Exploring Writing Paragraphs And Essays 2Nd Edition
Yeongdo, Korea 1911.
In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-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.
Moreover, as a game banned during the world war II, Pachinko thrived and flourished in Japan after it's nadir. But it was largely associated to the rise of Yakuza or Japanese mafia. Since the game was never considered equivalent to gambling, the parlors became a mecca for criminal activities, prostitution and unpaid taxes. All in all, it could hardly be considered a decent job during the time. However, it could put more than food on people's palates, and was the only field where the Koreans could associate with the Japanese on an equal footing. Undoubtedly, such parlors became a haven for the war-torn Koreans, who had lost seemingly everything. And as long as one had riches, what did it matter if the job weren't decent? But the then Japan held many prejudices against those parlors and the Koreans. Lee has brought out the fact that all of them weren't bees of the same hive sticking to criminal activities. Had it not been for Pachinko, Sunja's sons would have never survived. Even the righteous Noa was compelled to take it up as his means of livelihood. And as the author has related, "history had failed them" so they had to detach themselves from history's favoritisms. In the end, Sunja and the people related to her couldn't be called fortunate though they did turn out to be so more than most of the Koreans. What do you call such a life with huge losses that can neither outshine your gains nor underwhelm their importance? Gambling. Perhaps, Pachinko.
More lists with this book...
But first I want to start with the stuff I did really enjoy. The book taught me a lot about the dynamic between Koreans & Japanese, especially in the early to mid-20th century. I had no idea about any of the historical context within which this book was set. And I found learning about it, especially as the author traced these themes and historical element ...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
Some days Sunja, daughter of the owner of a boardinghouse in Korea, felt chills when she was growing her secret child. If she had agreed to remain the mistress of the rich man in Japan whom she got pregnant with - who was married with 3 children -- she could have been taken care of - and the needs for her child would be met. However - Sunja couldn't agree to the arrangement. She couldn't imagine sharing her life with a man who has anothe ...more
What I know ...more
I hadn’t really understood exactly what pachinko was before reading this novel. This book and Wikipedia have educated me on the topic. The way I envision pachinko is as a cross between a pinball machine and a slot machine. It’s a gambling game, where ...more
I had gone back and forth on reading this one. I would get it from the library and return it. But it was a National Book Award finalist, so it should be good. My library got the audio and I had to wait months to get it, so it should be good. It's historical fiction and I love that, so it should be good. Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but I had many issues with it.
Pachinko tells the story of several generations of one Korean family. You first start out, learning about this family and ...more
Min Jin Lee begins her story in 1910 in Yeongdo, Busan, Korea with Hoonie, plagued by physical impairments, and his wife who live in a small fishing village. These are the first stones in this multigenerational family mosaic. After many miscarriages and infant deaths, they are overjoyed at the birth of a healthy daughter ...more
I had this in my TBR queue for ages. It took making it a book club selection to bring it to the front of the line. It’s described as an epic tale of generations of Koreans in Japan and epic truly describes it. I felt like I was reading one of James Michener’s sagas.
I loved Sunja. She is just so strong. She’s not only part of the underclass, but a woman to boot. She struggles but always finds a way to persevere.
There is nothing better than a well done historical fiction. This one fits the bill. ...more
3.5 Stars rounded up
Pachinko is a sweeping family saga listed as being for readers of The Kite Runner and Cutting for Stone.
Following one Korean family through the years from Yeongdo, Busan, Korea where a poor fisherman and his wife give birth to a young infant boy. Hoonie, their only child of four to survive, was born with a cleft palate and a twisted foot, in addition to a pleasant temperament and broad shoulders.
The year Hoonie turns 27, 1910, Japan annexed Korea. His par ...more
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
This is another book which I hesitated over, after reading political analysis and commentary of the complicated history behind and within the story - the plight of Korea, the diaspora of its citizens who left due to outside countries' Empire building takeovers, their own ...more
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
Pachinko is like gambling on pinball machines, so I don't know how that hasn't destroyed civilization yet, good lord.
Here's a cheesy browser game if you wanna get the general idea. You shoot the ball, it bangs around, things light up, you win or you don't.
So this makes an effective metaphor, if a pretty thudding and obvious one: "Life's going ...more
Min Jin Lee
MY RATING ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PUBLISHER Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Audio
PUBLISHED February 7, 2017
NARRATED Allison Hiroto
Absorbing and thought-provoking, PACHINKO will remain in your memory for years to come.
Pachinko is an addicting Japanese vertical arcade game, a cross between pinball and a slot machine. It’s a game of chance and the house odds are high. There are only a few winners, but lots of losers.
PACHINKO, the book, follows one Korean family though four generations b ...more
I was really impressed by Lee's ability to shift so effortlessly between character and time over the course of this book. Though the story begins in 191 ...more