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The Lake

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  7,282 ratings  ·  847 reviews
A major literary sensation is back with a quietly stunning tour de force.

While The Lake shows off many of the features that have made Banana Yoshimoto famous—a cast of vivid and quirky characters, simple yet nuanced prose, a tight plot with an upbeat pace—it’s also one of the most darkly mysterious books she’s ever written.
It tells the tale of a young woman who moves to T
Hardcover, 188 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Melville House (first published December 1st 2005)
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,282 ratings  ·  847 reviews

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Mar 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: you'd never cry to them just to your soul
Recommended to Mariel by: big in Japan
It has been years since a new Banana Yoshimoto has been in my hands- 2006! Yeah, so I became a fan in 2004 and read all of her translated works in a couple of months. Back to back like snug little bookends. I was so happy reading her books and living in those pages. I feel the most at ease with the world and myself in that world when I'm completely into books. The best are those that I'm so into that I forget to talk to anyone at all. If I can keep going I never have to look down and remember I' ...more
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like poetic short stories
Recommended to Dolors by: Aitor
Shelves: read-in-2013, asian
Life is merciless, it can bring random injustice upon us, sucking out our last breath of willpower, inflicting insurmountable damage. But sometimes it is also capricious and chooses to give hope to the hopeless, eyesight to the blind, atonement for the victims.
Chihiro and Nakajima cross paths on an unremarkable day when looking out of their respective windows they find their glances colliding with each other. They start engaging in silent, hesitant conversations, full of dubious smiles, nods and
Paquita Maria Sanchez
It should not take two weeks to read a book that's less than 200 pages long, but I literally kept falling asleep. It's kinda cute, kinda purdy, mostly boring, at times wise-ish, and sporadically gratingly twee, with a nice ghostly sheen of mystery culminating in a reveal that feels - after all the tea getting slowly sipped and paint getting softly brushed and steps being gently taken and empty space being contemplatively stared into* on our crawl to the finish line - like a Hollywood action sequ ...more
mona aghazade
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
ام م خیلی خوب بود
جملات خیلی خوبی تو کتاب بود که من بعضی هاضو توییت کردم 😊
ادبیات اسیای شرق و بیان احساساتشون خیلی به ما نزدیکه و شاید برای اینه که بیشتر کتابای اسیای شرق و دوست دارم
اگه ۵ ستاره ندادم به خاطر اخر داستان بود

... فقط می خواستم حس کنم تو این شهر یه نفر از وجود من باخبره !
Most people are constantly perpetrating little acts of violence on others, even when they don't mean to.
The majority of the population of the world has an extremely ignorant conception of what they are entitled to expect from others. Those who don't understand why members of certain minority groups are so "political", others who think they envy those who can use the handicapped parking, those loud individuals who think needing trigger warnings is something to be ashamed about. It'd be less of
Emilio Berra
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: letto
Dopo un promettente esordio coi primi due libri, la produzione letteraria di Banana Yoshimoto mi aveva alquanto deluso : alla quantità delle opere pubblicate non corrispondeva affatto una dignitosa qualità.
Ora il recente romanzo "Il lago" rappresenta invece una gradita sorpresa.
Questo libro s'inserisce nella ricca tradizione della Letteratura giapponese soprattutto per la leggerezza della scrittura e per la rappresentazione quasi zen della natura e del paesaggio come luogo essenzialmente da cont
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
(review #9 for CCLaP!)


I didn't, luckily, so I was able to experience it as written, as a slow build, a soft, sad, slight mystery, with all the hidden things left hidden, or at least obscured, until they were meant to be revealed. I can't believe Melville House wasn't smart enough to realize that you can't give away the big twist in huge blue letters right there at the top of the blurb. What a massive disservice to Banana.

Ah, Banana. I've loved her for a lo
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, japan
It’s hard to summarize this novella-length story without giving too much away. In fact, I’d recommend against reading the marketing copy, since it spoils the one and only surprise in the book. It’s best described as a stilted and intensely awkward meet-cute, I guess. Introspective young woman notices odd neighbor, and almost despite herself, begins to reach out to him and draw him out of his shell. They begin a fragile romance as she gets closer to the truth of his ethereal weirdness, and both o ...more
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lôi 1 cuốn có màu xanh ra đọc để cổ vũ tuyển Ý nhân dịp sắp đi choảng nhau với mấy anh Đức :3

Cuốn này cứ tạo cái cảm giác thiếu thiếu hoặc chưa tới. Tới đâu, thiếu cái gì thì mình chịu. Rốt cuộc đó cũng đơn thuần là vấn đề cảm giác mà :3

Nó giống như kiểu 1 người mong muốn được trải nghiệm việc bị tiêu chảy, xem Tào Tháo đuổi thì ghê rợn ra sao nhưng vẫn ăn uống điều độ, sạch sẽ chứ không như mấy bác lãnh đạo bụng to, chưa đâu vào đâu đã lôi nhau đi ăn hải sản để như kiểu trấn an đại chúng ấy mà.
Möglicherweise liegt es an kulturellen Unterschieden, weshalb ich mit der Geschichte nicht wirklich warm geworden bin. Dazu mutete auch die Sprache der beiden Hauptfiguren ziemlich kindlich naiv an. Irgendwie unpassend für ihr Alter. Erst dachte ich die Übersetzung wäre Schuld daran, aber GR-Freund Martin (siehe Review) versichert, sie sei nah am japanischen Original. Kurz gesagt, das war einfach kein Buch für mich.
من شنیدن و خوندن افکار آدمها رو دوست دارم؛ دوست دارم بدونم توی سرشون چی میگذره... و چیزی که خوندن این کتاب رو لذتبخش میکرد خوندن افکار "چیهیرو" بود؛ که تونستم در لحظه لحظه ی داستان زندگی کنم و احساساتش رو به قشنگی لمس کنم.

