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What readers think of Pachinko, plus links to write your own review.

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by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee X
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Feb 2017, 496 pages

    Nov 2017, 512 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
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There are currently 5 reader reviews for Pachinko
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Power Reviewer
Cathryn Conroy

Extraordinary Writing, Extraordinary Book
This four-generation family saga of poverty-stricken Koreans who are essentially forced in exile to Japan is everything a reader wants in a novel: characters so real they pop off the page, a plot that keeps you reading past your bedtime, and an ending that both breaks your heart and makes you smile.

Written by Min Jin Lee, the story begins with the teenaged Sunja, who falls in love with a much older, wealthy and very powerful man, who is married with three daughters (unbeknownst to her). Not surprisingly, she gets pregnant, and then her meager, but well-ordered, world comes crashing in. But a kind Korean man agrees to marry her and takes her to Japan where they live with his brother and sister-in-law. Remember the lover? Yeah, he hasn't forgotten Sunja. No spoilers here, but suffice it to say that he remains a part of her life forever—and not always in a good way.

This is a story about love in all its forms, a faith in God (or not), the bond of family, life and death, basic human survival, and the power of country and tradition. The ending is perfect in that it brings the story full circle.

This book will grab your heart from the start and not let go. There is a reason "Pachinko" has won a bazillion awards.

Fascinating Story of Korea
This is a fascinating story - fiction plus history and culture of Korea. Relatable characters, cultural developments, insight into family relationships, conflicts with Japan, hints about the budding of North Korea - it's all here!
James BC Yu

I was born in Japan of Korean parents and lived there till age 10. After Japan was defeated in 1945, our mother took us back to Korea. Our father was killed in 1944 in an accident while he was conscripted to work at a Japanese Navy Ship Yard. My family consisted of mother (32), sister (13), me (10) and 2 younger brothers (3) years apart. Once I started reading Pachinko, I couldn't stop reading because the main character, Sunja, is my sister, a strong and determined head of my family. I lived in Korea for another 10 years till after the end of Korean War. I have lived in the States over 6 decades.

Did not want the book to end
I was in love with every character in this book. Did not want it to end. So deep.
Avid reader

Well researched, but too long. Followed 4 generations of Korean's trying to survive and assimilate into the Japanese culture. Each generation had the same problems and difficulties of the one before and started to get generationally stuck on wanting the Korea they left. I did like the descriptions of the politics of the time, but would have liked more. I also did not think it was as well written to deserves the accolades it was given.Pleasant read if you have a lot of time. No "wow" factor when you are finished.
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