Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781455563937
Characteristics: 490 pages ; 24 cm


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Mar 23, 2018

PACHINKO is a sprawling saga that follows 4 generations of a Korean family who immigrate to Japan in the mid-twentieth century. This lengthy piece of historical fiction gets its title from a popular gambling pastime of Japan which is a cross between pinball and a slot machine. This “game of chance” is introduced midway through the book and plays an integral role to the story and character arcs, but what’s more, author Min Jin Lee deftly uses it as a metaphor for life. PACHINKO offers a fascinating look at history, culture, race, class, identity, and family. Although the final third of the book didn’t “grab” me as much as the rest, I would still recommend it, especially for fans of character-driven period/foreign dramas.

Cynthia_N Mar 17, 2018

I was expecting something a little more peaceful but this family goes through quite a few trials. It was somehow harsh to read and beautiful.

TechLibrarian Feb 02, 2018

I chose this book for several reasons. One, it was nominated for the 2017 National Book Award. Second, it's a family saga, and family sagas are a genre I tend to gravitate towards. Lastly, I like reading to learn about other cultures, and Pachinko is about a Korean family who immigrates to Japan. I was spellbound from the first few pages, which reminded me of Steinbeck or of The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. A little ways in, because I have a big hands on project in the works, I switched to the audiobook. It was just as captivating. I really grew attached to these well developed characters, and also learned lots that I hadn't known about Korean culture, WWII and the Korean war, and especially, the plight or Korean immigrants in Japan. This book requires some commitment, as it's lengthy, but it's really well crafted and worth the time. And, perhaps, timely, given the 2018 Olympics!

Dec 10, 2017

Years in the writing, this sweeping saga following the lives of Korean immigrants in Japan in the last century unveiled new history to me. Poignant, funny, heartwarming, tragic—all features of a good story. Loved it.

LPL_KimberlyL Nov 02, 2017

An eye-opening family saga about the treatment of Korean citizens in Japan, and what they must do to overcome extreme hardships and improve their lot in life. The characters in this novel will pull you in and keep you entranced to the final page. At just under 500 pages, this doesn't feel like a overly long book. In fact, I comfortably could have kept reading for several hundred pages more if only to stay with this family for a little bit longer. I'm sad to see them go, but I will definitely re-read this in the future and pick up anything else Min Jin Lee comes out with!

Sep 22, 2017

I learned a lot about Korea , and the relationship of Koreans with the Japanese after the war. was astonished at the cruelty.

Sep 05, 2017

I loved learning more about the history of the Korean peninsula. The tale was gripping and I could not put the book down, up until it got into the 1960s or so. After that it seemed to rush through things and not develop the story.

Aug 23, 2017

I love sweeping family sagas and this does not disappoint. But I ended that book about 3/4 of the way through due to the explicit sexual content.

Aug 06, 2017

One of my favorite books of 2017. This multigenerational story tells the plight of Koreans living in Japan, pre-World War II to the late 20th century. There’s so much depth in this story about a woman who had an illegitimate child in Korea, married an honorable man who accepts the child as his own and moves them to Japan. Not only are we introduced to Japanese mafia personalities, we see the extreme racism of the Japanese against Koreans, and how the only place Koreans could find success was in running the Pachinko halls. I was left cheering the strength of the Korean women, crying over the treatment of Koreans and amazement at the ability of the Koreans to accept what was happening to them, knowing that returning to Korea wasn’t an option for them.

May 07, 2017

The series of events spanned 4 generations and started with a Korean couple whose daughter got pregnant with a wealthy man but married a pastor and went to live in Japan. The last third of the book no longer held the interest I had before which was disappointing. I did, however, find interest overall in the further understanding of the struggle of Koreans living in Japan and how it affected their identity, family ties, marriages, loves and losses.

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Aug 23, 2017

Sexual Content: explicit sexual content


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