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Pachinko

Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (99 ratings)

Non-member price: $37.98

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Publisher's Summary

Yeongdo, Korea - 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a 15-year-old girl. The couple have one child: their beloved daughter, Sunja. 

When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then, Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife. Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends and no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja's salvation is just the beginning of her story.

©2017 Min Jin Lee (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great multi-generational story

Fascinating insight into the history of Korean immigrants in Japan and a great family saga. It dragged on at the end just a little. Loved the narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I loved this.

One of the best books I have read in a long time. Such a beautiful family and what an interesting life they all lead. Great read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story

If you are into family dynasty stories then this is the story for you. Provides an Interesting insight into the situation of Koreans in Japan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Insight into Koreans living in Japan

Pachinko is a lengthy chronicle of several generations of one Korean family from before the Second World War until the 1990s. The author has attempted a to cover a huge expanse of time in great detail which has made the book at times a bit repetitive and long-winded. However, for me it was an eye-opener as I knew next to nothing about Koreans living in Japan. Their life there was difficult and made more so by strict rules regarding what they could and could not do, for example, they could not become citizens. The author shows how all the restrictions forced them into the less reputable jobs such as pachinko worker and eventually owner.If you like sweeping family sagas and are interested in Japan and Korea, then you will really enjoy this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Started SO well!

This was a very long listen and covered SO so many characters. I think the book could have been halved as there were too many inconsequential characters. So much sadness and all for nothing. However I did complete the book just to see what would happen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perhaps my favourite audio book to date and

I absolutely loved this book. I learnt s huge amount about history. Characters were beautiful and vivid. Highly recommended.

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A wonderful book

A truly wonderful text and so well read. It teases us into thought about the consequences of our decisions and furthermore, the need to be flexible in our thoughts and decisions.
Man’s inhumanity to man, specifically the treatment of Koreans by the Japanese underpins this fine text.

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overall a good read but....

Overall I enjoyed the book. It is lengthy however and after so long and so many details put into character building, the end seemed rushed and without purpose. I did enjoy the fusion of culture.

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Didn't seem to have a point

Started well, then got lost and a little bit pointless. It was difficult to tell who was talking because the narrator didn't put on voices to differentiate characters. All in all, I was disappointed. Didn't live up to the hype.

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A slice of history, well told.

I loved the story at first. It was so real and drew me in. Family relationships, heartache, joy, grief and cultural differences were described so well. However later I found too much graphic sex. It's a pity. So much detail is not necessary for the story. I would have given it the top score otherwise.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-11-2019

Captivating and Informative

loved how she weaves multigenerational stories in a way that makes sense and informative.

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  • Andre
  • 01-09-2019

Hopeful and Despairing!

The novel reflects the resilience of the human spirit and of the role of family to sustain the individual person. I almost stopped reading after Noah's suicide but life goes on. We navigate life despite the evil and bigotry that surrounds us because there is also decency and compassion even if it is limited to our small circles.

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  • Tsundoko and Tea
  • 12-06-2019

Elaborate, beautifully written historical fiction

Despite being a story that takes place over many years and locations and with a large number of characters it was easy to listen and not be overwhelmed by this beauty. The sheer detail included in the writing is incredible, every character and location gets a detailed description of their appearance and personality, it is easy to feel like you are there or have seen the same places. I would never have picked this novel had it not been a chosen book of Emma Watson's book club, Our Shared Shelf, but I am so glad I decided to go with it. Heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure. I learned so much about Korea and Japan at that time that I would not have known about without it. It is sad that the treatment of 'foreigners' in this story echoes what is happening in many countries still now... poignant and relevant.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-03-2019

Pachinko

Real epic novel - great piece of work! The generations covered in the story gave a really rich
authenticity to the struggles over time in this part of the world.
Found it hard to put down.
Stunning characters I felt I actually knew!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah Cotterell
  • 29-11-2019

insightful

really enjoyed learning about Korean culture food and their relationship with Japan. thank you for the choice

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  • Gary J Mitchell
  • 18-10-2019

Long but Compelling

I cared for the characters and learned a lot listening to this book. Well narrated.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Deirdre Lynam
  • 11-10-2019

epic family tale.

I initially enjoyed the slow unfolding of this story and the characters. the cultures and how the war impacted koreans and their standing in Japan.
However I felt it rushed too fast in the end, sweeping through the decades and dropping to peripheral characters I was interested in for most of the story.

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  • KJ Malone
  • 15-09-2019

Brilliant. <br />

Thanks in every way to the author, narrator and inspiration for this compelling story. I enjoyed every minute.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-08-2019

A good touch of the recent history of various countries.

It is surprised for me to know that authors of different nationality would always praise the virtues of their own race. Even race and every family could be hard working and humble. So it’s never early or late, but right at the time for one to take the proper actions for good. Let’s pray.