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Convenience Store Woman

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  16,266 ratings  ·  2,647 reviews
Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and w ...more
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Grove Press (first published July 2016)
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Popular Answered Questions
Joanne Sheppard No, it's not really like that at all - it's not an uplifting, feelgood read. It's much weirder and darker and Keiko is much stranger character than…moreNo, it's not really like that at all - it's not an uplifting, feelgood read. It's much weirder and darker and Keiko is much stranger character than Eleanor. Her parents aren't really part of the book but we're told that they were very loving; she isn't traumatised and, unlike Eleanor, she's not lonely or depressed. (less)
Asia Groves It is a work of fiction, but Sayaka Murata was inspired by her own experience working in a convenience store, so I assume it has some autobiographical…moreIt is a work of fiction, but Sayaka Murata was inspired by her own experience working in a convenience store, so I assume it has some autobiographical influence. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,266 ratings  ·  2,647 reviews


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Charlsa
Jul 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I get it. I just don’t care for it.
Erin Dale
Jun 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fefi
Dec 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amore-rosa, ebook
Non mi è piaciuto per niente! Non so nulla del Giappone,di konbini e delle famiglie giapponesi,infatti è il primo libro che leggo ambientato lì, ma mi è sembrata una storia portata all'esasperazione,dove sembra che tutti siano incarogniti verso chi è diverso dagli altri e lo urlino proprio senza farsi grossi problemi,con astio,cattiveria ed egoismo.
Il protagonista maschile è insopportabile,rimasto proprio all'era preistorica e con idee nei confronti delle donne che mi hanno proprio fatto infuria
...more
Asamii
Jan 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
[1/5 Stars]

I picked this book up, in hopes for something light and heart-warming but the content of this book sure doesn't suit the cover.

This story was really, really strange, and I don't mean that in a negative way (or positive). Keiko is one strange character and I am not sure exactly how to feel about her character. She meant no harm but her way of thinking was really odd.

Also, Shiraha's sexist remarks almost made me stop reading this book because it was just too ridiculous.

His character wa
...more
Daniplx
Jun 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I’m not sure what i just read, but it wasn’t for me at all. I heard it recommended on a favourite podcast of mine, and usually it doesn’t lead me astray, but this time it did. A story about a woman who doesn’t fit her society’s idea of normal and what happens when (an asshole) tries to shake up her life. I felt sorry for the character as most people in her life seemed awful. Maybe I’m missing some deeper message, but I did not like this at all.

The short length of the novel brings it to a 1.5 st
...more
Adam Cook
Jan 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This...may be the book I've waited for my whole life. A book so bad that I simply have to finish it. I was fascinated by how atrocious it is. The characters, the dialogue, the plot...bizarre but not in an entertaining way. My facial expressions while reading this must have been hilarious to see. Confusion to boredom to sheer astonishment. But the kicker is the writing. It may the WORST written book I've read...ever. I say "maybe" as this is just off the top of my head.

This book could kill the c
...more
Abigail Ainley
Aug 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Erm... I hope this is just a very bad English translation.

It's easy to read, I'll give it that, but "hilarious" it was not. Nor did it make much sense. Nor were the characters all that interesting. They were just weird. The male character Shiraha was unbelievable - in a bad way - and the relationship between him and the main character Keiko was disturbing - in a bad way.

Conclusion: I hope it was just a bad translation between languages and cultures because frick that was terrible.
Lindsay
Nov 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely was not what I expected. It was a little weird and didn't really have a point. Pretty much the only cool thing about this book was being able to learn about convenience stores in Japan. The main character is pretty much a psychopath who tries to fit into society by becoming a convenience store worker and adapting herself to her surroundings. This part is fine, however she eventually takes in a stranger into her home in order to help him and "fit into society" but this whole part of th ...more
Elizabeth
Aug 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Short book, barely a novella. At first I kind of liked it but I got tired of the rants by the male character and it was repetitive. And no one surrounding the main protagonist was likable. It's true though: single women are treated as "less than."
V
Aug 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the details in this book. Otherwise... It seems from the back cover that it resonates with other people. Ok. Good. This kind of social "philosophizing" doesn't strike me. It seems shallow. It is seeming to some people to be a very dark comedic novel? Ok. Good. I didn't know that either until I saw the back cover. Maybe I'm too dumb. Anyway I'm blind now from rolling my eyes.
retronerd  Steinkuehler
Aug 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Very unusual. Character who had no friends winds up a completely different personality when working. Has friends after all and interacts with them at parties. Asks someone to marry her! How stupid do you think the readers are? Not believable.
Sara
Jul 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
nothing happened in this story. I feel like I wasted my time reading it waiting for a plot to actually occur other than documenting a short period of time of a woman that works in a convenience store.
Christine Brunt
This was a like a darker, Japanese version of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Our protagonist, Keiko, is thirty-six years old and has worked part-time at a convenience store for the past eighteen years. She is content with her predictable life and does not desire to have a boyfriend or have a full-time career like other women her age do. However, as a member of a collectivist, Eastern society, Keiko feels a lot of pressure to conform to societal expectations. Keiko allows a former coworker ...more
Jessica Dudenhofer Beery
This book did nothing for me...I hate to give something 1 star, but I can't even admit the book was "ok." I just didn't like it.
The gist: the author feels like she is more animal than human, feeling only "herself" when she works her hours at the local convenience store. It was really sad, honestly...and the pressure she paints of society and needing to marry/have a "good" job was spot on.
I read about 3/4 of it and then skimmed the rest, wondering "where in the world is this going?" And it didn'
...more
Corinna
Jan 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
The gist of the book is do whatever the fuck you want, societal expectation and all be damned. If you want to work in a convenience store and it makes you happy, do it. That’s all there is to the book really. I don’t understand reviews of “hilarious! Couldn’t put it down!” There isn’t anything else going for other than that main point.

