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3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,514 Ratings  ·  296 Reviews
"Bananamania" has returned in an enchanting new novel of uncanny subtlety, style, magic and mystery that Frank Ramirez of the South Bend Tribune declares is "every bit as good as Yoshimoto's first book ... perhaps better." A celebrated Japanese writer has committed suicide, leaving behind a collection of stories written in English, N.P. But the book may never be published ...more
Paperback, 194 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Washington Square Press (first published December 25th 1990)
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Aug 14, 2008 Iz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was unsure how to rate N.P., because I might have given it a better rating if I had read it at another time, in the 90s or when I was a teenager. 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
Aug 27, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it
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 ...more
I had read Asleep, which was very good, but N.P. is more immature. It has in commun with Asleep a dreamy atmosphere, but in N.P. this atmosphere is more contrived. 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 ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Huy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Đọc N.P suốt 4 tiếng đồng hồ, bên tai vẫn nghe Keane hát về những điều mất mát của tuổi trẻ. Cũng như bao tác phẩm khác của Banana, N.P kể về những con người không bình thường, họ bị ám hảnh bởi cái chết, bởi tình yêu, bởi những điều của quá khứ, nhưng câu chuyện vẫn đẹp đẽ và trong trẻo đến lạ kỳ.
Cuốn sách nói rất nhiều về mùa hạ, về vẻ đẹp của nó, về bầu trời xanh màu opal, về những cơn mưa bất chợt và bầu trời đêm trong vắt đếm tận cùng, về tình yêu đối với mùa hạ cũng chẳng khác tôi là mấy.
Dasha H
Jul 11, 2010 Dasha H rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This was a really weird book for me. I suppose it was meant to be shocking and ground-breaking but wasn't and I ended up feeling more confused than appalled or thrilled.
The story was going nowhere, it's kind of hard to retell the plot, if there was one. There was, in fact, a given situation the characters find themselves in and their different ways of dealing with it, ways of getting out of it. The characters themselves were two-dimensional, as in you can probably imagine them from the author's
Dec 03, 2010 Lowed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teenage angst and suicidal tendencies written in a scanty, simple yet elegant language.! Ü
Jess Gulbranson
Jan 26, 2010 Jess Gulbranson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Japanese girls, love quadrangles, incest, spirit mediums, and a book that makes people kill themselves... sounds like the next Takashi Miike movie.

However, it's actually the critically aclaimed book "NP" by Banana Yoshimoto. I won't go into detail about the slight but convoluted plot, but it follows the family and friends of the author of the eponymous book, a great example of the motif of harmful sensation. Translating it fully into the author's native language results in the translator's suici
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Feb 22, 2016 Liviu rated it it was amazing
Short novel which I couldn't put down once I started it; like most other books by the author, it is narrated by a young woman and it builds psychological suspense until one really must fly through the book to see how it is resolved - usually in the author's books there is no neat resolution but a stopping point and this book is no different though i thought the ending here is clearer and segueing into a new beginning

The novel deals with potentially uncomfortable issues (some for the time of publ
Dec 09, 2011 V rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Have you ever been to North Point
To spend your time and pray
The prison walls are dark and cold and grey"

Đó là đoạn mở đầu của North Point, cảm hứng cho N.P, mà theo như Banana diễn tả là "một bản nhạc xưa thật buồn bã"

Buồn bã, u uất, ảm đạm.

Những nhà tù tinh thần.

Ở điểm cực Bắc, N.P cua Banana, tồn tại những nhà tù tinh thần như vây.

Điểm mà mình yêu nhất trong văn phong của Banana đó là khả năng viết về những chuyện kỳ cục, bất bình thường với một giọng điệu thản nhiên, bình tĩnh. Như thể tất c
Mar 15, 2015 Arwen56 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nel 1993 ho letto Kitchen, romanzo che avevo trovato molto vacuo, al limite dell’insulso. Tuttavia, di solito, prima di dare giudizi definitivi, anche degli autori che mi sono parsi in prima battuta deludenti leggo sempre almeno un altro libro (a parte quando è evidente che sono casi senza speranza, come, ad esempio, Coelho).

Per cui, nel 1994, da brava e disciplinata lettrice, della Yoshimoto mi sono sciroppata anche questo N.P.. Considerando che, a tutt’oggi, nella mia libreria non ci sono altr
Mary Guthrie
May 15, 2015 Mary Guthrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to review this book. It's unlike anything I've ever read. To me, the descriptions were the most striking part - beautiful and vivid, and Yoshimoto created metaphors I'd never considered. I glimpsed scenes in my imagination with the same clarity as when you wake on a bright morning and see something right before your eyes, and after that the freshness and clarity of the image is gone forever. Her descriptions had that feeling for me.

