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The Nakano Thrift Shop

A Novel
Narrated by: Alexandra Bailey
Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: Fiction, Humor
3.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo comes this funny, heartwarming story about love, life, and human relationships that features a delightfully offbeat cast of characters.

Objects for sale at the Nakano Thrift Shop appear as commonplace as the staff and customers that handle them. But like those same customers and staff, they hold many secrets. If examined carefully, they show the signs of innumerable extravagancies, of immeasurable pleasure and pain, and of the deep mysteries of the human heart.

Hitomi, the inexperienced young woman who works the register at Mr. Nakano's thrift shop, has fallen for her coworker, the oddly reserved Takeo. Unsure of how to attract his attention, she seeks advice from her employer's sister, Masayo, whose sentimental entanglements make her a somewhat unconventional guide. But thanks in part to Masayo, Hitomi will come to realize that love, desire, and intimacy require acceptance not only of idiosyncrasies but also of the delicate waltz between open and hidden secrets.

Animating each delicately rendered chapter in Kawakami's playful novel is Mr. Nakano himself, an original, entertaining, and enigmatic creation whose compulsive mannerisms, secretive love life, and impulsive behavior defy all expectations.

©2005 Hiromi Kawakami (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • mz
  • 01-03-19

Entire book is a dialogue of he said she said

Almost the entire book is a dialogue of he said she said. Any description of the surroundings is through first-person impression that only conveys shallow information.

A third into the book, I got so bored that nothing ever happens and everything is just he said she said, with quite unrelated stories. The book seems to have no coherent story line but is simply a collection of events happening at the thrift shop.

Personalities of Mr Nakano and Takeo are portrayed okay, but only from an external view, as how you would know someone if you work with them. Internal thoughts of the main character is never portrayed, so we don't learn about what kind of a person she is at all. We can only assume that she is an average city girl.

Different from the author's previous book, Strange Weather in Tokyo, this book does not have any internal reflection of the characters, nor depiction of scenes that entice the reader into the culture. The events are just everyday things that could happen anywhere.

The narrator's voice and tone don't help either. Although she uses a different voice for each character, her change of tones is too dramatic. It could be because all the dialogues in this book are so meaningless that it is difficult to narrate. Unsure whether I will finish this book. Too many good books in my wish list to waste time on a meaningless one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A book about nothing

Really, like binge watching Seinfeld- without the comedy. (Spoiler) A character is stabbed in the street, and still I found myself desperately waiting for something to happen.

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Cute, simple story to listen to.

The beginning of this book was hopeful, but as it reached the end it died down and would have a simple ordinary ending. Cute story, and well brought up characters. It did a good job on making you feel like a friend in the group, characters were very lovable and witty