Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Sweeping, multigenerational epics are even more enthralling when they open our eyes to history and culture. Min Jin Lee’s fascinating and dramatic novel is set in Japan in the early 20th century. It follows headstrong Sunja, who leaves the small Korean fishing village where she grew up (and a rich suitor) to seek out new opportunities in Japan. Her decision reverberates across generations, as anti-Korean prejudice and cultural upheaval affect not only her life but those of her children, Noa and Mozasu, who struggle with their dueling Japanese and Korean identities. The family’s travails are the story’s beating heart, but Lee expertly folds in actual history about Japan’s pre–World War II annexation of Korea. Allison Hiroto’s crisp narration pairs well with Lee’s elegant and poetic style. Slip on your headphones and immerse yourself in this big, decades-spanning story.
I have been in a reading slump. Purchasing book after book off the bestseller list and being so disappointed in the writing. This book was a breath of fresh air. Beautiful and captivating.
Beautiful heartbreaking story, awful pronunciation
Beautifully written with characters you want to care for yourself. My only issue with the audiobook is that the pronunciation of the Korean words are so bad it takes me a moment to decipher what she’s trying to say.
Pronunciation - audiobook
The woman reading the audiobook does a good job but pronounces “men” like “min” and “many” like “miny.” It became annoying and disruptive.