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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 28 November 2001
A charming and haunting story of a young woman with a scrambled memory as a result of an accident. This novel combines eastern mysticism, contemporary Japanese culture and family values as the main protagonist deals with the problems in her life. Mystical, poetic and beautifully written, but it is painfully slow at times and often too mysterious for its own good. Nonetheless this is an enjoyable read, you'll miss the characters long after you've read the last page.
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on 9 October 2001
A beautful story that I have read many times. It is of love, regret, pain and awareness of one's life. The island they visit is magical and full of beauty and the woman who unfolds the story manages to touch various spiritual aspects. The same feeling throughout can be found in all her books, i eagerly await the next novel.
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on 17 September 2006
I bought this book to re-read as it had remained in my mind for a few years since I first read it. That doesn't often happen.

It somehow manages to be calming, almost hypnotic yet unsettling at the same time and the story pulls you in and trips you up as you follow it through. The story could appear overly complex but it follows the process of grief which is a long and complex process. It's a remarkably fresh and different book and didn't disappoint in the slightest on a second read.
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on 23 August 2014
There is not a book that has been written by either Ryu Murakami or Banana Yoshimoto that would let you down. Both are unbelievable authors with remarkable writing powers that draws you into the book of the time.
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on 30 April 2013
complicated and as even the author herself said the book doesnt know what it wants to say. being her first book this makes sense but i am dissapointed as i generally enjoyed her other books
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on 18 January 2003
A magic and mysterious atmosphere in the crowded Japan of these days, where a girl is tryin' to keep going after a bad accident, having herself drawn by the tide of lives, not struggling, there's no need to fight, she just need to keep the pace an amaze herself with any incredible surprise!
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on 27 March 2009
Banana Yoshimoto's book Amrita is a very surreal yet beautiful novel. After the death of a young actress her family struggle to come to terms with her death. In their each very individual ways they try to come to terms with it in their own way. The narrator of the story Sakumi comes across as a character that we can all relate to. They all live in a rather unconventional family which compromises of her mother, he brother, cousin and her mother's lifelong friend. Yoshimoto writes in a way that looks at the everyday mundane things but after you have read the book she gives them an almost mystical quality. Sakumi's brother is a `special' child as he seems to have mystical powers of being able to see into the future. Sakumi also suffers her own misfortune when she falls and looses her memory. We are then taken on a weird journey to the pacific ocean when Sakumi and her brother stay with friends and we are introduced to a whole new world filled with spiritualism.

This book captures many different themes and you almost feel like you are travelling through a different world. Having read many of Yoshimoto's books this has to be one of my favourites. I would definitely recommend it.
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on 9 October 2000
Amrita catologues the effect of a young womans death on the lives that she leaves behind. The story is told by her sister, whose perspective is made all the more complex as she is now the lover of her dead sisters boyfriend. Amrita has all the ingredients for what would be a beautiful and intruiging tale. However, as one of her earlier works, her observations and conclusions appear too simplistic to hold any weight with the reader. The reader should not be put off however,...Yoshimotos hypnotic style is very much present in the book and are an indication of the treats that are to be found in her later works.
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on 26 February 2013
Like most of Banana Yoshimoto's books, this one is oddly captivating, even though very little happens - lovers of gripping page-turners beware. Instead, we are treated in typical Japanese fashion to observations of the minutiae of life, interspersed with surprising turns of events whose unexpectedness is, however, looked at with an almost childlike curiosity and accepted.

Where this particular edition fails, however, is the translation and the lack of care that has gone into producing the book. The translation is very uneven and at times even clunky and expressions like "I could care less" (common, but still wrong) and "Was their another blowup..." really are unacceptable, but proof that the publisher has once again dispensed with the need for a copyeditor. These things might not be an issue to many readers, but their frequency is enough to throw a shadow of irksomeness over what would otherwise be a very enjoyable and engaging read.
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on 2 July 2013
I first came across this mini novel on my degree. Later I taught it in my sixth form class. I taught it from a feminist perspective-the lesson was a blast.
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