Sometimes I even wondered if what I was feeling was happiness.

وقتی خبر ترجمه و انتشار کتابی به اسم «دریاچه» رو خوندم و چشمم به اسم نویسندهش افتاد، این ژاپنی بودنش بود که تشویقم کرد برم سراغش و بخونمش. و چقدر خوب که خوندمش.

داستانِ دریاچه
دریاچه روایت زیبایی داره با دو شخصیت فع
Repellent Boy
La historia de El lago nos presenta a dos personajes, Chihiro y Nakajima. Ambos jóvenes adultos rotos por la muerte de sus respectivas madres. Conforme pasan las páginas iremos descubriendo que hay mucho más que un simple duelo.

Creo que lo mejor del libro sin duda es la exaltación que se hace de la figura de la madre, de lo que representa una madre para cada persona. Los personajes se rompen en pedazos con la ausencia de éstas. Pedazos que jamás se pegan por completo, tras una pérdida así. Aún
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book has the peculiar distinction of being the last book that I finished before getting my heart broken with a sledgehammer. As such, anything I say about The Lake now will be hopelessly and unfairly distorted. Luckily, I took notes while I was reading:

The story is narrated by Chihiro, who is more concerned with external events than with the machinations of her own mind. Through what she does and doesn't tell us, her inner paradoxes are revealed. She places the highest value on the timeless
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve long had an interest in all things Japan. Banana Yoshimoto has a good rep; after Kitchen was translated in 1993, we Americans experienced a brief period of Bananamania here, apparently.

I’ll definitely look for Kitchen at the library; this particular book was such a quick read (just shy of 200 pages), it never really picked up steam. However, I’d give Yoshimoto another shot. The writing is super accessible, perhaps deceptively simple. Some of the imagery was really well done: a woman falls i
La domanda fondamentale di questo libro è: ma che diavolo è una rete per mochi?!
Per chi non lo sapesse il mochi (餅) è un dolcetto molto comune in Giappone, fatto di riso glutinoso, tritato e pestato ad ottenere una pasta ed arrotondato in modo da formare una specie di palla. OK fin qui ci siamo, ho dovuto però controllare come si cucinasse perché non ne avevo idea e in nessuna delle ricette ho trovato una "rete" per mochi. Nakajima dorme con una rete per mochi sotto l'ascella, quindi sarà qualco
Antonio Spaghetti
Uno de los libros más bonitos que he leído, doloroso y tierno. Cargado de una emotividad mágica y eso que es bien sencillito, pero tiene algo que lo hace único.
Jason Pettus
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It's pure coincidence that Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto started having her first American successes in the same early-'90s years when I myself first quit photography and started writing (and even further coincidence that one of the people in the writing workshop I belonged to at the time had a fetish f
Jaclyn Michelle
Feb 18, 2012 rated it did not like it

It was this blurb on The Millions about Yoshimoto's The Lake being shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize that prompted me to pick it up:

"The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto: She’s big in Japan, inspiring a cult following and selling upwards of six million novels, but Banana Yoshimoto will always polarise opinion. Critics may be tempted to call her Murakami-lite, given her fondness for the same kind of broad subjects as her heavyweight compatriot – ultra-mo
Giang đọc sách
Những năm chưa tới 20 tuổi mình rất thích đọc Banana Yoshimoto. Có lẽ đã đọc hết các đầu sách xuất bản ở Việt Nam. Nhưng kì thật tới giờ không nhớ gì nhiều ngoài vài khung cảnh do mình tạo ra khi đọc Kitchen.
Nếu để viết vài dòng cảm nhận thì cảm nhận sâu sắc nhất của mình đó là từ ngữ không bao giờ đủ chính xác để miêu tả cảm xúc cả! Mà văn chương của cô Chuối thì khơi gợi trong mình nhiều cảm nhận hơn là một cái gì đó cụ thể có thể viết ra được.
Dù mình chưa từng trải qua cuộc sống như hai nhân
Donatella Principi
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giapponesi
Recensione @ Chibiistheway
La storia è fatta di ricordi: ogni evento presente scaturisce un ricordo del passato, ma non uno qualsiasi, un evento importante che ha segnato in qualche modo i personaggi. In questo modo possiamo capire a fondo come sono fatti i personaggi e perché ragionino in un certo modo. Soprattutto per quanto riguarda Nakajima, un ragazzo dal carattere oscuro e molto strano, un personaggio a metà fra il mondo reale e uno non definito. Chihiro stessa ha paura che quest'altro mo
Fernanda Lara
Si hay algo de lo que me siento muy feliz, es de saber que hay una autora ahí afuera que me habla. Banana Yoshimoto no se destaca por sus grandes historias, ni libros interesantes, ella hace libros llenos de vida, serenidad, nostalgia, reflexión; no pasa nada, pero sientes.

