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Convenience Store Woman

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  18,451 ratings  ·  2,981 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
Paperback, 163 pages
Published June 27th 2018 by Portobello Books (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
 ·  18,451 ratings  ·  2,981 reviews


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Roxane
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A quirky novel about a 36 year old woman who works in a convenience store and cannot conceive herself beyond her job. But this is also about a woman who doesn’t know how to be human in the way others expect her too. At times funny, at times sad, always compelling.
Elyse Walters
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The moment I finished reading this story - I immediately wanted to know everything about the author- Sayaka Murata. WHO IS SHE? I was screaming inside about how WONDERFUL she must be.

This book is a GEM!!!!! Awe-inspiring writing — irresistible—and weirdly outlandish!

My gosh...I had the best laugh when I discovered that ‘our author’ —-one of Japan’s most exciting contemporary writers—[I AGREE,I AGREE] —‘really’ works as a part time employee in a convenience store. Talk about material for inspira
...more
Taryn
Keiko Furukura lives an atypical life. At thirty-six-years-old, she's a virgin and completely disinterested in romantic relationships. She has worked part-time at a Japanese convenience store for eighteen years. Her family was thrilled when she was first employed because they saw it as a sign of her growth as a person. Keiko has always been considered peculiar, but the job helped her finally become an "ordinary person." The convenience store is "a dependable, normal world" where she's valued as ...more
Justin Tate
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actual heart emojis burst from my aura the whole time I read this book. Hilariously quirky, full of social commentary that’s nothing short of brilliant. Savvy author to deliver a great conclusion just when the premise starts to wane. It’s a 3 hour read that will stay with me forever. Genius!
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader by: Taryn
4 quirky stars to Convenience Store Woman! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Keiko was always a little different in her parents’ eyes. When she went to college, she got a job at a local convenience store. She tried her best to fit in by copying the other employees there, from their clothing to their mannerisms. Life passes by, and many years later, Keiko is still working at the convenience store. No one around Keiko is comfortable with her choice to stay there, but she is content...until she tries her best to change.

The
...more
Sam Quixote
Keiko has worked at the convenience store her entire adult life. But as she nears 40, the pressure to find a “real” job or get married is mounting – what sort of life awaits Keiko outside the comfort zone of the store and will she step out to meet it?

I feel like there’s a good novel somewhere in Convenience Store Woman but Sayaka Murata didn’t realise it. Her commentary on conformist society and the individual is inane and unoriginal though far worse is her muddled placement of the main charact
...more
JV
“The voice of the convenience store won’t stop flowing through me. I was born to hear this voice.”
Offbeat, perky, 36-year-old-virgin Keiko Furukura, a checkout counter gal, has been working at Tokyo's Hiiromachi Station Smile Mart convenience store since she was eighteen. To her family, Keiko was rather a peculiar girl, undeniably an oddball ever since she was a small child. Because her family loves her so much, they wanted to "cure" her and introduce some kind of "normality" in her life. Well
...more
Debbie
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded up (but with MUCH internal turmoil)

I don’t know about you, but I never think about convenience stores. (Except, wait, right now I’m thinking about the fact that 7-11s don’t have bathrooms. How is that convenient I want to know.) Convenience stores are all Cheetos and lottery tickets, in and out in a matter of minutes. Hit the road, jack, head on out to your next stop.

Well, when you read this book, the convenience store is front and center. The customers hit the road lickety-split,
...more
Holly  B
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


3.5
An odd little book with quite eccentric characters
Keiko is the quirky protagonist and she decides that working in a convenience store is both satisfying and provides her with a sense of belonging. She feels very "connected" to the store and its routines and mundane tasks.  She doesn't mind this, she thrives and enjoys her job and is a hard worker.

Her family constantly worries that she is "not normal."  Society has certain "expectations" and she has chosen not to comply.  There is a deep
...more
Richard
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-lit-wd
‘The normal world has no room for exceptions and always quietly eliminates foreign objects. Anyone who is lacking is disposed of.’