It did not feel as though much happened in the story,
Adriana Atzimba
Apr 08, 2016 Adriana Atzimba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hay un encanto especial en cómo Banana Yoshimoto puede convertir ambientes triviales y convencionales en atmósferas llenas de simbolismos con una fuerte carga emocional. Confieso que en dos de los tres libros que he leído de ella me ha hecho llorar (Kitchen y este) pero en los tres ha tocado fibras que me han conmovido profundamente.

En este relato (el ciento uno, acaso) es notorio cómo llega a ser más importante la atmósfera en la que te va envolviendo que la misma historia. Y aún cuando el tem
Kristi Thompson
Mar 13, 2009 Kristi Thompson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I liked the idea of a story that drove translators -- not readers or writers -- to suicide, and the way everything was brought out at a remove, very elegantly. And the irony: a Japanese story written in Japanese and translated into English, about a Japanese story written in English that couldn't be translated into Japanese, because that would bring it too close... A clear wall of elegance and distance, but very intense things on the other side, incest and death.

I think it suffered itself in tran
Nyanki Maru
Thích cách cô tả đường phố về đêm, thích Sui và "tôi" cùng leo lên sân thượng uống rượu, thích cả chương cuối cùng. Chương cuối nhẹ nhàng, như một lối thoát cho cả nhân vật và tôi. Chương cuối với picnic, bãi biển, pháo hoa, rượu vang cốc nhựa, với bánh quy nướng, với những khách sạn ở xa xa gần gần.
Ngà ngà say, tôi cũng từng tự hỏi tại sao mình ở đây...Nhưng không phải một cách lạc lõng, đơn giản chỉ là thắc mắc thôi. Có thể là thắc mắc trong hân hoan hạnh phúc, cảm thấy bản thân may mắn.
Có nhữ
Kyle Muntz
Jan 04, 2015 Kyle Muntz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy hell. I'm not sure what I just read, but I loved it. Unlike Kitchen and Goodbye Tsugumi (which, in a lot of ways, were fluffy, feel-good slice of life novels), N.P. has a strong narrative--and it's an incredibly bizarre one. Incest, suicide, stories within stories; and sometimes it felt like a ghost story with no ghosts. So, it's also much darker, though like Yoshimoto's other work a lot of elements go undeveloped in a way I really appreciate, and that's sort of difficult to explain.

Jul 17, 2007 Yulia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japandemonium
I couldn't put it down, but the underlying mystery of the danger at the rot of this novel (several people who have tried to translate a late writer's book have committed suicide before finishing) seems to be forgotten too quickly, then casually and inadequately explained. The untranslatable work as it's described lacks the power it is meant to have, so we again find ourselves with a book (about a life-changing book) that is itself far from memorable or compelling.
Jun 14, 2010 Molly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"The sentences were threadbare and somehow pathetic." (p 100)

"'I don't think you're really cut out for translation, you know that?'
'Why? Because I'm not accurate enough?'
'How can I describe it? You're weak, not really weak, but too kind. You think that you have to be faithful to the structure of the original sentences.'" (p 117)
Valkyrie Vu
Mình yêu Banana , mình thật sự rất yêu Banana . Yêu cái cách cô ấy miêu tả nỗi đau tĩnh tại tựa nước , bình yên lạ thường . Banana có cách đặc biệt để nói về những chuyện nặng nề , đau đớn và gây shock như loạn luân hay đồng tính như thể một chuyện rất đỗi bình thường .

Đọc N.P vẫn thấy được văn phong đẹp dịu dàng quen thuộc của Banana . Chỉ là lồng ngực nhói lên , chầm chậm thở ra từng hơi ngắn rồi mỉm cười, tận hưởng một nỗi đau thật đẹp.

Đọc N.P mình thích Sui nhất . Sui là nhân vật vô tại n
Andrea Poulain

De este libro aprendí dos cosas: yo a los japoneses no los entiendo y es probable que no los entienda nunca. Disfruto sus historias, pero hay algo que siempre me cuesta cuanto se trata de leerlas. Su cultura es tan diferente que no me identifico rápido con los personajes, las situaciones o los diálogos. Además, con la imposibilidad de leerlo en japonés, siempre hay unos traductores mejores que otros y algunos libros que tienen demasiadas partes lost in tra
Oct 13, 2014 D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this when I was at uni, but it was one of those books I was too young (by then) to really appreciate. I was looking through my old books and wondering if I should give them a re-read when I stumbled upon my copy of this. I remember thinking Kitchen was SO much better than N.P., and I wondered if I would think the same now.

It's different, and there are definitely more risks in N.P. than in Kitchen. And because I'm totally into the Zero Escape games, I found so many topics here that appealed
Sep 26, 2009 Michelle rated it it was ok
There is a certain beauty to the simplicity of the language that she uses in the book. Her phrases are short, her scenes relatively easy to follow. Having said that, her style is not my favourite. In fact, perhaps her style of writing made the book less enjoyable for me than if it were written in a
different mood and manner.

