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The Crane Wife

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  2,955 ratings  ·  633 reviews
The extraordinary happens every day...

One night, George Duncan - decent man, a good man - is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed.

The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by Canongate Books
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Community Reviews

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Emily May

The Crane Wife, quite simply, didn't work for me.

I've been highly anticipating this book since I learned of it's coming existence for no other reason than the fact that Patrick Ness wrote it. Ness is easily one of my favourite teen/YA writers and I find myself having to read everything he writes - even when he ventures out of his comfort zone and writes a novel for adults. Not only was I eager to jump back inside Ness's brilliant mind, but the promise of a retelling of an old Japanese folktale
All stories begin before they start and never, ever finish.

I loved the characters that inhabit this novel. Their fairly ordinary stories of day-to-day life and their struggles with loneliness were beautiful and involving. For me, the tale of a sad divorced gentleman, his daughter, grandchild and the prospect of a new romance was magical enough. I really didn't need the 'Crane Wife' plot and the author's attempts to tie modern day reality to the folk tale didn't work for me.

There were the bones o
Patrick Ness got the idea for part of this book from a Japanese folk tale, The Crane Wife, a tale that I must admit was not familiar with. Mr. Ness weaves part of this tale into modern day life so effortlessly – even non-readers of fantasy/magic could read because the feelings/thought/actions that are portrayed here are real and genuine. He created a heartwarming and sweeping story about love in all its exquisiteness and fury. And it’s told through three series of events.

The Mythical creatures,
Apr 02, 2013 Lou rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc, fantasy
An act of kindness gets payed forward, a series of hearts become warmed and love takes reign.
The story successfully grabs you by the first page with a scene unfolding that’s visceral and magical in its compassion and kindness.
This story Crane Wife was inspired due to it being a folklore tale told to author in his youth. The author has used a unique original way to tell this tale and has used his way of retelling it and his own rules which worked and connected for me, he unorthodoxly tells two st
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Following one of the most bizarro days in my time perusing Goodreads, I find it fitting that I pulled a Patrick Ness book out of the library bag. When so-called “authors” are attempting to cast stones at others who dare to venture out of their assigned genre – I figured it was a perfect time for me to read an author who breaks that boundary each time he puts pen to paper.

I pulled The Crane Wife off the “notable releases” shelf at the
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

“The Crane Wife” is an old Japanese folktale. Its most common version tells the story of a poor sail maker who one day finds a wounded crane and nurses it back to health. After he releases the crane, a beautiful woman appears on his doorstep. He falls in love with her and they marry. Their marriage is happy but they are poor so his wife offers to weave these wonderful sails they can sell but only if he agrees never to watch her weaving them. They make
B the BookAddict
Feb 15, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Indulge yourself!
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Mish's review
Shelves: fantasy

Prior to reading this novel, I had read a couple of stories in Scottish folk tales and I think in one Alice Hoffman novel, featuring a Selkie; a shape shifting faerie and the basic fairytale in The Crane Wife is not dissimilar. I'm finding out recently that I do enjoy a grown-up fairy story, a fantasy novel if you will.

Ness' The Crane Wife is brilliant, a whimsy, it is simply wonderful: I must make mention that I read the volcano and the crane parts twice simply to savour the beautiful imagery.
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
Edit #2:
Hmmm...after reading Brigid's review, I am not sure I want to read this anymore...I'll wait for More Than This instead.

Edit: Ohhhh a cover and a description! I totally love the sound of this book. Sounds reminiscent of classic fairy tales where the nice but poor girl helps out an old lady, who happens to be a magical person in disguise.

Also, I've been looking to read more adult fiction and what's better than a Patrick Ness book? I cannot wait!
End of edit.

My logic: Patrick Ness wrote i
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

"A story needs to be told. A story must be told. How else can we live in this world that makes no sense?"

One night, George Duncan is woken up by a strange keening noise in his backyard. Upon going outside, he finds a crane with an arrow through its wing. George helps the crane and sets it free––and from there, his life changes.