Deep in the gleaming new business district of Hiiromachi, a Tokyo suburb, is a convenience store. In this clean, controlled and brightly lit world we meet Keiko Furukura.
She has worked here, part time, for 18 years and her life is defined by her work.
Keiko lives for the routine of the store and the comfort of familiarity. She relishes the idea of being a ‘useable too
...more
Ms. Smartarse
Published in English as Convenice Store Woman

Anyone who's ever gone shopping for groceries must have a thing or two to rant about employees. You're late, but still need to nip in to buy that little something before getting to work, yet the shop assistant is taking his/her sweet time chatting about that totally hilarious (you had to be there!) story.

chop chop

Not Keiko Furukura! After 18 years, she's so well attuned to the sounds of the convenience store, that she can react even to the slightest change in
...more
Vanessa
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Convenience store woman is a simple little story about Keiko Furukura a totally quirky hopelessly inept character but in a totally charming and sweet way. She’s a character that defies societies norms by bucking the traditional role designated for women that require them to have a “proper” or “normal” job, a husband and children by a certain age. I felt a deep sadness for Keiko always being subjected to judgement and how she was always making excuses for her life choices. I felt a real tug on my ...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
In Britain these things are called corner shops, even if they aren’t on a corner. My local convenience store is really not convenient at all. It’s small and cram full of groceries and all kinds of crap in teetering towers so you can hardly edge your way inside. When you are in if there’s anyone else there it becomes an uncomfortably intimate experience if you try to get past that person to the thing you want. Then there is the owner. He fixes you with a baleful death-glare from the moment the br ...more
Maria Clara
Es difícil decir algo de esta novela, sin desvelar el tema central de la misma. Así que me limitaré a decir que se lee en un suspiro, que la pluma de la autora es delicada y que el tema me ha parecido de 10 estrellas.
Mackey
If you love witty conversation, wry humor and quirky characters then Convenience Store Woman is the book for you! 

Originally written in Japanese, Convenience Store Woman on the surface is a story about Keiko Furukura, a woman whose own parents labeled "a strange child." Slow to develop, Keiko's parents were worried about her ability to "fit in" and be a "normal" adult. They wish for Keiko to have a "real job" and a boyfriend. However, Keiko loves her job at the convenience store and her only wor
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I have seen this described as the Japanese Eleanor Oliphant, because Keiko, the central character, doesn't know how to act in "normal" situations, and hasn't been able to, even as a child. As an adult she finds the perfect job, because it comes with a manual that spells out how to act and dress in every situation. A quick read with an interesting character.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It comes out 12 June, 2018.
PorshaJo
Rating 3.5

Odd, fascinating, funny, sad....trying to sum this one is difficult. A short story that I listened to via audio, which took about 3 hours in total. I'm not sure how I heard about this one but ended up grabbing it for my Japanese reading quest I have this year.

Keiko works in a Japanese convenience store. She's a bit odd. She's smart, but it sometimes appears she has issues functioning in society. But she thrives while working at the convenience store. She gets a job there and stays for
...more
Esil
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

Convenience Store Woman was an odd book. Not a bad book, but definitely odd. Set in Tokyo and translated from Japanese, it features a women in her mid 30s who has been working in a convenience store for her whole adult life. Through her eyes, we understand that she is not meeting social expectations by not being married and by not having a higher status job. But it is also evident that her sense of who she is and who she wants to be does not beat to the drum of social expectations. Thin
...more
j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
FIVE STARS
What a strange and quirky little book this is! This is a kind of Japanese version of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. I love to read contemporary books set in different cultures and this is one, set in Tokyo, is ideal! Can I just say, American convenience stores have a long way to go to live up to Japanese stores in terms of cleanliness, well-trained and friendly staff, etc etc!!

Keiko Furukura is hopelessly out-of-step with societal expectations of women. In a culture that values c
...more
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
You eliminate the parts of your life that others find strange — maybe that’s what everyone means when they say they want to “cure” me. — Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman
.
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I thought I was just in for some fun, light reading, but this novel turned out to be so much more than I had anticipated. Sayaka Murata’s prestigious Akutagawa Prize-winning novel, “Convenience Store Woman” is a compulsively readable, profound, funny, eye-opening, and refreshing novel that examines the meaning of conformi
...more
*TUDOR^QUEEN*
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to the publisher Grove Atlantic Press who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

I must admit I would have never targeted this book to read had someone on Goodreads not recommended it. It kind of flies under the radar by its unassuming cover, but is actually quite thought-provoking.