A lot of the time, I wish she would let me know more about the characters in the story, Sui in particular. This woman is so much a mystery, even now, I wish I could have known
Cathy (cathepsut)
Feb 08, 2013 Cathy (cathepsut) rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2004
A Japanese writer has committed suicide after finishing a collection of stories written in English. All the translators that attempt to translate the stories into Japanese, commit suicide during their work on them. The last one is the boyfriend of the book's main character, Kazami. She tells the story of how she is drawn to the writer's children and their obsession with his book. Over the course of one summer she tries to find out the truth behind the last story in the book.

A friend of mine is i
I haven't read that since highschool and it was even better than I remembered or I liked it even better than the first time because of all the memories that came floating to the surface.

The story itself enfolds, as BY says in a microcosmos which consists of a bare minimum of characters and space. The characters involved are the protagonist Kazami (a translator working at the Anglistic institute of the uni) and Otohiko, Saki & Sui.

I think that was the first contact I made with a japanese au
Oct 18, 2014 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-writers
I really enjoy Banana Yoshimoto's writing style, the succinct sentences, the obvious emotions, the easy and worthwhile reading. In the afterword Yoshimoto explains that she made a point to touch on certain topics (incest, suicide, the occult), and she does so with real insight and careful use of words. Yoshimoto refuses to hide beneath the words, instead preferring to lay it all out in the open. Some hate her style of writing, but I admire its simplicity, drive, and purpose. She only wants to te ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Trin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Banana Yoshimoto features on a lot of Japanese literature recommendations lists. My theory is that these reccers just like the idea of endorsing an author whose (assumed) name is Banana. Because wow, this book was awful. College creative writing class awful, by which I mean trying really hard to be edgy, but in fact incompetent. Yoshimoto throws a lot of ingredients into the pot: suicide! Incest! Faux lesbianism! But she doesn’t do anything with any of them—just leaves them to ostentatiously sim ...more
Apr 24, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Japan enthusiasts like yours truely
Shelves: japan
I really enjoy Banana. She is very, very cool. This one was good and classic Banana. It reminded me of Goodbye Tsugumi, which I LOVE. A lot of the same type of characters. I think that of the last 10 translated Japanese books I've read, like six of them have had inscest as a major theme. What is up with that? It's handled super lightly too in almost every case. Is it for shock value? I don't really feel like that's quite it. I'll have to look into this. I don't think that I'm 100% "getting" this ...more
India Stoker
El libro me ha encantado, me ha confirmado una vez más que los japoneses tienen una manera distinta y maravillosa de ver el mundo, así como de describirlo y plasmarlo en sus libros.
Envidio su capacidad de aceptar a personas que son "diferentes", como Sui, y de saber apreciar sus virtudes por encima de sus defectos, y siempre me llama la atención como determinados temás que en otras culturas son tabú, ellos los "aceptan" con más facilidad.
El libro, aunque no cuente una historia apasionante, tiene
Oct 06, 2015 Woowott rated it liked it
I wish there had a been more of the curse. I think I wanted this to be more horror, and it really isn't. It's more...navel-gazey? The writing is sparse, and it flows well and quickly. It's almost Merchant Ivory in its subtlety. The characters--of which there are only about six (and two of them appear only briefly)--are almost manic pixie Gen Xers figuring out there strange lives together and apart. Our narrator Kazami had a relationship with an older man who committed suicide whilst translating ...more
May 11, 2015 York rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
El planteamiento del libro es tan poético como atemorizante.
Pensar en una pieza de prosa que pueda provocar que quien lo lea se termine suicidando es tan atractivo como casi imposible de lograr, en ese reto autoimpuesto de cumplir con la alta expectativa.

Yoshimoto se queda corta. Empieza perturbadora y lírica, con una mezcla superefectiva entre la tensión de Koji Suzukiy la tristeza de Yasunari Kawabata, para luego desinflarse y dar vueltas sobre el territorio recurrente que siempre aborda esta
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Banana Yoshimoto (よしもと ばなな or 吉本 ばなな) is the pen name of Mahoko Yoshimoto (吉本 真秀子), a Japanese contemporary writer. She writes her name in hiragana.

See also 吉本芭娜娜 (Chinese).

Yoshimoto, daughter of Takaaki Yoshimoto, was born in Tokyo on July 24, 1964. Along with having a famous father, poet Takaaki Yoshimoto, Banana's sister, Haruno Yoiko, is a well-known cartoonist in Japan. Growing up in a libera
More about Banana Yoshimoto...

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“That's the advantage of insomnia. People who go to be early always complain that the night is too short, but for those of us who stay up all night, it can feel as long as a lifetime. You get a lot done” 409 likes
“Everything that had happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy.” 122 likes
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