I started out really enjoying this book and recommending it to all and sundry. To say the author writes well is an absolute understatement. The characters are incredibly believable and she has a Tolstoy-eske way of giving back story and reason for actions, of even the least of characters, in a way that integrates seamlessly with the storytelling. The realism turned too gritty for my tastes from about three quarters of the way through the book. I was left pushing through the last quarter, desperate to finish so that I could seek joy in the world again. If you have read, "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry you will know this gritty, dark turn well, although thankfully Min Jin Lee leaves us with a just the tiniest speck of hope at the end of the "Pachinko". The history and culture (and brilliant storytelling) weaved through the book make it worth reading, just to improve your knowledge of Japan and Korea. Overall I'm glad I read it, but will probably take a break from this author incase continued reading in this vein makes me lose all hope in humanity.
I am so glad I read this book. It gives an insight into the plight of the Koreans living in Japan and the discrimination waged against them. A family saga told over several generations by a knowledgeable author, this book covers all aspects: history, war, economics, class, sex, gender and religion. I highly recommend it.
I was sorry about the abrupt ending going nowhere. It was like the author didn’t know what to do after such a rambling tale. Some really interesting bits, it got a bit bogged down in the middle, but is a part of history I knew nothing about
A masterpiece. This is an extraordinary and moving family saga, that I couldn't put down. Yet I didn't want it to end. The huge amount of research that went into the book certainly brings the history, the setting and the characters alive. Pachinko deserves every word of praise written about it. And more.
This book gives a good insight to how the Asian class system works. It’s not just the English who are born into levels of acceptance, but like the Indian caste regime, Chinese, Japanese and now Koreans have their lives moulded by prejudice from another race. This is a good read and describes the frustrations of being at the lower end of the ladder of acceptance by the prejudice of the 'ruling' race. This is a family saga touching on five generations of one Korean family and how they achieve wealth through hard work and honesty but cannot achieve the status or recognition that goes with it.
This is a "hard to put down" book and I was sorry when I reached the end. Easily one of the best books I have read in ages. Another person has given a great description of the story line so I will simply and honestly thoroughly recommend this amazing book. I'm so glad I downloaded this book.
Well written and moves through a young girl's life to grandmother age within the context of Korean life in Korea and then Japan. Very worthwhile reading. It is long, but full of insight. Highly recommend
I love historical fiction as it provides a more intimate and human account of history. In this way you learn even more about a time or place than you would from a textbook. The struggles and lives of immigrants around the world is something that deserves more attention. I learned a lot.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s very engaging and you can get lost in the story. The characters are well thought out and there’s a few twists and turns you wouldn’t expect. I love reading about a time and place I know very little about. I feel much closer to Japanese and Korean history. It’s a great book!
An amazing read Full of family loyalty, history, hardship, disaster and love . Racism shown to its fullest ! Pride and culture was so strong it prevented the members of the family from moving forward. A real page turner !