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Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

Snow Country (1935)

by Yasunari Kawabata

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,163513,004 (3.75)146

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English (47)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  All (51)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Set in western Japan, Snow Country is the story of a troubled relationship between Shimamura, a businessman from Tokyo, and Komako, a local geisha from snow country. Shimamura visits the hot springs a couple of times a year where he spends time with Komako. Although Komako keeps herself busy making the rounds to parties, she has genuine feelings for Shimamura and expects more than he can give. Shimamura has a wife and children back home and remains for the most part detached from his encounters with Komako but fascinated by Yoko, a young woman he sees in the hot springs. The setting is cold and desolate and I felt sorry that Komako was wasting her youth and beauty in such a far away place waiting for visitors to come and go. ( )
  KatherineGregg | Sep 10, 2017 |
Beautiful prose but I didn't understand it one bit! ( )
  leslie.98 | Jan 29, 2017 |
I think I love the Japanese novels...very lyrical and very well written. ( )
  Mr_Girba | Oct 5, 2016 |
Kawabata has a knack for saying a lot in very few words. I like all of his books, but if you read only one by him, this is the one you should choose. Made me wish I could read Japanese, but even in translation it is sublime. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
between 2.5 and 3, all because the quality of the language is so beautiful. it's such a quiet, soft book; the words all fall on this bed of snow that exists in the snow country and land so gently.

the language is what carries this book. he writes so sparsely, and this works for the poetry of it, the cadence, and the beauty. but it makes it hard to follow sometimes, or to know who is speaking or why. there is a lot left out and if you're reading for more than the language, that can be tough. still, this is pretty lovely.

"'I couldn't possibly write the sort of letter your wife would see. I couldn't bring myself to. I don't tell lies just because people might be listening.'"

"If man had a tough, hairy hide like a bear, his world would be different indeed, Shimamura thought. It was through a thin, smooth skin that man loved."

"The mountains, more distant each day as the russet of the autumn leaves had darkened, came brightly back to life with the snow.

The cedars, under a thin coating of snow, rose sheer from the white ground to the sky, each cut off sharply from the rest." ( )
  elisa.saphier | Dec 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Snow Country is a work of beauty and strangeness, one of the most distinguished and moving Japanese novels to have appeared in this country.
added by GYKM | editNew York Herald Tribune

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yasunari Kawabataprimary authorall editionscalculated
Durán, CésarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gergely ÁgnesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimeis, YrjöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamberti, LucaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagae, Neide HissaeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ouwehand, C.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ouwehand, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seidensticker, Edward G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679761047, Paperback)

To this haunting novel of wasted love, Kawabata brings the brushstroke suggestiveness and astonishing grasp of motive that earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature. As he chronicles the affair between a wealthy dilettante and the mountain geisha who gives herself to him without illusions or regrets, one of Japan's greatest writers creates a work that is dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

With the brushstroke suggestiveness and astonishing grasp of motive that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature, Yasunari Kawabata tells a story of wasted love set amid the desolate beauty of western Japan, the snowiest region on earth. It is there, at an isolated mountain hotspring, that the wealthy sophisticate Shimamura meets the geisha Komako, who gives herself to him without regrets, knowing that their passion cannot last. Shimamura is a dilettante of the feelings; Komako has staked her life on them. Their affair can have only one outcome. Yet, in chronicling its doomed course, one of Japan's greatest modern writers creates a novel dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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