Reading Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)


Fiction. Author: MinJin Lee. 400+pages. 2017

Well reviewed, a best seller, a national book award finalist, it was set in the early 19th century. This is a  read deviating  from memoirs and nonfiction. Browsing the  recommended section books of the library and from time to time, I have to face the fact that fiction reading are interesting at times. Though, partly at the end of the book, I had skipped several pages to see what happened in the end. 

Pachinko (パチンコ) is a type of mechanical game originating in Japan and is used as both a form of recreational arcade game and much more frequently as a gambling device, filling a Japanese gambling niche comparable to that of the slot machine in Western gaming (Wikipedia).

The story is about  immigrants from Korea to Japan and narrates  more of women’s resiliency, strength against extraordinary crisis in life. The kind of character that we hope to be: strong, solid, powerful, determined but not overpowering. Family and friends that are faithful, loyal and extremely charitable.  It is the kind of love story that we wish to have, steadfast, everlasting, resolute.  Or a lover we had wished we encountered: trustworthy, loyal, dutiful, staunch.  Except for the cruelty of the ruling administration and  its implementors most of the major characters are good, gentle, kind and generous. Antagonist or protagonist exist  not in characters themselves, but the influencing events that make up those characters.

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