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3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  6,004 Ratings  ·  340 Reviews
In N.P., Banana Yoshimoto’s enchanting novel of uncanny subtlety, style, magic, and mystery, a celebrated Japanese writer has committed suicide, leaving behind a collection of stories written in English. But the book, itself titled N.P., may never be published in his native Japan: each translator who takes up the ninety-eighth story chooses death too—including Kazami Kano’
Paperback, 194 pages
Published 2001 by Faber and Faber (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 25, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
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
Feb 20, 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.
Aug 13, 2016 Annamaria rated it did not like it
"Love is love. It doesn't matter what kind it is."

All hail my first one star review of 2016! Right now I'm at loss for words, I did really think I was going to enjoy this book. One of the key elements that drew me to N.P. was the translation bit. I thought this was going to be a story about translation and, more specifically, the seemingly impossible translation of the 98th story by the famous Japanese writer Sarao Takase, a translation that has led all of the people working on it to suicide. Th
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 12, 2017 Tenma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
Flat and boring. Incest is definitely not a topic that I would recommend to anyone. Banana Yoshimoto might be a master of her genre and the light YA love novels. She can elegantly portray the affection and tribulations between young lovers. Anyone who liked her "Kitchen" novella and Ms. Yoshimoto's writing style will undoubtedly like anything that she writes. Having said that, I could not wait for this to end. I hated to abandon midway wrongly anticipating a climax that never materialized. I pre ...more
Miguel Lugo
He leído Kitchen, Tsugumi y Recuerdos de un callejón sin salida. Este fue mi cuarto libro de la autora el cual comencé a leer en iBook para después volver a comenzarlo en físico ya que no recordaba casi nada de la historia.

Un libro un tanto repetitivo sé que Banana Yoshimoto usa mucho las frases "Me encontraba en un callejón sin salida" "Me dio un vuelco al corazón" entre otras. Las cuales se repitieron durante todo el libro haciendo este un tanto cansado.
Además la traducción del libro siendo
Aug 07, 2012 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
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.
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
Jul 24, 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
Mary Guthrie
Oct 10, 2014 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,
Kristi Thompson
Mar 09, 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
Jun 13, 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)
Jan 11, 2016 Haiiro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
N.P là sự tổng hòa của những sự việc bất thường, những con người bất thường. Câu chuyện diễn ra vỏn vẹn chỉ trong một mùa hè mà cảm giác cứ như hàng năm tháng, hàng bao nhiêu thời gian đã trôi qua vậy.

Cuốn sách bắt đầu bằng cuộc nói chuyện giữa Kazami và Shoji về việc nhà văn Takase Sarao đã tự sát bên cạnh thiên truyện số 98 do ông sáng tác, được cho là ẩn chứa lời nguyền giết người. Shoji, người yêu của Kazami, dịch giả của thiên truyện mang tên N.P đó cũng tự sát khi công việc anh làm còn đan
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
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
Sep 26, 2009 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sel Camro
Feb 12, 2017 Sel Camro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sin embargo, siento que lo que más se parece a ti es el buzón de correos. Hay buzones por todas partes, pero, cuando buscas uno, siempre te cuesta trabajo encontrarlo.
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.

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
Nov 15, 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
Sep 23, 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
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
Andrea Ussy
Niente da fare, queste storie pseudo-trascendenti, pseudo-evanescenti, al limite della realtà non fanno decisamente per me. Banana Yoshimoto non fà per me.
Dopo il primo approccio semipositivo di Kitchen, sono sprofondato nel baratro con Honeymoon e ancora più in profondità con questo N.P.
Volevo farmi un'idea chiara del mio parere nei confronti di questa autrice e finalmente ce l'ho: troppo triste, troppo melensa e decisamente troppo malinconica, tanto da sfociare, a tratti, persino nel comico..
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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).)

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 liberal family, she learned the value of independence from a young age.

She gradua
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” 461 likes
“Everything that had happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy.” 127 likes
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