A really good read - Pachinko
If you love nothing more than a sweeping historical family saga - this book is for you.
If you love nothing more than a book that gives you an insight into countries and cultures you knew little about - this book is for you.
If you hate nothing more than a book that is so hard to put down you end up reading it late into the night - this book is not for you!
Pachinko follows four generations of a Korean family from the hardships of life in Korea in 1911, through the political unrest of Japanese colonisation, the deprivations of war, and their experiences as they fight to make a better life for themselves in Japan, a country where they are destined always to be regarded as foreigners (even if they are born there) never to be entirely trusted. A country where they face discrimination and appalling prejudice. And all the while watching the home they left divided and changed beyond recognition.
It’s an affecting and absorbing tale of loss, identity, exile, love and tragedy, and a fascinating, heart-breaking insight into modern history in a part of the world I knew very little about, which unfolds through the eyes and experiences of the multitude of characters we meet along the way.
If I have any criticism of Min Jin Lee’s richly detailed, absorbing novel, it’s that that cast of characters is so broad, and the story moves from one to the other with such alacrity, it can feel as if there are some you never get to fully know. But it’s a small negative about a book that has so many page-turning positives.
Read Pachinko, which I heartily recommend you do, and you will be captivated, entertained, enlightened, horrified, delighted and distraught. But don’t say I didn’t warn you that you might also end up sleep-deprived.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Pachinko is a kind of Japanese arcade game and Pachinko parlours are hugely popular across the country.
Now I’ve had a couple of good night’s sleep, it’s time for the next book. Any recommendations?
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A couple more book recommendations
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