eBook - 2017
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Grand Central Pub

One of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year

National Bestseller

USA Today bestseller

Roxane Gay's Favorite Book of 2017, Washington Post

In this bestselling, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.

"There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones."

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant-and that her lover is married-she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters-strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis-survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

Baker & Taylor
In early 1900s Korea, prized daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question. Reading-group guide available. By a national best-selling author.

Publisher: Grand Central Pub.,, 2017
ISBN: 9781455569656
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


From Library Staff

List - Best of 2017
RCPL_Librarians Nov 26, 2017


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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.

Dec 10, 2017

One of NYT best books of 2017

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 21, 2017

This is an old-fashioned family saga; it's long, but full of lovable characters and things happening, which meant I raced through it in seven days despite its length. The author uses the omniscient voice and frequent point-of-view changes so you see the events through many eyes, getting different perspectives on faith, family, racism, sexism, and politics. I loved the setting and a lot of the characters: the resourceful Sunja, the other first-generation immigrants, and a quartet of people who fall in love with family members. As a family saga novel, it's not quite as good as Hala Alyan's Salt Houses but stronger than Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul; you can see why it's currently in the running for the National Book Award.

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.

Apr 26, 2017

An awesome beginning, couldn't keep it down till World war II was over. But after that it just dragged. It is NO WHERE close to Kite Runner. in the later half, it became stagnant and boring.

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Aug 23, 2017

Sexual Content: explicit sexual content


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