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Summary

Shortlisted for the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, 'Sensei', in a bar. He is at least 30 years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, and as the seasons pass - from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms - Tsukiko and Sensei come to develop a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love.

Perfectly constructed, funny and moving, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.

©2014 Hiromi Kawakami (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"True love is celebrated with humour, grace and pathos as the wary narrator recalls her unusual approach to dealing with an overwhelming passion." (Book of the Year, Irish Times)

What listeners say about Strange Weather in Tokyo

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  • Overall
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Wonderful!

A satisfying and meandering story! Good for long evenings and good for falling asleep to.

1 person found this helpful

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Overall a dull story

This was recommended to me by a Murakami fan group as a good option for something of a similar style. I really found the story to be lack luster and overall dull. Narration is also bad which doesn't help. If you're looking for a story where a girl basically fawns over her old school teacher go for it but it felt very pointless and shallow. sorry!

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Charming

I have loved the Japanese stories I've read so far. The style is succinct and rather like what I've heard of Japanese poetry.
I found the characters most engaging and funny - and above all utterly charming.
The narrator's voice is lovely: it is quite clipped and still really highlights the humour well - humour that is all the better for being underplayed.
The basic premise of the couple's relationship seems so unlikely but I'm sure all who read or listen will find it very touching.

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May Dec romance

Not sentimental but it has one of the most beautiful final paragraph images ever in a novel, like a Haiku's

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I didn't enjoy the book or the narration

I wanted to listen to this book on audible since it was recommended on a list of short stories. I usually enjoy Japan-related stories, particularly quirky stories, so thought this would be a good listen. However, I found the characters very dislikeable and disinteresting - a lot of effort went into giving them "nuances", but unfortunately this did not give them a personality. I began to actively dislike both characters by the end of the book.

I listened to the whole story, however it was definitely a chore to get through. I felt like perhaps I would've enjoyed it more if the narration had been better. I would have preferred a Japanese narrator rather than an incredibly strong British accent. It was very off-putting, particularly for a book that is about subtlties.

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Truly excellent

An exercise in restraint and respect but a fulfilling read. Memories are made for and from books such as these. I can imagine an author sitting amongst a million pieces of paper bearing crossed out text otherwise how could perfection be approached so noiselessly

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Shockingly Tragic Novel!

This novel is really sweet and yet simultaneously heartbreaking, and a fantastic read. However, it was completely ruined by the narrator, whose voice took away entirely from the story. A more melodious and deeper female voice, I feel, would have lent itself to the tragedy of it more. However, if you're into literature in translation, this is a fab novel, with an interesting storyline, which I'd never encountered before!