The main character is a bit odd - she sounds like she has markings of a sociopath which could have developed into a great story but it didn’t - but take that away
...more
Trisha
Nov 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I spoke/read Japanese, because I fear this novel lost something in the translation. The cover of the book bears an enticement to read from Elif Batuman, “Haunting, dark, and often hilarious... I couldn’t put it down.” I found it to be none of those things, substituting “Boring, repetitive and largely plotless... I couldn’t wait to put it down.” Lucky it was blissfully short, or I would not have bothered to finish it. Good for you, if you loved it. I didn’t.
Emily
Dec 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
- I don't understand this book at all, I kept wondering throughout reading if it was a poor translation because there was so much stuff that felt off/wrong, definitely a weird book
- What does someone being "not strong" mean??? Example of the above. Why did everyone immediately just understand what this meant
- I don't know why I felt so disconnected from this
- I don't fully understand what this book was trying to say, what is the message here?
- I can't be the only one who was genuinely kind of sc
...more
Labiba N.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry but I didn't find Keiko much of an interesting character. She's obviously autistic and maybe in some way the writer wanted to portray the Japanese Society's complete ignorance towards mental illness and disorders? I'll never know. It just didn't enlighten me, the character's thoughts are mundane as ever. It's just a huge miss for me.
Sweta Agrawal
Nov 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Huh, somehow my review was never saved.

Read via audiobook.

I really did not care for this book -- none of the characters develop or change, they are all pretty flat, and I really did not find the situation believable at all. Had some cute scenes/observations in the beginning, and I loved returning to a bit of Japan, but overall this was just not a book for me.
Gloria
Feb 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't like it so I stopped. I'm at an age in which I don't want to read books that I'm not enjoying. It affects my mood.

I couldn't relate at all to the main character, which was ok. But when the male character entered the book, he was so disgusting that I couldn't imagine why I would spend any time with him.
Marian
Feb 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Wow, this is bad. I'm pretty shocked. It's hard to say where the fault lies with a translated work but it feels like a shared responsibility to me. DNF at 43%. I think I've read enough to be sure that 1 star isn't going anywhere.
Katie
Dec 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did I miss the hidden meaning ? I didn’t like this book at all. I didn’t like the translation, found it to be crude, saw no humor in it, not worth the effort . Normally wouldn’t take the time to review but felt obligated.
Theres Lessing
Dec 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Huh? Maybe I didn't get it. It didn't go anywhere, it didn't tie up the plot. The dialogue was weird (maybe that says more about the difficulty of translating). I picked it up because it was on the recommended shelf in Blackwell's. At least it was short!
Monique Brown
Jan 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited about reading this book. But, I couldn't get more than 25 pages into the narrative.

The literature was so dry, I couldn't stop my mind from wandering. I can see how this novel is alluring for some but, I'm not the target audience.
Sharyn L.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot recommend this book. Apparently, though, some people liked it. A quick listen (just under 3.5 hours.) If you are participating in any number of reading challenges, this novel counts as a "book in translation."
Ashley Mebert
Oct 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What opened as an interesting study of the niche microcosm of a convenience store worker quickly devolved into redundant dialogue of shells of humans — whether intentionally overly empty so as to beat the book’s metaphor into the ground, or just lost to any character depth, it didn’t work.
Kris Touchet
Jul 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't tell if this was meant as satire, or really that over the top sexist.
Jenn Bradshaw
Oct 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Utter rubbish
Miko Lee
Dec 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could not get into this book about a convenience store worker in Japan. What started as a college job turned into an 18 year predictable “career”. I’m tired of the quirky girl trope.
jonathan
Feb 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly this book was a slog to get through. Lucky enough it was a quick read.
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383 followers
Sayaka Murata (in Japanese, 村田 沙耶香) is one of the most exciting up-and-coming writers in Japan today. She herself still works part time in a convenience store, which gave her the inspiration to write Convenience Store Woman (Conbini Ningen). She debuted in 2003 with Junyu (Breastfeeding), which won the Gunzo Prize for new writers. In 2009 she won the Noma Prize for New Writers with Gin iro no uta ...more
“This society hasn't changed one bit. People who don't fit into the village are expelled: men who don't hunt, women who don't give birth to children. For all we talk about modern society and individualism, anyone who doesn't try to fit in can expect to be meddled with, coerced, and ultimately banished from the village.” 25 likes
“The normal world has no room for exceptions and always quietly eliminates foreign objects. Anyone who is lacking is disposed of. So that’s why I need to be cured. Unless I’m cured, normal people will expurgate me.” 24 likes
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