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  • N.P.
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on 15 March 2008
There's something so simple with Banana Yoshimoto's books, yet I feel that it'd be impossible to write the way she does. To tell a complete story and create a whole universe with such short scenes. You understand all the characters without having to go back to long winded accounts about their childhoods.

In this book. N.P. everything evolves around a collection of stories by a writer who committed suicide. He has left behind three children and the main character, or the narrator of the story, gets involved with all the three of these children. What makes it complicated is that the brother has a relationship with his stepsister - but they met without knowing they were related. This stepsister is one of these remarkable unpredictable characters who you can't help loving.

Sometimes it gets a little bit too dreamy and naive for my liking and I also seem to forget certain facts. The whole story is a bit like a scattered dream. Fragmented, but yet whole.
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on 25 July 2011
I discovered Banana Yoshimoto's work quite by accident when I had 5 minutes to spare in the Waterstone's between Leicester Square and Covent Garden and was drawn to the beautiful, stark cover of the UK edition of Kitchen. I loved the book so much I was back within a day or so to pick up N.P. which is, quite simply, the best book I've ever read. The sinmplicity of Yoshimoto's prose is the perfect, unassuming wrapping for the complex, terrifying, slap to the solar plexus emotioal layering her stories contain. There is a dignity and simplicity to her prose that is utterly heartbreaking.

To give an idea of who may enjoy Yoshimoto's work, the closest parallels I can think of are When I Forgot by Elina Hirvonen and Damage by Josephine Hart, though I suspect anyone who, like me, loves Murakami, will find Yoshimoto if anything even better than the master.
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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 17 May 2003
This book is so sad that after I had put it away (because I could not bare it) a friend offered me to write a new end for it, so I could read that. I picked it up a week later and was so amazed by the end, that I wrote a letter to the author (never sent).
It is the story of the girlfriend of a writer of short stories who dies. She gets in contact with his two children who are about her age....
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