Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) - Min Jin Lee

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

By Min Jin Lee

  • Release Date: 2017-02-07
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
4.5
From 2,111 Ratings

Description

A New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year and National Book Award finalist, Pachinko is an "extraordinary epic" of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family as they fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan (San Francisco Chronicle).

NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 * A USA TODAY TOP TEN OF 2017 * JULY PICK FOR THE PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB NOW READ THIS * FINALIST FOR THE 2018DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE* WINNER OF THE MEDICI BOOK CLUB PRIZE

Roxane Gay's Favorite Book of 2017, Washington Post

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER * USA TODAY BESTSELLER * WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER


"There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones."

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

*Includes reading group guide*

Reviews

  • Good start but...

    2
    By FP481
    Really enjoyed the start to this, but then it became really tedious snd drawn out.
  • Very disappointed

    1
    By Jessiep813
    I thought I liked this book at first but it went very downhill. I didn’t care about anyone, couldn’t keep characters straight, and didn’t like the story. I was recommended this book because I loved memoirs of a geisha and this was not even close
  • Mesmerizing, I couldn’t put it down

    5
    By UpLateReading
    This is an amazing book! I can see why it was a National Book award finalist. The characters are so richly developed by the author that I found myself thinking about them even when I wasn’t reading the book. The pages flew by as each character’s story unfolded. My only regret is that I’m sorry to have finished it so quickly.
  • Phenomenal!

    5
    By AA Conner
    Just from the opening line I could tell this book would be brilliant - “history has failed us, but no matter.” “Panchinko” is a novel filled with delicate insight into womanhood, racism, religion, and the meaning of home. Told primarily from the perspective of Sunja and her descendants, the changing narratives allows for each of these concepts to be explored in depth whilst maintaining a sense of gentleness. If you do not have a great deal of understanding of 20th century Korean and Japanese history/relations, this book provides and illustration of Korean experiences as immigrants facing hardship and prejudice. An excellent read to understand the ordeal that many Koreans experienced yet is often under examined and under appreciated.
  • A good read

    5
    By dragonflyAGK
    I found this book to be thought provoking and emotionally stirring. It touches on many social and personal issues that are relevant today, including racism, nationalism, identity, self-worth, and the ties of family. These issues are the water in which this multigenerational family swims. It was a great opportunity to get a glimpse into a culture I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to observe—enlightening. I learned a lot while being entertained and I enjoyed the writing style and characters immensely. I will definitely recommend Pachinko.
  • Absolute Dog Trash

    1
    By cuddlepoo
    The main character is so unlikeable. Throughout the whole novel, everyone solves everything for her. I don’t recommend it.
  • Great Read

    5
    By MS3011
    This book takes you through the trials and tribulations of life. Very interesting.
  • Pachinko

    5
    By Jeans roses
    Beautiful writing and rich character development.
  • Must read

    5
    By Jumsmuj
    Highly recommend. Couldn’t put it down. Beautiful novel.
  • Three quarters excellent, last quarter bad

    4
    By Dump the maps
    I am fortunate to be married to a wonderful Korean woman with a story that mirrors Pachinko. So I understand the nature of the Korean mother and their devotion and sacrifice for their family. This book was on point for the first three fourths, then it fell apart. The focus on debauchery and gratuitous sex of a younger generation was both suspect and a turn off. I clearly understand that the descendants of the Pachinko generation were conflicted and confused, but those that I know went to Stanford, Harvard, Columbia and became doctors, lawyers and financial tycoons and did not become alcoholics, drugs users, or prostitutes as depicted in the final chapters of this book. Perhaps this was autobiographical on the part of the author, but it does not represent the younger Korean generation that I know. Because of this I struggled to finish the book and still have an uncomfortable feeling about the last parts, because I don’t believe it represents reality.