This is a story about a young Japanese woman named Keiko who has been working part-time at a 24-hour convenience store since the age of 18. She is now 36. Her parents, friends, and society itself has
...more
Jane
4.5 pleasantly surprised stars for this intriguing little book! Convenience Store Woman is not action-packed nor steeped in drama, but it is a compelling read nonetheless.

The story follows Keiko Furukura, a 36-year-old, part-time convenience store employee. The people in her life have always thought she is a little odd, and yet they are perplexed by her seeming inability to move beyond what is seen as a temporary life stage. Keiko, on the other hand, doesn't know why anyone should care that she
...more
Repellent Boy
¡Vaya gozada de lectura! Todas mis expectativas iban perfectamente encaminadas. Lo primero que tengo que decir es que quizás este libro no va a ser entendible por todo el mundo. Es muy peculiar y es de esos libros que a primeras parece ser sencillo, tanto en su trama, como en la forma de contarla. Sin embargo, esconde en su interior algo mucho más profundo. Si te has sentido alguna vez diferente, poco entendido por los demás y, sobre todo, te ha costado entenderlos a ti, es tu libro.

Keiko es un
...more
Michael
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this book has given me a bit of unwanted nostalgia. The one that makes me have little idea of knowing what to think after reading. On paper this sounded like a Japanese version of another book I read this year Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. But while that book had a sprinkling of humor and hope to pacify the main character, here we have more a culture that clashes with Keiko's safe lifestyle.

Growing up Keiko struggled with no friends and was the victim of constant bullying. More co
...more
Alice Lippart
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
La pecera de Raquel
(3,5 /5 aunque en realidad no sé si darle 4 estrellas)

Keiko es la protagonista de esta novela, mujer japonesa, de 36 soltera y entera, independiente económicamente, con estudios superiores y que trabaja por horas en una tienda de conveniencia, lo que nosotros conocemos como un supermercado 24 horas.
Por casualidades de la vida, mientras Keiko estudiaba derecho empezó a trabajar por horas en un supermercado, ella estaba encantada con su trabajo y con la disciplina de la tienda, aún así terminó sus
...more
Iryna *Book and Sword*
3.5/5 stars (rounded down)

One of my 2018 reading goals was to read more books by asian authors and about asian culture, so this book was perfect for that.

I've seen Convenience Store Woman being compared to Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman and while I do see the resemblance, I don't necessarily agree with the comparison.

Eleanor Oliphant was definitely a quirky character (my favorite kind) but I was able to relate to Eleanor on a deep emotional level, while Keiko from Conveni
...more
Hilary
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
Miss Furukura works in a convenience store, she loves her job and works hard. Although she struggles with social skills, her life is happy, she knows she is different and people accept her for who she is more or less. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, it was interesting to hear how Keiko fitted in by copying gestures, mannerisms, speech patterns and even the clothes people wear in order to fit in and appear normal, which is what we all do in a more subtle way, often without realising. ...more
Rachel
Sayaka Murata has a lot to say about the role of the individual in society and contrived societal expectations, and she says it all in under 200 pages with poignancy and humor. Our protagonist Keiko is considered an irregularity by her family and friends, as she doesn't aspire to anything in life other than to continue working for the convenience store that has employed her for 18 years. Keiko takes solace in the routine and regularity of her job, and embraces the ways in which her identity is s ...more
Dagio_maya
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asiatica
Ci sono risposte alle domande che la società ti pone che sono considerate inadeguate.
Sono tutte quelle risposte, quegli atteggiamenti e/o stili di vita che non seguono le regole della massa.
Seppur non siano scritte da nessuna parte sono regole che hanno il peso di leggi incise nella pietra e che condannano chiunque non si adegui.

Furukura Keiko, protagonista di questo acclamato racconto, convive con la pietra al collo dell’anormalità fin da bambina. Crescendo le cose non migliorano. Furukura non
...more
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425 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.” 30 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.” 29 likes
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