El Lago es creo, el libro de Yoshimoto que más me ha hecho sentir. No sé si se trata de un episodio en mi vida, pero la yo de este momento se conmovió hasta las lágrimas del sentir de sus protagonistas. La narración siempre es
Bach Tran Quang
Chuyện này đáng ra thì được 3 sao, nhưng vì cái cách nhân vật nữ chính gọi nhân vật nam chính là "hắn" khiến tôi đành cho điểm thấp. Tôi không hiểu lắm cái dụng ý của dịch giả, hoặc tác giả khi để một người đầu gối tay ấp gọi người kia là "hắn" - một từ thường đi liền với cái gì đó xấu xa không tốt đẹp. Và làm tôi cứ thắc mắc mãi cho đến trang cuối cùng.

Hồ gồm 2 mạch truyện. 1 về Chihiro, 1 về Nakajima. Nói chung là rời rạc lung tung. Không ăn nhập gì vào nhau. Có một chi tiết rất tình là 2 nhân
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Warning: Do not read the Goodreads description. Too much info big-time! I will not indulge in any spoilers.

There's something about Banana Yoshimoto. Her prose is as light as a feather yet the emotions behind them are deep and profound. The casualness of her writing can be deceiving. That, her simplicity of style, and her immense popularity are probable reasons why an unnamed Nobel committee member, when asked if Yoshimoto had a chance at the Nobel prize for Literature, replied, "She's dreaming."
Carol Mola
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
El lago es una bella historia que gira en torno a la aceptación del pasado y sobre todo a la superación de la muerte de un ser querido, tema muy recurrente en toda la obra de Banana Yoshimoto. Sus personajes están rotos y tratan de recomponerse poco a poco en una sutil búsqueda de si mismos. Tienen esa fuerza interior que los hace especiales, pero al juntarse forman un gran equipo todavía más favorable. Son desdichados, pero también valientes.

Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Keine Spoiler*

Ein wunderbarer Roman von Yoshimoto Banana. Man merkt dem 2005 in Japan erschienenen und für den Man Asian Literary Prize nominierten (Longlist) Werk deutlich die sprachliche Entwicklung im Vergleich zu den früheren Werken an. Die Sprache wird deutlich komplexer eingesetzt als in vorherigen Werken, wobei sicherlich auch die sehr gelungene Übersetzung von Thomas Eggenberg beiträgt, der es geschafft hat, sowohl auf sprachlicher Ebene eine gute Übersetzung anzufertigen als auch sehr
Gabriel Vugon
Tiểu thuyết của Banana Yoshimoto

Nhưng, tôi phải nói, đây là một điều rất khó, phê bình tác phẩm của một nhà văn còn sống. Và nếu bạn biết được những khó khăn mà tôi, hay bất kỳ ai, khi đặt bút xuống và phê bình tác phẩm của một nghệ sĩ còn sống, phải đối mặt; có lẽ bạn đã không nhờ tôi việc này. Ngoài cảm giác không dễ chịu mà lý do cho nó tôi chắc mình không cần giải thích – nỗi sợ làm tổn thương người nghệ sĩ, thậm chí khi ta không quen biết và khả năng cao là sẽ không bao giờ quen biết được h
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was strange, dark and beautiful. But mostly strange.
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have read comments that Yoshimoto's writing doesn't flow right, reads strange and some think it's due to something lost in translation. I am sure, having lived in Japan (still do actually) and understanding English is far different, that it does cheat us of something but certainly not to the point that the novels aren't great. I believe, even in Japanese, that it is strange writing, as it has an esoteric flavoring. There is always an element of the mystical and this is where her work stands ap ...more
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
อานจบดวยความรูสึกราวกับถูกดูด ดำดิงลึกลงไปในทะเลสาปแหงความรูสึก หนักอึง และแวดลอมไปดวยมวลอารมณความสัมพันธอันเปราะบาง ทวาหนักแนน เปนความเศรา นาอึดอัด หมนหมอง ทวากสวยงามอยางประหลาด
You know that notion to read more romance-y books in the summer that many readers do? Well, this is my contribution...somewhat.

Other then knowing it was a romance, I went into this blind and I strongly recommend you do so too. Don't read the blurb on goodreads.

This is the type of book that you will either love or hate and I loved it. I can see where people might be frustrated with the book, but I think it actually adds to the complexity of the theme.

This is essentially a book about love, but o
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500 Great Books B...: The Lake - Banana Yoshimoto - Dolors 3 27 Dec 19, 2015 03:32PM  
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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.

She gradua
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“But I have my life, I’m living it. It’s twisted, exhausting, uncertain, and full of guilt, but nonetheless, there’s something there.” 236 likes
“It was so gorgeous it almost felt like sadness.” 129 likes
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