Book - 2017
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"Follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity"--
Publisher: New York :, Grand Central Publishing,, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781455563937
Characteristics: 490 pages ; 24 cm


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Oct 15, 2020

Interesting to learn of Korean culture - and what pachinko is!

Oct 08, 2020

Well written historical fiction about a Korean family, set mostly in Japan, from 1910-1989. Racial prejudice against Koreans raged. The family patriarch is Hansa, a yakuza or mafia businessman who meets a young Korean girl, Sunji, and she becomes pregnant outside of marriage. She emigrates to Japan to marry Isak, a kind but sickly Christian Korean minister, who agrees to be the child Noa’s father. The story takes many twists and turns through wars, births and deaths, and much hardship. Great wealth is ultimately achieved through the Korean game of pachinko, but at a tragically high cost.

Aug 14, 2020

I read this book over a year ago and still think about it. It's an amazing story, very well-written and the story sticks with you. I would recommend this to anyone looking to read a well-rounded, generally overall "good" story. I just put another book by the same author on hold, because I was wishing I could reread Pachinko again with fresh eyes and experience that same immense enjoyment that I felt the first time reading it.

Aug 11, 2020

I didn't realize how Koreans were discriminated against in Japan. Very good read.

JCLSamS Jul 06, 2020

As the description states, Pachinko a multi-generational saga following a family (and various side characters) through their lives as Korean immigrants to Japan, beginning in the early parts of the 20th century. For such a lengthy book, I was always driven to find out what would happen next and felt truly invested in the daily tragedies and joys of the family. As compelling as it was, it was also educational. The author clearly did her research on this particular period in history and the experience of Korean people living in Japan. I finished the book feeling that I'd learned a great deal on topics I'd hardly heard of before. While I think it was worth the read, I did feel that the third act fell short of the first two and there were times when the writing seemed rushed. Others disagree, so it may depend on which characters you feel most attached to.

May 03, 2020

This book was enjoyable and very interesting but often as soon as I became invested in a character they died or the story moved on to something else. Also it seemed more like a story of a lot of people but the plot of the story didn't seem as satisfying as I had hoped. More like a documentary than a story that takes you for a ride.

Mar 05, 2020

The inside jacket gives an accurate description of what the book is about so I won’t rehash it. When I put this book down for the day I can’t say that I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. Slow moving, way too long and drawn out. Good historical insight however into what life was like for ordinary Koreans under Imperial Japanese colonial control. Interesting perspective of Korean’s view of Americans during our (sadly) forgotten war on a peninsula that is still a danger to the region’s stability to this day.

wendybird Mar 04, 2020

This is one of the finest novels I have read in ages. Part family saga, part historical fiction, and certainly part magic, writer Min Jin Lee worked with the text for 30 years, and has crafted it finely. The tale itself begins in 1900, with Sunja, a young woman & fisherman's daughter, as she falls in love at the Korean seaside. It sweeps through 4 generations of Koreans living in Japan, taking the reader from the bustling street markets, all the way to the glistening new towers of Osaka and Tokyo.
The story is compelling - one of those books that has you making excuses so you could go back to reading it.

Mar 03, 2020

Read up to end of chap. 6. Completed.

Feb 16, 2020

The author writes in an amalgam of styles, flitting from the lyrical to banal to prosaic and then to the humdrum of daily life - - with some occasional profound passages. An interesting fact as fiction portrayal of generations of one Korean-Japanese family, with tangential interludes of intervening lives.
Knockout of an ending!

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Feb 19, 2020

carolinemichelle thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Aug 23, 2017

Sexual Content: explicit sexual content


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Aug 23, 2019

Yoseb could understand the boy’s anger, but he wanted another chance to talk to him, to tell Noa that a man must learn to forgive—to know what is important, that to live without forgiveness was a kind of death with breathing and movement.


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