Although the basic relationships among the characters are twisted and crazy, they seem to arise naturally within the logic of the narrative: lurid material treated with subtlety. He lived in the United States for many years, composed the 97 stories in English and committed suicide before they were translated into his native Japanese. There is also a legendary 98th story, dealing with father-daughter incest, and it is this story that haunts everyone in the novel. Our narrator, Kazami, a translator, had an affair with another translator, Shoji Toda, while she was still in high school. All of this has taken place offstage, before the main action of the story takes place.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? P by Banana Yoshimoto.
Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — N. P by Banana Yoshimoto ,. Ann Sherif Translator. But the book, itself titled N. Get A Copy.
Paperback , pages. Published January by Grove Press first published December 25th More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about N.
P , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of N. Aug 14, Iz rated it it was ok. I was unsure how to rate N. I think maybe to me something was lost in translation - the short, matter-of-fact sentences didn't really engage me in the story or the characters.
And there was a mistranslation: the word stepbrother is used when in the context of the story we see that she means half brother, as they are related by blood and have the same father. It's always a bit s I was unsure how to rate N.
It's always a bit strange as well to see characters talk about uncomfortable topics like incest and suicide in this book as if they were nothing out of the ordinary. The main character even points out that "The man's love for her as a daughter and as a woman are one and the same, and this powerful feeling expands to fill the whole universe.
It's uplifting. But it was really the last sentence of the book that made me think I really didn't get the point: "Everything that had happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy. It doesn't matter what kind it is. Right now I'm at loss for words, I did really think I was going to enjoy this book. One of the key elements that drew me to N. I thought this was going to be a story about translation and, more specifically, the seemingly impossible translation of the 98th story by the famous Japanese writer Sarao Takase, a translation that has led all of the people working on it to suicide.
Th " Love is love. The story though doesn't really revolve around this mysterious string of suicides but instead it revolves around Takase's messed-up offspring and Kazami, a stranger to this family that becomes nonetheless involved in their issues.
I don't even know how to explain the plot of N. The story was plainly flat. Sure the author threw in there suicide, incest, lesbianism, abortion and whatsoever but she didn't do anything with any of that. The writing-style was unsettling and sentences and thoughts didn't really connect to one another, one character would say something and the other one would reply with something else entirely.
I think I can blame the translator up to a certain point. Was this because of some cultural barrier? I don't know, I just know that this book bored me to death.
May 03, Alta added it. I had read Asleep, which was very good, but N. It has in commun with Asleep a dreamy atmosphere, but in N. The novel is made mostly of scenes that take place in enclosed spaces--dialogues between the protagonists. This is a good premise, as far as I am concerned, but the problem is that the novel doesn't live up to its premise. One has the feeling that we are supposed to be fascinated with the characters and their incestuous relationships I had read Asleep, which was very good, but N.
One has the feeling that we are supposed to be fascinated with the characters and their incestuous relationships in the same way that the narrator is. We are told over and over how "weird" the characters are, and how uncanny "this all seems," but the fact is that the characters are far too normal.
The descriptions of the hot summer are the best part. I can see why the author is such a sensation in Japan--there is an undeniable talent in these pages. She walks a fine line between serious art and pop culture, but in the end she is closer to the latter.
Apr 19, Anja rated it it was ok. This didn't really work for me I felt so disengaged from the story and every single character. I ended up not caring for any of their weird antics or their fate. Teenage angst and suicidal tendencies written in a scanty, simple yet elegant language.!
View all 4 comments. There were a few developments in this story that threw me for a loop. In light of some strange coincidences, fate and destiny are raised by the small cast of characters, all of whom are caught in a mutual orbit that carries them through a significant series of changes in their lives.
I don't know about fate, per say, but I will say that, were this kind of story to happen outside of fiction, it would rank high in terms of strange. I am glad that I did not read a plot synopsis beforehand, else I w There were a few developments in this story that threw me for a loop. I am glad that I did not read a plot synopsis beforehand, else I would have gone into this with the wrong expectations.
Young people plus summer plus tumultuous romance yields an alloy that many a writer has shaped and pounded in various works of fiction.
Yoshimoto gives it life through the sensory impressions of the narrator, whose setting descriptions convey both her and other characters' moods as they get to know one another and confront inner agonies. With spare prose that I found wonderful and remarkable, Yoshimoto creates a story that offers many entry points for open-hearted readers.
I was touched by this story. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Like many Japanese novels, a preoccupation with dreams here. A very unique read here. Mesmerizing, immersive, transporting. I was confused part of the time, but I believe that was partially the idea. The story was visually enchanting, with it be somewhat overwhelming at times.
It was more of an experience than a story, actually. The cause? Like two others before him, it was while Like many Japanese novels, a preoccupation with dreams here. Like two others before him, it was while trying to translate the ninety-eight story in a collection titled North Pole from a very sad song by Sarao Takase. The 98th story borrows from Takase's real life sexual relationship with his daughter Sui.
Saki, working in the same building as Kazami, meets with her for lunch quite often throughout the summer months. Otohiko, Saki's twin brother, shows up on her doorstep periodically in the middle of the night often on rainy, dark nights , intoxicated, often needing to share the burden of the suicide; to discuss the ninety-eighth story; otherwise to explore his relationship with Sui, whom also had some previous relationship with Shoji.
Kazami soon has some sort of dream like lesbian experience with her. Later on, Saki also sorta tries to almost kill her. See what I mean?
Yes, Let’s Have More Bananas : NP, By Banana Yoshimoto (Grove/Atlantic: $18; 194 pp.)
Banana Yoshimoto sprinkles perversion and melodrama over '90s Tokyo in 'N.P.'