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A dictionary of mutual understanding

(9 Posts)
CantFeelMyFace Sun 29-May-16 08:36:24

This is not really a spoiler as its on the back of the book blurb.

Slightly teary eyed reading the description of the exact moment the atom bomb hit Nagasaki. Read so many versions, news items but the way the author has described the human consequence(using the most beautiful, evocative prose btw) is just heart wrenching. I am still reading so please no spoilers if you have finished this wonderful book, I just found it so moving I had to stop reading and share! If you liked Memoirs of a Geisha and Lesley Downer/Lian Hearn type books, this one is for you.

And as an aside, what would I give to be able to write like that!

tripfiction Sun 29-May-16 13:16:11

This is a book written by a gifted writer. I found myself absorbed and carried away by this excellent read, set in Nagasaki, a family saga brought succinctly together in just under 300 pages. Deserves a wider readership!

cdtaylornats Sun 29-May-16 16:30:06

Have you ever read the story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi. He was in Hiroshima on a business trip and was 3 km from the detonation. He was treated for burns and returned to his home - in Nagasaki. He was at work explaining to a disbelieving set of colleagues about how much damage one bomb could do when he became one of the few people to live through two nuclear explosions.

He died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 93.

CantFeelMyFace Sun 29-May-16 18:43:03

Tripfiction, I agree this book needs to be widely read, it's much better than a lot of the highly publicised 'accomplished' books that have been out recently.

Cdtaylor, that story is beyond belief, I will look it up.

There is something about Japanese culture that lends itself really well to this sort of atmospheric and charming story telling. I will post once I've finished the book, won't be long at the rate I'm going!

tripfiction Sun 29-May-16 18:54:07

@cantfeelmyface - so right. And if you like this book then one of my absolute faves of last year was The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide - the two styles are similar, yet one is a Japanese writer the other Western, which makes the Nagasaki book so remarkable.

CantFeelMyFace Sun 29-May-16 21:46:11

Thank you Tripfiction, I am always on the look out for this kind of book-looks like I've got my next read sorted 😀

antimatter Mon 30-May-16 00:19:57

Sounds like a next book to read!

CantFeelMyFace Mon 30-May-16 19:19:24

Well, that enriched my weekend. Love reading a book that tells you a riveting story but gets you to understand a bit more about life also. A few more tears at the end but also quite uplifting.

Favourite line-Time was as broken as the land.

Loved the extracts from the English dictionary of Japanese culture, each tied into the central vein of the chapter that followed. It really was a beautifully constructed book. Not to much waffle; concise, necessary words. A pleasure to read.

SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Jul-16 15:12:29

Hi glad you enjoyed A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding- we've recently had a book giveaway for this one so feel free to post your feedback on this thread to be in with a chance of winning a £100 Love2Shop voucher. Thanks!

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