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Manazuru [Hardcover]

Hiromi Kawakami , Michael Emmerich
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint LLC (Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582436274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582436272
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,727,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Long, long story 2 Dec 2013
By Jim W.-
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A book well written but the action long drawn out, I lost interest. Have read "Sensies Bag" of the author that I found much better.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written 20 Jan 2011
By Winnotta - Published on
This is an internal stream of consciousness story, beautifully written and poignant. This is an incredible mental journal of a woman abandoned by her husband, and after 12 years slowly lets go of him so she can begin her life anew. I suspect this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for me it was hauntingly beautiful and well worth the read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, daring, and somehow ineffable 12 Nov 2012
By S. Idell - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Manazuru is the sort of book that is almost impossible to describe. It's a story about memory, or something like it, written in a shockingly spare and compact style that encourages the reader to delve between the lines. In some places there seems to be a lack of resolution, a sense that something important is missing from the text, but of course, that is precisely the point. Kawakami has an exceptional knack for mixing the real and the unreal together, and part of the beauty of her method is that is resists interpretation as much as it encourages it. What the reader is left with, instead, are sensations, exquisite turns of phrase delivered in a uniquely ethereal tone. All in all it is utterly beautiful, in precisely the sort of frustrating way that makes the book impossible to forget.

All that said, this isn't a five-star book for everyone. Writers will love it for what it teaches- the same tone and composition can hardly be found anywhere else. Japanese speakers who have read the original might find the translation interesting as well- Michael Emmerich has done a stupendous job rendering into English a novel which seems, from the outside, almost impossible to translate. Perpetual seekers of the strange and lovers of perception will be similarly satisfied. A reader unwilling to reach beyond the bounds of a conventional narrative, though, will likely want to walk away, regardless of the novel's technical prowess. Manazuru is just that sort of story: beautiful and possibly just a bit too strange for comfort.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars refined 27 Sep 2010
By Nico - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very refined. However, I liked better Kawakami's earlier and less spooky book The Teacher's Briefcase.
5.0 out of 5 stars I have 4 copies of this book, 13 Oct 2013
By Hanh - Published on
of which I keep two copies, and the other two I gave to my friends as gifts. Because it's a book that really makes me think about my life and the lives of others around me.
It's not a book of plot; if you're looking for something thrilling or scandalous, Manazuru will prove to be a futile cycle of so-called boring daily life. Kei struggles between the love for her husband, who disappeared 10 years ago, and the need to move on. She has a relationship with a married man, a teenage daughter, and an aging mother, but the memories of her husband never completely dissipate from her life. She comes to Manazuru to forget, but that's where she remembers everything in the most lucid way. Or, do we forget by remembering?

A haunting and beautiful exploration of memories, Manazuru is one of those books that will not suit every taste, but if you have ever tried to forget someone and can't, you might be able to relate to the heroine of the book. Have I tried to forget someone and wasn't able to for a very long time? Psh, plenty.
3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly dislikable heroine 20 Sep 2010
By C E Voigtsberger Jr - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can understand why all the men in her life leave her. The heroine of this book is self-absorbed, whiney, neurotic and wanders in and out of lucidity. If that is your cup of tea, have at it. If not, leave it.
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