself exactly what she needs to function in the very specific role of a convenience store worker, and adopting parts of other people to male herself more real(istic). It is as though she is merely masquerading as a human. As odd as she is, the story is believable and quite compelling. I wanted to know what would happen to next and, ultimately, what would become of her. The narration is great and works well for the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fairly entertaining

Overall I thought the storyline was very insistent on a singular theme that was not profound enough to feel satisfying. The main character was very likable and I liked the parts of the story showcasing her talents as a convenience store employee. The other characters seemed two dimensional. I think the story succeeds overall as a short novella.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Funny, but not what I was expecting

I liked the humor used throughout. Story development and progression left something to be desired.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a rare treat

Short in length, long in pleasure! a view into a little-visited world, suble, funny, dark and a treasure.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • mz
  • 01-01-19

A refreshing and unusual short story

A refreshing and unusual short story about a woman and the suppressing Japanese society where excessive rules and societal norms rule the ways of life. The author depicts this by showing how everyone likes to muddle in other people's business, minding what age they are and their marital status and finding them a spouse, whether they want to or not. Dialogues in the story also hint at the gender imbalance in the present-day Japanese society. Many of these aspects apply to other Asian cultures as well, but especially strong in the still very traditional culture of Japan. It shows how excessive societal norms and expectations are unreasonable and unnecessary and even hinders a happy life.

Narrator's pronunciation of Japanese is great. However, she uses an attitude in the dialogues that is not always needed. Some are better without the extra attitude.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected.

At least it has a conclusion, with character's self-discovery. I liked the idea of the convenience store, but the plot is too cynical and overbearing repetition. I didn't think the main character was very individual either. Overall score a 1.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

For everyone who's ever felt like an outsider.

A short listen, but a great story with a bittersweet ending that will make you want to hop on a plane and visit a Japanese convenience store.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An interesting read

This short story held an interesting take inside the mind of a woman who could really read people. I was pleased with her confidence at the end.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful