Book Reviews of Kitchen

Kitchen
Kitchen
Author: Banana Yoshimoto
ISBN-13: 9780671880187
ISBN-10: 0671880187
Publication Date: 3/1/1994
Pages: 160
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 76

3.6 stars, based on 76 ratings
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

18 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Kitchen on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
A young person in modern times deals with the death of her grandmother by taking up the company of another person dealing with personal loss. It's touching without being overly sentimental, refreshingly clear and honest portrayal of life on earth. wonderful.
reviewed Kitchen on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Written in simple, yet poetic text. nice descriptions. A young womans grandmother (who she lived with) died. how she dealt with grief, friends she made in the process, healing nature of kitchen. a favorite. also includes shorter second story, as many of yoshimoto's books do.
reviewed Kitchen on
Helpful Score: 6
Very touching story, written in a fun, unusual style. This is a great introduction to Japanese literature, IMO.
reviewed Kitchen on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
From Library Journal
In this translation of a best-selling novel first published in Japan in 1987, the young narrator, Mikage, moves into the apartment of a friend whose mother is murdered early in the tale. What seems like a coming-of-age melodrama quickly evolves into a deeply moving tale filled with unique characters and themes. Along the way, readers get a taste of contemporary Japan, with its mesh of popular American food and culture. Mikage addresses the role of death, loneliness, and personal as well as sexual identity through a set of striking circumstances and personal remembrances. "Moonlight Shadows," a novella included here, is a more haunting tale of loss and acceptance. In her simple and captive style, Yoshimoto confirms that art is perhaps the best ambassador among nations. Recommended for all fiction collections.
- David A. Berona, Westbrook Coll. Lib., Portland, Me.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
reviewed Kitchen on + 386 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The writing style was fine and there was enough to it to keep me reading, but overall I found the book a little depressing. Each of the three stories - two in a pair, and one separate - deal with overcoming the death of a loved one. I would read more by the author only if it had a different theme.
reviewed Kitchen on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I only read the first story 'Kitchen' for my monthly book club. Much different than the story I thought it would be. More about loneliness, dealing with death, being an orphan. 2 people are thrown together in the rough circumstances and help each other get through the pain and suffering of being truly alone. The author's writing style was hard to get used to, but once I did I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was cheering on the characters growth.
reviewed Kitchen on + 404 more book reviews
"Kitchen" is the first book I've read by Ms. Banana, and I was so pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of her writing style combined with the power of her message.

The author's very offbeat vibe is retained in this book by skillful translation to English. It also retains its uniquely Japanese flavor, but through it all, the book is very accessable." amazon
reviewed Kitchen on + 386 more book reviews
The writing style was fine and there was enough to it to keep me reading, but overall I found the book a little depressing. Each of the three stories - two in a pair, and one separate - deal with overcoming the death of a loved one. I would read more by the author only if it had a different theme.
reviewed Kitchen on + 30 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. I did find it very descriptive and I was a bit confused about the references to plants and the climbing incident. Overall a quick enjoyable read.
reviewed Kitchen on
loved her style of writing.... i am now searching for more books by her
reviewed Kitchen on + 289 more book reviews
With an author whose chosen pen name is a yellow fruit, I mistakenly thought Kitchen would be upbeat, but that was just my making inappropriate conclusions. Instead, Banana Yoshimoto's first novella translated into English weaves a thread of hope that the loneliness and pain of losing someone we love does get better. Mikage is an orphan who just lost her grandmother, her only remaining relative. Grieving, she is taken in by the Tanabes, a mother-and-son pair of relative strangers with whom she forms a deep connection through the comfort of their kitchen and immersing herself in cooking. Similarly, in the accompanying "Moonlight Shadow," a young woman gets a chance to gain closure after her high school sweetheart dies in an automobile crash. The plots in Yoshimoto's work border on implausible, but it is the feeling in her descriptions of the protagonists' emotions that make the stories ring true. I enjoyed this brief work on the list of 1001 books you must read before you die.
reviewed Kitchen on
Banana Yoshimoto is a great story teller.
reviewed Kitchen on
I had high hopes for this little book but I actually think something was lost in translation. The story is slow moving and very subjective. I got to the end of the first story and actually missed that I had completed it and moved to the next story. I liked the characters but fond the lack of activity disappointing,
reviewed Kitchen on + 386 more book reviews
The writing style was fine and there was enough to it to keep me reading, but overall I found the book a little depressing. Each of the three stories - two in a pair, and one separate - deal with overcoming the death of a loved one. I would read more by the author only if it had a different theme.
reviewed Kitchen on + 262 more book reviews
This is a great story for someone who's experienced loss of a loved one, and includes the story "Moonlight Shadow", which won the Nihon Department of Arts Prize in 1986.
reviewed Kitchen on + 535 more book reviews
I first read this on December 7, 2014 and then a re-read on September 21, 2015:
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto - 4 stars (Same rating as first reading)
Book Description
With the publication of Kitchen, the dazzling English-language debut that is still her best-loved book, the literary world realized that Yoshimoto was a young writer of enduring talent whose work has quickly earned a place among the best of contemporary Japanese literature. Kitchen is an enchantingly original book that juxtaposes two tales about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Mikage, the heroine, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, Mikage is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who is really his cross-dressing father) Eriko. As the three of them form an improvised family that soon weathers its own tragic losses, Yoshimoto spins a lovely, evocative tale with the kitchen and the comforts of home at its heart.
In a whimsical style that recalls the early Marguerite Duras, "Kitchen" and its companion story, "Moonlight Shadow," are elegant tales whose seeming simplicity is the ruse of a very special writer whose voice echoes in the mind and the soul.

My Review
I enjoyed this book very much. It was a very quick read about loss, grief and recovery. Although the book is short, it is charming and thought-provoking. If you want to read a story that you'll always remember and be touched by, this is the book for you.
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Different book but not bad.
reviewed Kitchen on + 9 more book reviews
I haven't read this book.