Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “NP” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.56  ·  Rating details ·  7,526 ratings  ·  494 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about NP, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about NP

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,526 ratings  ·  494 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of NP
Aug 14, 2008 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
Aug 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-italian
"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.
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
Aug 25, 2012 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 ...more
Dasha H
Jul 11, 2010 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
Apr 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teenage angst and suicidal tendencies written in a scanty, simple yet elegant language.! Ü
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jess Gulbranson
Jan 26, 2010 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
Mary Guthrie
Oct 10, 2014 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,
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Feb 04, 2016 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
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'N.P.' by Banana Yoshimoto was recommended to me by friends who were Yoshimoto fans. One of my friends lent it to me and I read it yesterday. This is the third Yoshimoto book that I have read in the past three months. Isn't that cool?

The story told in 'N.P.' goes like this. Kazami, the narrator of the story, is a young woman who works in the university. She talks about an author called Sarao Takase whom she discovered years back, because her boyfriend of that time, Shoji, was translating one of
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Quite a controversial theme-- incest and suicide. Not that something I love to read, honestly. But Yoshimoto always great in expressing her characters it feels so dreamy and surreal yet so comfortable and real. The characters here were young people dealing with life and destiny, trying their hard to live as it is each days, dealing with broken families and troubled relationship. It was something too common but weird and problematic.

I love how it was all started from a bunch of manuscripts to
Feb 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Totally inane. During the course of a summer, a young woman named Kazami, hangs out with 3 other people in their twenties: Otohiko, Saki and Sui. Otohiko and Saki are the legitimate children of Takase, a writer who committed suicide. Sui, their half-sister, who had an incestuous relationship with Takase, has been Otohiko's girlfriend for some years. Between those 2 bouts of incest, she also found time to have an affair with Shoji, Takase's translator, who then had an affair with Kazami, before, ...more
Kristi Thompson
Mar 09, 2009 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
Jul 17, 2007 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 13, 2010 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)
Sudeepta Pradhan (booksteaandmore)
Trigger warning for suicide

In this orderly system of world and society, we judge things that seems out of place and often troubled people are perceived in a certain way. Yoshimoto takes you in a journey where you come across Sui who on the surface seems like what a society would call a fallen women. Early on as we are introduced to her character and we feel the same about her but as the story moves on we see how troubled her mind is and how she is fighting to not kill herself.

This is a short
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan
I picked this up at the library, having forgotten that I already read it. Reading it again brought back memories of the first time I read it. One of the things I love about Banana Yoshimoto is how atmospheric her writing is and how I can get completely swept away by the world in her writing. In this story, it's a combination of summer and getting caught up in someone else's family drama. However, on re-reading this, I felt really disconnected from the characters. This may have been a result of ...more
Ken Yuen
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeffrey Bumiller
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow this was really strange. N.P. deals with some of the same themes as Asleep, the last book I read by Yoshimoto and it was nice to return to her take on them: death, grief, sex... you know stuff I wanna read about. I love her writing, again it is subdued and delicate, floating, and dreamlike. I didn't like this as much as Asleep, but I still loved it.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not Yoshimoto’s best book, but still quite good. The premise (a cursed story which causes its translators to commit suicide) is surprisingly a minor part of the point (which is, I would argue, about complicated interpersonal relationships).
This read like a summary of a Murakami book. There are some good quotes but not a lot of heart.
Aaron Mcilhenny
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
File under: Writers I wanna write like

All the same, this was a weird book
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: luv-n-sex
I love the atmosphere Yoshimoto creates with her words.
Huy Tran
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, the story feels more like a song than a book. I'm sure that i cannot understand all the meanning that meant to be. But I enjoy it somehow and it resonates with my sadness.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5. Review to come
Alma Q
The first word I would use to describe N.P. is "disturbing". In a way it feels similar to some other Japanese books I have read (most notably, my reaction to 1Q84 was quite the same at first). However, Banana Yoshimoto has a way of moving beyond disturbing, and unfortunately, her way is one that I personally feel hard to respect - simply because I felt that she had tried too hard, that the story included everything she could think of, and that she hadn't truly thought of what was happening when ...more
Oct 13, 2014 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
Michelle Yoon
Sep 26, 2009 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Snakes and Earrings
  • The Lake
  • Socrates In Love
  • Twinkle Twinkle
  • The Briefcase
  • Aforismi
  • Herr Nakano und die Frauen
  • Trastulli d'animali
  • The Lonesome Bodybuilder
  • Naoko
  • Keigo Higashino Collection
  • Sputnik Sweetheart
  • コンビニ人間 [Konbini ningen]
  • Cele zece iubiri ale lui Nishino
  • Tôi Vẫn Nghe Tiếng Em Thầm Gọi
  • Grotesque
  • No Longer Human
  • Snow Country
See similar books…
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.

“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” 543 likes
“Everything that had happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy.” 134 likes
More quotes…