Book review: Pachinko


Pachinko is a book written by Lee Min Jin.

In short, the book reflects the lives of Koreans living in Japan and the short started from 1900s until 1980s.

Summary of Pachinko in goodreads.

How did I chance upon it?

Since I’ve made a small goal for myself in 2019 “to read and watch more content”. After the longest time, I bought my kinder paperwhite late last year and promise to read more.

While I’m a regular to Joankeem’s YouTube channel, she recommended Pachinko in her January’s favorites.

The awards

Pachinko (Feb 2017) is a national bestseller, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads.

Some of my favorite quotes

“People are rotten everywhere you go. They’re no good. You want to see a very bad man? Make an ordinary man successful beyond his imagination. Let’s see how good he is when he can do whatever he wants.”

This is probably a hard truth. How many are able to keep the heart of gold after making big. Living in the difficult times, it will be hard not to be selfish at times.

For every patriot fighting for a free Korea, or for any unlucky Korean bastard fighting on behalf of Japan, there were ten thousand compatriots on the ground and elsewhere who were just trying to eat. In the end, your belly was your emperor.

During the war, trying to keep yourself sane and fed is a tough job.

There was nothing else he could think of, and he wanted to spare her the cruelty of what he had learned, because she would not believe that she was no different than her parents, that seeing him as only Korean—good or bad—was the same as seeing him only as a bad Korean. She could not see his humanity, and Noa realized that this was what he wanted most of all: to be seen as human.

No one shares the story like Min Jin does, showing the truth of having Korean blood but raise and born in Japan. All they want is to be seen as a human, and in their case, it was a wish rather than a norm.

“Man, life’s going to keep pushing you around, but you have to keep playing.”

This quote is applicable in any era, any period, any year and any moment of your life. Without the push, you will not move forward, you will not work harder. No one will stop living because you are not around, no one is irreplaceable.

Like what Jackson of GOT7 always say “Stay hungry”.

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