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Úřad pro zahrady a rybníky

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Na březích japonské řeky Kusagawa leží chudá vesnice. Je domovem muže s výjimečným talentem. Rybář Kacuró ovládá umění lovu nesmírně vzácných karpů, které dokáže nepoškozené dopravit až do sídelního města císaře, kde si je od něj objednává Kancelář rybníků a zahrad. Naneštěstí Kacuró utone v rozvodněné řece a jediné, co zůstane je poslední úlovek kaprů, na nichž spočívá ob ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published 2018 by Plus (first published January 2017)
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Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very little to carp about.

An unusual tale set in Imperial Japan over a thousand years ago. As it opens, master fisherman Katsuro has drowned catching exquisite examples of carp destined for the Emperor’s hallowed pond at the Imperial Palace. To protect payment to the desperately poor village and – equally important - to maintain the local village’s honour, Katsuro’s beautiful young widow must follow in her dead husband’s steps. Miyuki must take the perilous route on foot for many days with tw
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enchanting novel set in 12th Century Japan (HONSHU)


All credit to an author who can spin out an enchanting novel around the husbandry of carps, set in 12th Century Japan! This is a beautifully presented novel (the cover is exquisite) with rather wondrous content.

Amakusa Miyuki has just lost her husband Katsuro in a freak accident in the Kusugawa river, as he was catching and preparing several carp due for t
Εvdokia Veloudou  (velvetreads)
Thank you to Quercus and RiverRun Books for gifting me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book read much like an allegory of sensations, juxtaposing between the in-depth research on Japanese history and the quirkiness of the plotline.

The story follows Miyuki, a fisherman’s widow, about 1000 years ago in a small village in Japan. Miyuki takes on the grievous task of transporting carp to the Imperial City, for the royal ponds. Her journey to The Office of G
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-read-again
This book was a very odd read. The narrative felt very disjointed as if the author did a lot of research and then formed a story around it rather than the other way around. The story frequently got lost, there was no real clear thought process with it and it kept jumping here, there and everywhere. The characters weren't rounded at all, I felt no connection with any of them and I thought them to be completely forgettable. As the story progressed to the last quarter, I began to find myself gettin ...more
Reading this book was a strange experience, and I'm not entirely sure that I can accurately explain why and have anyone believe me. Let's leave it at the fact that I am concerned about the author's sexual fetishes and understanding of the female experience of sex and it would appear that the editors were too nervous to raise these issues. And some pretty odd scenes therefore went to print.


The rest of the book I did largely enjoy. I
BookTrail photo office of gardens and ponds

Visit the locations of the novel here

What a unique story!

It immediately transports you to Japan of the ancient city and ancient ways of life. The novel easily transports the reader to the Imperial city and the palace, where the Emperor waits for carp to be delivered from a far away village.

From the start, it’s very evocative and lyrical. The writing is unique and the style is simply elegant. Moreover, the turns of phrases and nuances of the language really adds to the story. Kudos to the translator who has conjured this u
My thanks to Quercus, MacLehose Press for an eARC via NetGalley of Didier Decoin’s ‘The Office of Gardens and Ponds’, translated from the French by Euan Cameron, in exchange for an honest review.

Over a thousand years ago in a small Japanese village Katsuro, a master carp fisherman, has drowned leaving behind his young widow, Miyuki. The villagers are deeply concerned as to who now will transport the consignment of carp to the Imperial Palace so that they can retain the patronage of the Office o
Vicki Antipodean Bookclub
Katsuro is the master fisherman who provides carp to the Imperial Palace and the Emperor of Japan. When he dies accidentally, Miyuki, his widow, is forced to brave the journey to Heian Kyo alone to save the reputation and the finances of her small village. I struggled to know how to review and rate this book. The writing style is lyrical and I find Japanese culture fascinating. However, the constant factual footnotes pulled me out of the story and it felt rather like the author was compelled to ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I requested this book because I fell in love with the cover, so elegant and beautiful.
The cover perfectly reflects the book: this book is elegant and beautiful.
It reminded me of certain ancient Japanese stamps because I found it visual as it helps you to visualize what is going on and my references were the Japanese stamps.
The style of writing is elegant and lyrical, the characters are well written and memorable, the plot is engaging and entertaining.
I will surely look fo
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book was disjointed considering the amount of the author had researched the subject and just didn't do it for me though
Sahil Pradhan
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is a metaphor. It’s about humanity; it’s not really about books. This is important because we do judge books by their cover art, and their titles, and their fonts. The Office of Gardens and Pondshas the most beautiful cover I’ve ever seen. It speaks to my adoration for Japanese aesthetics, and the long, clunky, strange title reeled me in enough to get my excitement high. This gentle hype was well-placed: The Office of Gardens and Ponds is, easily, one of the bes ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The gods had created nothingness to persuade men to fill it. It was not presence that controlled the world and filled it; it was space, absence, emptiness, disappearance. Everything was nothing.’

A book set in Japan over 1000 years ago, written by a Frenchman and translated into English – now there’s a book you don’t read every day! It reads like a fable, or a tale told by a storyteller over a camp fire. This is the story of Amakasu Miyuki, whose husband Katsuro has just died. He has
Zoe Anne Crow
I was so excited when I found this book - not only is the cover incredibly beautiful but the story was set in Heian Japan, one of my favourite periods to read about.

It didn’t take me many pages, however, to become a bit irritated with the story.