The next day, George meets a mysterious woman named Kumiko. The two of them begin creating beautiful art pieces out of old books, and soon fall in
Sadly disappointed by this book. George is a boring, bland character that I couldn't stand, and the writing has that certain quality that I often find in adult books - the kind that make me want to bang my head against the wall. They're filled with endless descriptions dithering around for ages, talking about nothing with a hint of pretentiousness permeating every scene. And then when the themes and messages come in, they're communicated in a heavy-handed way. I don't hate this book, but I do ge ...more
This book is quite simply beautiful. A retelling/reimagining of the classic Japanese folk tale, it is a book about magic but above all, love. Ness brilliantly tells this story with the necessary ambiguity of such a story - I can't go into too much about the story as the narrative is not a standard type. The hero/protagonist George is awoken one night by the cries of a huge crane in his backyard. He struggles to set it free. The next day, Kumiko arrives in his print shop and soon blossoms a love ...more
I love storytelling more than I can say, especially the old stories: myths, fairy tales, folklore. Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy was so brilliantly crafted and moving that I wanted — expected — to love this reworking of a melancholy Japanese folktale just as much. But it fell flat for me from the clumsy opening line:

What actually woke him was the unearthly sound itself — a mournful shatter of frozen midnight falling to earth to pierce his heart and lodge there forever, never to move, nev
The Crane wife is loosely based on a Japanese myth and is written as a story within a story. George is a divorced, lonely man who wakes up one night to find a wounded crane in his back garden. George removes the arrow embedded in the crane's wing and the crane flies away. The next day a beautiful woman, Kumiko, arrives at his printing business and George falls instantly in love with her. George's daughter, Amanda also divorced and lonely, and bringing up her son, JP, is often angry at her father ...more
The first fifty or so pages I was thinking "It's beautifully written. I usually hate that." And I thought about putting it down. I think it was the description of the art which really convinced me to keep going. After a while I began to appreciate the purely mundane bumping up against the magical In the end I really enjoyed it a great deal. Far too much to use words like "luminous" or "lyrical"; it's earthier than that.

Library copy
I received this book through Goodreads giveaways!

4.5 rating!

There really is no way to summarize this book. It truly is a work of art. The message is universal and can be taken to mean many different things to different people.

For me this book took an old Japanese fairytale about a crane who turns into a woman who represents love and forgiveness through time. It's about a man who finds joy in creating sculptures out of pages of books, and it's about stories that get told and passed down from g
As fan of folk tales, myths, and art; “The Crane Wife” by Patrick Ness instantly caught my eye. Being a novel loosely based on a Japanese folk tale plus an interpretation by the band The Decemberists; what could go wrong? In my mind, the novel could either be a pretentious mess or a multi-level treat. How did “The Crane Wife” fare?

Although I have never read Ness’s other works, I understand that he is popular for his short stories; which is quickly deduced from the writing style in “The Crane Wi
Vivek Tejuja
Once in a while you need magic in your life. More so, you need to believe in. In whatever form and manner. I guess sometimes we all need a wake-up call. Something to jostle us of our mere mundane existence and show us life in its truest form. The so-called hurdles along the way also need to be dealt with though. There is no escaping that. Maybe a little bit of living and a little bit of love would be good enough, if it comes in the right balance that is. With this, I present to you one of the mo ...more
“…a story …is a net, a net through which the truth flows. The net catches some of the truth, but not all, never all, only enough so that we can live with the extraordinary without it killing us”

The Crane Wife is the third stand-alone novel by American author, journalist and lecturer, Patrick Ness. He takes the old Japanese folktale of the same title and gives it a modern twist. George Duncan, a forty-eight-year-old divorced American living in London, goes outside on a cold winter’s night to find
Claire McAlpine
Another great book by Patrick Ness, inspired by the Japanese myth he was read at school as a 5-year-old and now makes his own.

George wakes up one morning to the sound of keening in his London backyard and finds a crane shot through the wing with an arrow. It is the beginning of one story for him, which he finds is connected to others and will have an effect on all of those close to him after they encounter Kumiko, a Japanese woman whom George meets the very next day and begins an artistic collab
This is, easily, one of the best books I've ever read. It is absolutely spectacular. I am a different person for having read it. The Crane Wife reaches into the reader's soul and psyche and stills them in a way a book can rarely do. It's like that feeling when your favorite song sweeps you off your feet, you close your eyes, your heart soars, and you leave the world behind. Reading it is like taking a spiritual journey that you never want to end. This unique and beautiful narrative took
I stumbled upon Ness' "The Crane Wife" by accident at the public library, and I could tell just by looking at it that it was my kind of book, so at times it does indeed pay to judge a book by its cover. I was not disappointed. Because Ness previously wrote mostly YA fiction, I had never heard of him until I read this book, and I am grateful that he ventured outside of his comfort zone, because "The Crane Wife" is an intelligent, beautifully written, magic realist tale that retells a Japanese fol ...more
Jul 29, 2012 Kyle marked it as to-read
Miss Bookiverse
Patrick Ness kann auch anders, ohne Noise, Monster und Driver. Einerseits komisch über diese plus 40-Jährigen und ihre Beziehungen zu lesen, gleichzeitig aber auch vertraut und magisch, weil es eben Patrick Ness geschrieben hat. Hörbuchsprecher Jamie Glover trägt zusätzlich zur Magischer-Realismus-Atmosphäre bei, er klingt so beruhigend und alt.

