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Fear and Trembling (1999)

by Amélie Nothomb

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,523705,862 (3.66)130
According to ancient Japanese protocol, foreigners deigning to approach the emperor did so only with fear and trembling. Terror and self-abasement conveyed respect. Amélie, our well-intentioned and eager young Western heroine, goes to Japan to spend a year working at the Yumimoto Corporation. Returning to the land where she was born is the fulfillment of a dream for Amélie; working there turns into comic nightmare. Alternately disturbing and hilarious, unbelievable and shatteringly convincing,Fear and Trembling will keep readers clutching tight to the pages of this taut little novel, caught up in the throes of fear, trembling, and, ultimately, delight.… (more)
  1. 10
    Hell by Yasutaka Tsutsui (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Satire of certain aspects of the Japanese psyche. In addition, a fun read!
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» See also 130 mentions

English (41)  French (8)  Dutch (7)  Spanish (6)  Catalan (2)  Latvian (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Russian (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
It was easy enough to read and has a consistent tone... but it's so racist. I guess some of it must be true? Like a lot of japanese companies really do have a noxious work culture... but nothomb's characterization of a lot of japanese culture rings completely false to me.

she's also really wapanese - there are bits in this book where she talks about having been born in japan and wanting to rediscover the culture, but i've heard they're absolutely false. ( )
  finlaaaay | Aug 1, 2023 |
Un libro stupendo e geniale che mi ha fatto innamorare perdutamente di una scrittrice che di diritto si piazza tra le mie preferite.
Amelie narra le sue vicissitudini di un anno di lavoro in Giappone presso una grandissima multinazionale. Quello che per lei inizialmente sembra l’avverarsi di un sogno si rivelerà invece essere solo un’esperienza tragicomica in un mondo dalla mentalità così differente da quella occidentale.
Lo stile è ironico e graffiante, ma al tempo stesso pervaso di dolcezza e amore verso una cultura tanto diversa e distante da quella occidentale, cultura di cui, peraltro, riesce a mettere in luce le particolarità e le differenze senza alcuna acrimonia.
Uno spaccato impietoso ma al tempo stesso benevolo di un mondo tanto differente dal nostro da sembrare quasi alieno.
( )
  Raffaella10 | Jan 28, 2023 |
In Nothom’s caricature of Japanese corporate life, Belgian national Amelie begins by taking a new job at the import-export division of the Yomimoto Corporation. In almost no time, she finds herself slipping down the corporate ladder. Using an exaggerated sense of humor to poke fun at some of the absurdities of the Japanese work ethic, the author enlightens its readers to a Western mind’s reaction to such a situation. What could be thought of by some as a scathing attack on Japanese corporate life seems to be just the author’s examination of culture clash presented in a very entertaining manner. ( )
  SqueakyChu | May 26, 2022 |
Very sweet and very funny. ( )
  Estragon1958 | May 23, 2022 |
borrowed, japan ( )
  adno | Aug 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Die Mischung aus leichten Dialogen und Hintergrundwissen, aus Sprachwitz und kritischen Reflexionen, aus komischen Episoden und traurigen Wahrheiten macht dieses Buch lesenswert.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nothomb, Amélieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arijs, MarijkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunter, AdrianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krege, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Mister Haneda was senior to Mister Omochi, who was senior to Mister Saito, who was senior to Miss Mori, who was senior to me.
Monsieur Haneda était le supérieur de monsieur Omochi, qui était le supérieur de monsieur Saito, qui était le supérieur de mademoiselle Mori, qui était ma supérieure.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

According to ancient Japanese protocol, foreigners deigning to approach the emperor did so only with fear and trembling. Terror and self-abasement conveyed respect. Amélie, our well-intentioned and eager young Western heroine, goes to Japan to spend a year working at the Yumimoto Corporation. Returning to the land where she was born is the fulfillment of a dream for Amélie; working there turns into comic nightmare. Alternately disturbing and hilarious, unbelievable and shatteringly convincing,Fear and Trembling will keep readers clutching tight to the pages of this taut little novel, caught up in the throes of fear, trembling, and, ultimately, delight.

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Book description
Nuori, akateemisesti koulutettu belgialainen Amélie on saanut työpaikan suuryrityksestä Japanissa, lapsuutensa idyllissä. Hän hallitsee täydellisesti japanin kielen, mutta kulttuurien kuilu on ylittämätön. Väärinkäsitykset takaavat, että ura on jyrkästi laskujohteinen.
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