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....
|Number of Pages||:||490 pages|
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I learned a lot from this book. This story takes us across decades through generations. I never heard of Pachinko and both the cover and title really drew me in. I learned about Korean and Japanese history through Min Jin Lee's characters. Sunja's life is wonderful, terrible, happy and heartbreaking all at the same time.
For me, I enjoy books more when we have constant characters throughout the whole book. There are constant characters in Pachinko but with any story told through gener ...more
Pachinko is just the kind of book I love. It starts in Korea in the early 1900s with Hoonie, a young man with a cleft palate and a twisted foot. Despite his deformities he marries and his wife gives birth to a daughter, Sunja. When Sunja is a young teenager she makes some bad choices and ends up pregnant. The man who is to be the father is already married, and Sunja is ashamed of her mistake; but proud and determined she refuses to be his mistress. A single, kind pastor, sickly as a child and un ...more
Told in chronological order, this book spans 4 generations and nearly a century of time and focuses on Zainichi or ethnic Koreans living in Japan. These Zainichi are essentially stateless citizens registered to Joseon or a unified Korea that hasn’t existed since the Korean War. Up until recently they had to apply for alien registration cards that required fingerprinting every three years and were rarely granted passports making overseas travel impossible. In Japan, ethnic Koreans are seen as sec ...more
In the sweeping and monolithic Pachinko, Min Jin Lee documents four generations of a Korean family in Japan from 1910 to 1989. First conceived in 1989, Lee worked on this novel for over 25 years and what a masterpiece she has to show for all her work. Only really comparable in scope to Zola's Rougon-Macquart cycle, Pachinko is an education as well as a flawlessly crafted story. It theorises on an ugly aspect of Japanese society and the people who struggle against this open prejudice.
What I know ...more
I couldn't put this book down. I would give it 4 stars because I did really like it (not there with all out love) but I had to bump it to 5 for the fact that I couldn't put it down. A completely absorbing book set in a time, place, and culture I am completely unfamiliar, and rather ignorant, with. Beautifully written, poignant, sad, and matter of fact at times in regards to life in Korea/Japan in the years preceding WW2 through 1989, Pachinko will leave you thoughtful and perhaps a bit haunted i ...more
This has been on my list since it first came out and it was no disappointment. This family saga begins with a poor but loving Korean family and follows them through the next three generations and to Japan. Although I was aware of the prejudice Japan had for Koreans, I really had no idea of the extent of it.
It is difficult to discuss the book without giving spoilers. Although long, I would definitely call this an easy read. There are no real challenges in the writing or concepts but the story is ...more
History has failed us, but no matter.
Look, I get it. A lot of people won't be interested in this book because they have no idea what pachinko means and what exactly is going on with that cover, anyway? We are highly susceptible to marketing techniques and the cover and title give us pretty much nothing. But hear me out for a minute because this book is really good.
This is a historical family saga set in Korea and Japan throughout the 20th century. It follows four generations of a Korean family ...more
This epic story following a family of Koreans from 1910 to 1989 is a surprisingly easy read for such a long book. The language is deceptively simple apart from the borrowed Korean and Japanese words for which a glossary might have been helpful, as in most cases they are not explained.
The story starts on the small island of Yeongdo near the Korean port city of Busan in 1910, the year Japan annexed Korea. This is where its central character Sunja is born to a couple who run a small boarding house ...more