Dennoch ist es ein eindeutiger Erwachsenenroman. Es geht um gescheiterte Beziehungen, Arbeitskollegen, Sex und das Verhältnis zu den eigenen (erwachsenen
Christina Reads YA
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This reminded me of the reading experience I'd had with Jeanette Winterson's The Passion. Then I'd wanted to highlight so many passages, so many excerpts of beautiful, beautiful writing that maintained a precise balance between reality and magic and spoke of grief and love and an excess (duh) of passion and the self-righteousness that bled through in each. The Crane Wife is another tale full of magical realism told i
You can check out my other reviews on Scott Reads It!

Patrick Ness is one of my all-time favorite authors and I'm a huge fan of Chaos Walking, A Monster Calls and More Than This. Ness is one of the most talented authors out there and I've even had the pleasure of meeting him earlier this year. It pangs me to say that The Crane Wife isn't up to par with Ness's novels; The Crane Wife is quite mediocre and dull.

The Crane Wife maintains the lyrical, poetic nature of Patrick Ness's writing style, thi
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Mandy C.
Cover Story: Etsy Favorite
BFF Charms: Cliff Huxtable and Eventually
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Magical Realism
Bonus Factors: Love of Books, Japanese Folklore, Mysterious Loner Lady
Relationship Status: Dazed and Delighted

Read the full book report here.
Darcy Dann
I completely fell in love with this book after the first 30 or so pages, and I found it a beautiful read.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For all that Patrick Ness is one of the most-loved authors in the YA world, I was a bit nervous about his adult offering. To some degree, it seemed too good to be true. Perhaps it was, for it’s not quite the book of my dreams. However, I did end up liking the audiobook version. The Crane Wife is much slower-paced than The Knife of Never Letting Go or A Monster Calls, and will likely be a shock to Ness’ YA readers.

Read the full review at A Reader of Fictions.
A story about a beautiful, loving crane and a violent, greedy volcano. Or a story about George, the crane he saves and Kumiko, the mysterious woman George falls in love with. Or a story that starts at the beginning of another story's ending. In his storytelling,Patrick Ness has taken a Japanese myth, mixed it with The Decemberist's song "The Crane Wife 1 & 2" and created a beautiful tapestry. An ancient story magically woven into a modern setting full of primal human emotions. A story that d ...more
Molly Ison
Disclaimer: This is an overly personal and subjective review that isn't really about the book. My feelings about the book were up and down, but so were my expectations. I was entirely predisposed to love it, as it came highly recommended by a friend. I was entirely predisposed to judge my friend based on his tastes in books, because that's what I do - occasionally loudly and with great prejudice. Incidentally, I differentiate between books recommended based on what I've told others about my own ...more
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Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Co
More about Patrick Ness...
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) A Monster Calls The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2) Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3) More Than This

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“Yes", Kumiko said, seriously. "Exactly that. The extraordinary happens all the time. So much, we can't take it. Life and happiness and heartache and love. If we couldn't put it in story - "
"And explain it -"
"No!" she said, suddenly sharp. "Not explain. Stories do not explain. They seem to, but all they provide is a starting point. The story never ends at the end. There is always after. And even within itself, even by saying that this version is the right one, it suggests other versions, versions that exist in parallel. No, story is not an explanation, it is a net, a net through which the truth flows. The net catches some of the truth, but not all, never all, only enough so that we can live with the extraordinary without it killing us." She sagged a little, as if exhausted by this speech. "As it surely, surely would.”
“All stories begin before they start and never, ever finish.” 7 likes
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