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Lee, Min Jin. Book - 2017 Adult Book / Fiction / General / Lee, Min Jin None on shelf 6 requests on 8 copies Community Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Adult Book / Fiction / General / Lee, Min Jin 4-week checkout Due 12-26-2023
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"A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of The Kite Runner and Cutting for Stone. PACHINKO 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"-- Provided by publisher.


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Refined yet Readable submitted by sburch46 on March 31, 2017, 9:07am Long story short, this book will break your heart, although the writing is so eloquent and beautiful you can forgive the author for doing so. The author introduces you to multiple characters in this multi-generational story. And the tale she weaves transports you to Korea and then Japan in the 20th century, when even 2nd or 3rd generation Koreans were not considered to be Japanese. You read firsthand about their whole existence being that of a 2nd class citizen. You live alongside this family through hardships and their triumphs. A brutally honest tale of the consequences and joy that occurs when you follow your heart.

I’m so glad I picked it up again submitted by christinacz on July 21, 2018, 9:40pm I haven’t finished but I can’t seem to stop reading! The characters are compelling and multigenerational story is quiet and emotionally precise. The family’s hardships will remind you of the grapes of wrath or the jungle and the cultural landscapes are beautiful in their detail.

Quiet and emotional tale submitted by rebecca.perreault on August 8, 2018, 4:51pm This was a beautiful multigenerational story of love, success, and endurance with good character development. I'm not of Asian descent, so there were cultural elements of the story that I felt were descriptive, but that I could not relate to. One criticism is that I dislike when books, such as this, force in eroticism when it does very little to drive the plot. Regardless, a very good read that requires patience and an open-mind

Amazing book submitted by majean on August 9, 2018, 6:34pm I didn't know anything about the Koreans living in Japan during and after WWII, and that's with a degree in Asian Studies specializing in East Asia. Phenomenal book.

2/3 wonderful, 1/3 shtick submitted by sbaccouc on November 6, 2018, 9:50pm The last 1/3 of the book did not need a lot of the extreme details - I felt the author went away from the family idea ... I was so wanting to love this book based on what people were saying, but the first 2/3 I did love it. Last 1/3, not so much...

Masterful submitted by Jinxyluis on June 18, 2019, 12:29pm Min Jin Lee is a masterful writer, and the years she spent researching and conceptualizing this saga are evident alongside her beautiful prose. I sort of disliked the frequency of the skips forward in time, but each section marvelously fills in details in such a way that I never felt a sense of incompleteness from the missing time, so it's hard to say really what my qualm can be with the skips.⁣

Maybe the Best Novel I Read this Year submitted by legalmama on June 27, 2019, 10:02am Gripping, interesting story that follows multiple generations of a family. Truly fantastic writing.

Loved this book, wonderful family history saga! submitted by jgetty on June 15, 2020, 9:05am I found this book from a good reads list. I was intimated by the big size, small letters, but excited to take on the challenge, and it was a fantastic story! A powerful family saga, full of struggles, strong personalities, love, intrigue, history, family, loyalty, pride, many topics. I loved it, and recommend it as a really great read. Kept me busy reading for many days, and I was sad when I finished this great story.

Gorgeous submitted by jaromatorio on July 24, 2020, 11:16am Pachinko' tells the gorgeous and sometimes heartbreaking tale of one Korean family through the generations, beginning in the early 1900s with the story of Sunja, who finds herself young, pregnant, and alone in the world after her wealthy lover abandons her. When Sunja is presented with the chance to move to Japan and start her life anew, she seizes the opportunity-thus beginning the saga of a family "in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history."⠀

This story is sweeping--covering a span of almost 100 years--but feels incredibly intimate nonetheless. By the end of the book I felt that I knew each and every character, and though I sensed a personal affinity with some more than others, I thought the author did a remarkable job of giving even the most unpleasant characters some redeeming qualities--making them seem truly human, vulnerable, and REAL.⠀

And while story itself is beautiful, Min Jin Lee's elegant, almost sensual writing is what really makes this novel. Once I started reading I was completely enthralled.⠀

If you want to read a truly beautiful novel, if you enjoy rich family sagas, or if you're interested in learning about a slice of culture and history often ignored by the western world (or at least the American education I got!), I would 10,000/10 recommend 'Pachinko'!⠀

Fantastic Characterization and None of the Sensationalization submitted by sVfGI7Glt2pz7GZgVB90 on August 15, 2020, 10:54pm Pachinko is incredible in scope. It builds a portrait of an early-20th-century Korean family who eventually migrates to Japan to launch a new life for themselves. Lee paints an amazingly complex intergenerational portrait of immigration, filial ties, and family secrets. National Book Award Finalist.

Wonderful history of a family submitted by kittenkat101 on July 17, 2021, 12:55pm I couldn't put this book down-it was mesmerizing. Lee manages to trace a family history over four generations of love, conflict, and of course, Pachinko. Highly recommend as a book club read so you can discuss the differences that women of different generations face.

Gorgeous novel submitted by k8e on July 20, 2021, 9:41am An excellent multi-generational epic. Beautiful writing, and for me, very educational about a time and place I wasn't familiar with. I thought it might be hard to follow and keep up with the different characters given how many generations it spans - but Min Jin Lee handled it masterfully.

Interesting submitted by gracekil on June 10, 2022, 9:14pm I've learned so much about the recent history of Korea, and Koreans living in Japan. A tragic story but interesting to really live through the generations.

Achingly beautiful submitted by sangini on June 15, 2022, 1:51am When I first picked up this book, I was a little put off by the thickness, and thought it would take me a long time to finish. But within 40 pages, I was absolutely sucked into the world. It was beautiful to read the generations of a family be born, grow up, get old, and make their way together in this difficult and cruel world. Highly recommend to anyone.

Pachinko submitted by nmrhoads on July 6, 2022, 10:02am Really good story. Not for people that don’t like long stories. The last part of the book isn’t as good or interesting as the beginning

Long but excellent submitted by jangmikyoung on July 20, 2022, 10:58am This book is able to showcase Korean history and shows the challenges of being forced into new environments. It also shows love.

The best book i have read in decades- pick it up now! submitted by rincess on August 9, 2022, 11:30am This absolutely gorgeous novel that is woven together through a family that faces a lot of challenges-- then and now--made me want to shout from the rooftops about the things I felt about it. I was on an airplane as a deeply sad thing happened to one of the characters in the book and i silently cried through the flight thinking of how this book is one of the first things to make me cry in public. I made my mom read this, my dad, my uncle and my best friend. Thankful to Min Jin Lee for writing this.

Epic, integrational, family saga submitted by rshah on July 15, 2023, 2:14am The story is heartful and heartbreaking. Beautiful and tragic. Sweeping in its range and yet homie in its focus on Sunja Baek and her family. There are so many reviews that are far more eloquent than I could ever be about how beautiful this book is, so I will just add that it truly is worth every single page.

Cover image for Pachinko

New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2017.
Year Published: 2017
Description: 490 p.
Language: English
Format: Book


Families -- Korea -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.