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Convenience Store Woman

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  35,035 ratings  ·  5,197 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 ...more
Paperback, 163 pages
Published May 2nd 2019 by Granta Books (first published July 27th 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)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,035 ratings  ·  5,197 reviews


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Roxane
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
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
...more
Taryn
Keiko Furukura lives an atypical life. At thirty-six-years-old, she's a virgin andcompletely 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 jobhelped her finally become an "ordinary person." The convenience store is"a dependable, normal world" where she's valued as an ...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
...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!
Jim Fonseca
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-authors
This is a popular new book you have probably heard of. It’s short, almost a novella, by a Japanese woman author. The blurbs call it ‘darkly comic.’

Keiko is 36 and she has been working part-time in a convenience store in Tokyo for 18 years. She’s an excellent worker – a dream employee who loves her job – so much so that she even comes in on occasion, unpaid on her time off, to help out. She can’t even help herself from straightening things out in other stores she doesn’t even work in.

description

Keiko has
...more
Annet
I'm so glad I picked this book up at Schiphol airport. Loved this book. Something else. Haven't read anything like it. I guess it is all about what is the expectancy of society of what people are and should be. If you are different, you don't fit in and people simply won't accept. Keiko is a convenience store worker for years. And she seems to really like it and is good at it. But people don't understand and don't accept it. And they don't understand she does not have a boyfriend. Admittedly, ...more
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
JV (semi-hiatus)
“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.
...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
Brandice
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Convenience Store Woman as described by author Jami Attenberg: ”What a weird and wonderful and deeply satisfying book this is.”

For the most part, I felt the same way about it. This is a slim book, with a simple premise: 36-year old Keiko Furukura is a convenience store worker and has been for the last 18 years. She doesn’t have a serious relationship (nor has she ever had one) and she has only a few friends. It appears her life has not progressed over the last several years. She is
...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 deeper
...more
BlackOxford
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese
Revolutionary Conformity

The Bob Dylan song ‘You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody’ comes to mind when reading this deceptively simple story. In fact, like Dylan’s lyrics, it is a highly sophisticated commentary on the need for human beings to belong to a social group, to have a role, and what happens - good and bad - when they do.

Miss Furukura is acutely aware of the details of human behaviour and speech but she has no emotional reaction to what she experiences. She must learn to fit in by copying
...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
...more
Barry Pierce
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I am somewhat taken aback by the quotes plastered around this novel that reiterate just how funny it is. I have a dangerously weak spot for deadpan humour, but I do have to...worry about those to read Convenience Store Woman and found humour in it. This has to be one of the most relentlessly depressing tales ever put to print. It's practically Dostoyevskian. I'm going to have double my mirtazapine tonight.
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
Paul Bryant
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“More than a person, I’m a convenience store worker. Even if that means I’m abnormal and can’t make a living and drop down dead, I can’t escape that fact. My very cells exist for the convenience store.”

Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman immediately immerses the reader into the world of the Japanese convenience store, what it stocks, the quirks of its patrons and its idiosyncratic rhythm. We also quickly learn that for our protagonist, Keiko Furukura, this is the only world that makes
...more
Greta
Keiko Furukura is a 36-year old woman who works part-time in a convenience store and lives in an old, tiny apartment. She has never fallen in love and isn’t interested in a sexual relationship.
Although she’s perfectly content with her life and with the daily routine of her job as a store worker, people in her little social circle find her odd and put pressure on her to become more ‘acceptable’ by finding a decent job and by getting married.
Keiko realizes she’s considered a ‘foreign object’,
...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
marilyn
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, hardback
Such an interesting and different book. Keiko is different, not considered "normal" by friends, family, and co-workers so she tries to mimic what is supposed to be normal, just to keep everybody off her back. She loves her convenience store job, of eighteen years, her head and life hum with the love of her job. It's only when she feels she must change herself even more that she goes too far out of her way to be "normal" and her life falls apart. Yes, everyone else thought her life was ...more
j e w e l s
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...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
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 aboutKeiko 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 worry
...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
Richard Derus
Real Rating: 3.5* of five

I dunno, y'all. Miss Furukura and Shiraha aren't people I'd want to hang with. I kept reading their names as "Lieutenant Uhura" and "Sriracha," which didn't help me identify them as actual people.

Oh wait....

As this is a translation from a language with which I feel absolutely no kinship, I'll confine myself to observing this is a very quick read, possessed of enough narrative drive to make reading it with dilated eyes and a headache seem like a good idea. I was diverted,
...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.
...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
.
.
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
...more
Dianne
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2019
I love books that let me get inside a narrator’s head so I can see the world through their eyes. When the narrator has a very unique viewpoint, so much the better.

Keiko Furukura is a 36 year old Japanese woman who has worked in a convenience store in Japan all of her adult life. It is never explicitly stated, but Keiko is very likely on the autistic spectrum. She struggles to understand “normal” and appropriate behaviors and speech, so she has become adept at mirroring others. Keiko’s family and
...more
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700 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.” 43 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.” 38 likes
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