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The Teahouse of the August Moon

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A young American officer and his efforts to impose efficient Western ways on a simple little village on Okinawa right after World War II.

The American Colonel in command at Okinawa thought he might win General's stars if Okinawa had modern housing, schools, progressive organizations and profitable business. But the Colonel's plans laid an egg in Tobiki village. captain Fis
Paperback, 282 pages
Published October 1st 1967 by Signet (first published 1951)
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The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. MilneLittle House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls WilderThe Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales by Edgar Allan PoeSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutLittle House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Best "HOUSE" Books.
39th out of 170 books — 29 voters
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyBreakfast at Tiffany's by Truman CapoteGormenghast by Mervyn Peake
NOVELS of the 1950's
56th out of 78 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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Dan Boggs
Feb 24, 2008 Dan Boggs rated it it was amazing
This is a rare sort of book, and maybe my favorite book of all. It is the sort of book that works on many levels and layers, having timeless messages that can be continually reinterpreted by the reader while being an amusing and entertaining story at the same time.
Jan 30, 2016 Tiare rated it really liked it
Tras el fin de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, las tropas estadounidenses ocupan Japón, procurando "americanizar" a la población local. El poco eficiente capitán Fisby está a cargo del proceso en el pueblo de Tobiki, pero los planes cambian con la llegada de dos jóvenes geishas.

"La casa de té de la luna de agosto" es una historia sencilla, divertida y plagada de personajes carismáticos. Ahora nos parece natural hablar de sushi y geishas, pero en la época del autor todo esto debe haber resultado basta
Mary Richardson
Feb 12, 2011 Mary Richardson rated it really liked it
While I was critical of Okinawa's portrayal and some creative license Schneider took with "traditional" customs, in the end I fell in love with Tobiki Village. Ultimately, this novel was hopeful and honored locals and Okinawan culture in the face of westernization.
Daniel Simmons
A quirky romp and quick read about an Okinawan village undergoing post-war U.S. military "rehabilitation" -- instead it is the U.S. officers whose sensibilities are transformed by the customs and traditions of the villagers they oversee. Felt like a Billy Wilder movie put in print.
Mar 16, 2013 Julirose rated it it was amazing
A funny side to how US "civilized" the island of Okinawa. As a manufacturing engineer, I appreciate the discoveries of developing a town's supply and demand chain all around in the idea of making a teahouse. :)
Jun 24, 2011 Blinkin'ijiot rated it really liked it
Much better and funnier than the movie.
Jeffrey Walker
Nov 19, 2016 Jeffrey Walker rated it really liked it
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this novel. I had picked it up at a used book bag sale because it was old and had more room in my bag. It became very apparent by the end that the author sought to honor the Japanese people and their culture rather than exploit it. While certain things would definitely be non-PC today, he presents the story from the perspective of the time in which it was written, so this must be understood while reading.

In a nutshell, it deals with American military occ
Nov 22, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it
After reading The Teahouse of the August Moon (both book and play) and watching the film adaptation, I’m undecided as to whether the story is brilliant satire or badly aged racism with a sprinkle of sexism. Let’s say somewhere in between.

In post-war Japan, an American GI is assigned to a small village and told to Americanize the place. Things begin to go south not long after he arrives and is presented with two geishas (one in the play and movie), whom he thinks are hookers. This is the first in
Mar 09, 2016 Stuart rated it really liked it
I like to read up about places I'm about to visit. I read this book a few years ago when Okinawa was a destination -- and I said so on The Well. My in-laws have a personal history with the real establishment that, decades ago, called itself The Teahouse of the August Moon.

This book is great fun! It's a little hard to find, but worth it for a good read. (the script for the Broadway show is easily found on Amazon; I read the preceding novel).

I had low expectations. The little bit I knew about the
Terri Milstead
Sep 26, 2015 Terri Milstead rated it liked it
Recommended to Terri by: Pam Benjamin
This book was recommended to me by a parishioner after we attended Ministry with the Poor training. She said that much of what was stressed there (the need to listen to the people you are trying to serve so that you know what they truly need and to involve them so that it is a matter of entire communities being developed and improved) was very much a part of the story in this novel. She could not have been more right. This story shows how a post-war community in Okinawa thrives and flourishes ...more
May 23, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
This novel, built on the resolution of several minute conflicts, is a reflection of rebuilding Okinawa post WWII. Witty and humorous, it is an easy read, and you will catch yourself chuckling throughout the entire story. I picked this up at a local bookstore considering it was only a dollar. Though a bit skeptical at first, this book turned out to be greater than my expectations. A lovely short story that's a must-have on your bookshelf.
Peter Greene
May 07, 2016 Peter Greene rated it really liked it
The Teahouse of the August Moon falls into the category of a service comedy. There is no active war but a majority of the characters are in the military. It is in the same vein as What did you do in the war Daddy? and Rally round the Flag boys. I liked how the story dealt with people doing what they wanted rather than what was required.
Oct 02, 2008 Clarissa rated it really liked it
Cute little novel about the rebuilding of Okinawa after WWII. Pokes fun at military incompetence and a little at the Japanese culture, but it's a cute book with a nice message. Quick read.
Apr 03, 2015 Sylvester rated it liked it
3.5* I'd give it more, except that it was such a light read. Fun, entertaining, the pages just flew by. The perfect book for in between heavyweight tomes.
Oct 26, 2012 Ashley rated it it was amazing
I loved it! It was so silly and everything was chaos, but at the end everything was a LOT better than the other places around and the people were all very happy :)
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Mar 02, 2008
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From Wikipedia:

Vernon J. Sneider (6 October 1916 – 1 May 1981) was an American novelist perhaps most noted for his 1951 novel The Teahouse of the August Moon, which was later adapted by John Patrick for a Broadway play in 1953, a motion picture in 1956, and the Broadway musical Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen in 1970. The play The Teahouse of the August Moon won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1954.
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