Firstly, there seems to be an excessive amount of footnotes for a fictional story. I feel like, if I’m about to read a story about a carp fisherman in Heian Japan, I’m probably either going to know what the references are or be wil
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The Office of Gardens and Ponds’ is set in a world that is very distant from me in both time and place. Set in Japan, around the year 1000 AD, this novel tells the story of Miyuki, the grief-stricken widow of the master carp catcher who, for years, provided the carp for Japan’s Imperial city. After Katsuro’s death by drowning, Miyuki has to fulfill her late husband’s task of carrying his last carp to the imperial city. Didier Decoin’s vivid descriptions of the landscape, people, smells, and col ...more
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

In a small village in 12th Century Japan a carp fisherman drowns catching fish that are destined for the ponds of the Imperial Palace of the Emperor. With nobody else able to make the delivery the fisherman's widow sets out on the journey to the Imperial City with baskets of carp balanced precariously on a bamboo pole across her shoulders. What follows is the story of the young woman's hazardous quest and the colourful characters she meets
Ueli Brunner
I love reading stories from Japan. I bought the orignial french text, but unfortunately understood only half of it. Currently reading the German translation. Its definitely much more fun when you understand all the details the author describes. The story itself is not very exciting, it's the details that about daily life in a Japan of the past that make the book worthwile to read.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
here is a very unusual book written in French and translated into English. The language it is written is unique and flowing, the story is very strange, but you don't want to stop reading. You see an old Japan through the eyes of a simple woman who undertakes an impossible journey to fulfil the task off her dead husband. It is a story of love, of lost culture and of unique customs.
Rosie Collinson
I just couldn’t get behind this book unfortunately, some of the prose are written beautifully, but it spoils its self to often with oddities that just felt out of place.
Beside that, the ending also drifts off in a strange direction, and jarred with my sensitive inner feminist that couldn’t get her head around what she was reading.
Buuuuut books fall on people differently and some might read this and take away a much more metaphorical understanding so I think if you’re looking for some
Bernadeta Beresneviciute
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting vibes, but lack of depth in the story.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-french
Enjoyed the writing, enjoyed the story, a very readable account of Japan history/tradition.
Valentin | Own Records
Very disappointing.
I didn’t know what to make of this one. However, I was lucky enough to be part of an event last weekend in which the translator came to talk to us. He explained about the process of translating from the French whilst trying to keep the Japanese tone. He gave us such an insight into the novel overall that I feel I want to re-read it at some point with a fresh attitude. Miyuki’s journey (I won’t summarise the plot here as it’s readily available) is illustrated so clearly with descriptions of sight ...more
Melanie Wood
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When her husband drowns, the task of transporting eight splendid carp to the Imperial Palace falls to impoverished widow Miyuki. It’s a muddy, arduous journey for a woman with a yoke and heavy baskets of water. It’s a hazardous journey too: not only are there murderous bandits around, but fickle gods, ravenous wildlife, and the terrifying possibility of the mythical anus-entering razor-beaked kappa.

Miyuki is a passive, pungent heroine - her body infused with the stench of village lif
That cover!
Gold foil against a petrol blue background.
It is a beautiful cover, there's no doubt about that!

I was incredibly lucky to get an early copy from the Publisher.
Described as a fable with a difference set in Japan over 1000 years ago, I must admit that I was not ready for the dramatically different world I was thrown into!

The story follows a young widow, who in the recent death of her fisherman husband, makes the long journey to take the beautifu
Claire (Silver Linings and Pages)

Japan, 12th Century
When the master carp fisherman drowns, his widow is given the perilous task of transporting his prize fish to the imperial palace, otherwise her village will face even greater poverty...
The novelist’s research (of 14 years) was apparent in the descriptions of mourning conventions, religion, carp fishing and the poverty in villages juxtaposed with opulence at court. Some of the writing about the landscape and spiritual beliefs is also very beautiful and soulf
Nicki Markus
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-historical
The Office of Gardens and Ponds is a beautiful, lyrical work that captivated me right from the first page. Decoin weaves an intricate world of magical realism through which the reader swims as if they too were one of Katsuro's carp. Miyuki is an engaging and interesting character, and I was invested in her from start to finish. I also loved the flowing, descriptive prose that engaged all the senses. It is a visceral work, but wonderfully so. I would recommend this to readers who love poetic, lyr ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a review see my blog:
May 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Quercus Books and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Hmmmmm. Definitely not a book to give as a gift.

I've always had a huge interest in Heian period Japan so was really intrigued about this book. The synopsis sounded interesting too so I was excited to get stuck in.

Miyuki, the widow of an eminent carp fisherman is required to fufill their village's contract to the Emperor.

What I thought I'd get: The odyssey of a g
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Didier Decoin is a French screenwriter and author. He began his career as a newspaper journalist at France Soir, Le Figaro and VOD, and radio Europe 1. At the same time he started writing.
While continuing his writing, he became writer in film and television (and adapted scripts for television as the major TV films Les Misérables, The Count of Monte Cristo, Balzac and Napoleon).
In 1995
“la lógica no existe, Miyuki, no hay lógica, no hay dioses, todo lo hace la casualidad, y lo hace bien.” 0 likes
“Deseo antiguo, deseo reciente, ambos sin saciar y que seguramente no saldrían del ámbito de la obsesión.” 0 likes
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