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Pachinko

Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (197 ratings)

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Summary

Yeongdo, Korea - 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a 15-year-old girl. The couple have one child: their beloved daughter, Sunja. 

When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then, Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife. Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends and no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja's salvation is just the beginning of her story.

©2017 Min Jin Lee (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Pachinko

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Elaborate, beautifully written historical fiction

Despite being a story that takes place over many years and locations and with a large number of characters it was easy to listen and not be overwhelmed by this beauty. The sheer detail included in the writing is incredible, every character and location gets a detailed description of their appearance and personality, it is easy to feel like you are there or have seen the same places. I would never have picked this novel had it not been a chosen book of Emma Watson's book club, Our Shared Shelf, but I am so glad I decided to go with it. Heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure. I learned so much about Korea and Japan at that time that I would not have known about without it. It is sad that the treatment of 'foreigners' in this story echoes what is happening in many countries still now... poignant and relevant.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

2 dimensional characters, 1 dimensional narration

All the Korean characters are unfailingly honest, earnest, moral, innocent and hard-done-by. Even if we suppose that this corresponds to reality, it doesn't make for great fiction. It was boring. The pathos in the narrator's cadence didn't help.

4 people found this helpful

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Pachinko

Real epic novel - great piece of work! The generations covered in the story gave a really rich
authenticity to the struggles over time in this part of the world.
Found it hard to put down.
Stunning characters I felt I actually knew!

2 people found this helpful

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insightful

really enjoyed learning about Korean culture food and their relationship with Japan. thank you for the choice

1 person found this helpful

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Long but Compelling

I cared for the characters and learned a lot listening to this book. Well narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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epic family tale.

I initially enjoyed the slow unfolding of this story and the characters. the cultures and how the war impacted koreans and their standing in Japan.
However I felt it rushed too fast in the end, sweeping through the decades and dropping to peripheral characters I was interested in for most of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant. <br />

Thanks in every way to the author, narrator and inspiration for this compelling story. I enjoyed every minute.

1 person found this helpful

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A good touch of the recent history of various countries.

It is surprised for me to know that authors of different nationality would always praise the virtues of their own race. Even race and every family could be hard working and humble. So it’s never early or late, but right at the time for one to take the proper actions for good. Let’s pray.

1 person found this helpful

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A wonderful wonderful book

This charming informative wonderful ⎌book ...if haven’t read it you are lucky all the joy that is ahead of you

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Very enjoyable listen

An easy story line to follow, an interesting insight into Korean and Japanese relations. the multi generational story is told at a peaceful and calm pace and was both entertaining and relaxing to listen to.

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  • Matt
  • 25-06-20

Bring on the corn

Instead of stars some books should be rated in corn. This is one of those. I'd give it five bowls. Corn by the shovel full. Want to be miserable for 18 hours and 14 minutes? Then this is the book for you. A lightweight story that should have been one third the length. The metaphors used throughout are lamentable to say the least. Amazed that it was published in the first place. 18 hours and 14 minutes of your life you'll never get back.
Get a Murakami novel instead.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-11-19

Captivating and Informative

loved how she weaves multigenerational stories in a way that makes sense and informative.

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  • Ando
  • 01-09-19

Hopeful and Despairing!

The novel reflects the resilience of the human spirit and of the role of family to sustain the individual person. I almost stopped reading after Noah's suicide but life goes on. We navigate life despite the evil and bigotry that surrounds us because there is also decency and compassion even if it is limited to our small circles.