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Amélie is a young language teacher living in Tokyo. When she succumbs to the attentions of a student--the shy, wealthy, and oh-so-Japanese Rinri--the lovers find themselves swept along by an affair that is as unusual as it is tender.


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Amélie is a young language teacher living in Tokyo. When she succumbs to the attentions of a student--the shy, wealthy, and oh-so-Japanese Rinri--the lovers find themselves swept along by an affair that is as unusual as it is tender.

30 review for Ni d'Eve ni d'Adam Audiobook PACK [Book + 1 CD MP3]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eliyanna Kaiser

    Dear Ms. Nothomb, Next time you act like a despicable human being and feel guilty about the reprehensible way you have treated someone, spare the lot of us the torture of being subject to your memoir writing. Just pick up the phone and tell the guy you're sorry. Sincerely, Eliyanna Dear Ms. Nothomb, Next time you act like a despicable human being and feel guilty about the reprehensible way you have treated someone, spare the lot of us the torture of being subject to your memoir writing. Just pick up the phone and tell the guy you're sorry. Sincerely, Eliyanna

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tavi

    How do you know an author is talented? One way is when you cannot stop reading, even though not much is happening plotwise. This was Tokyo Finacee for me. Nothomb creates striking images with very few words, and their arresting quality is not lost in translation. (Note: The title is Tokyo Fiancée) Quote: "The concept of freedom has been spoken of so often that from the very first words I want to yawn. The physical experience of freedom, however, is something else all together. You should always hav How do you know an author is talented? One way is when you cannot stop reading, even though not much is happening plotwise. This was Tokyo Finacee for me. Nothomb creates striking images with very few words, and their arresting quality is not lost in translation. (Note: The title is Tokyo Fiancée) Quote: "The concept of freedom has been spoken of so often that from the very first words I want to yawn. The physical experience of freedom, however, is something else all together. You should always have something to flee from, in order to cultivate this wonderful sense of possibility. Besides, you do always have something to flee -- even if it is only your own self. The good news is that you can escape from yourself. What you are fleeing in yourself is the little prison that a settled way of life will build anywhere. Just pack your bags and off you go: the ego is so astonished that it forgets to play jail-keeper. You can shake yourself off the way you'd shake off your pursuers."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    The bulk of this book was more about culture clash than about a relationship, and I very much enjoyed the narrator’s musings on the pitfalls and delights of developing relationships in foreign languages. The problem is that the book reads very much like any 20-year-old’s study abroad journal: there’s a lot of reporting what happened, but no larger theme, no real character development, nothing to tie it together as a story. Until, of course, the very end, when the narrator’s attempts to draw conc The bulk of this book was more about culture clash than about a relationship, and I very much enjoyed the narrator’s musings on the pitfalls and delights of developing relationships in foreign languages. The problem is that the book reads very much like any 20-year-old’s study abroad journal: there’s a lot of reporting what happened, but no larger theme, no real character development, nothing to tie it together as a story. Until, of course, the very end, when the narrator’s attempts to draw conclusions from her experience fail horribly. From the start, I found the narrator to be a little on the selfish side when it came to her relationship with Rinri. At the book’s conclusion, this selfishness reaches new heights, to the point where her actions border on cruelty. Even worse, when looking back from the distance of many years, the narrator doesn’t show that she’s learned and matured from her experience. On the contrary, she seems quite pleased with the way she handled the situation, and throws in some heavy-handed philosophizing so that we can all learn from her supposed wisdom. I can handle a flawed narrator, but not one so blind to their flaws and so preachy about it. Or maybe it’s just another case of culture dissonance? I hope that’s not the case; if it is, remind me never to date a Belgian.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    Amelie Nothomb is some weird mixture of French and Belgian and Japanese that I still don't quite understand. And my attempts at understanding left me occasionally confused. Despite each of her works being separated memoirs, each of which can supposedly be read not in conjunction with the others, I feel like, if I wanted to better understand this book, I should have read some of her other works, which she constantly referenced, first. She seemed to just assume, in any case, that I knew all of the Amelie Nothomb is some weird mixture of French and Belgian and Japanese that I still don't quite understand. And my attempts at understanding left me occasionally confused. Despite each of her works being separated memoirs, each of which can supposedly be read not in conjunction with the others, I feel like, if I wanted to better understand this book, I should have read some of her other works, which she constantly referenced, first. She seemed to just assume, in any case, that I knew all of these things about her that I didn't know. This would have been okay, except that her simplistic writing style was, in a weird way, captivating, and it left me feeling exceedingly curious. I WANTED to know more about her. Her story of living in Japan and her relationship with a somewhat eccentric Japanese man (well, eccentric, from what I know, for a Japanese man) was fascinating. I loved Amelie and Rinri together; I loved the way their relationship advanced in what she described as a "typical Japanese fashion." I really felt like I understood what it would be like for a westerner to date a Japanese man in Japan. I also loved the brief glimpse I got of what it must be like for a Westerner to live in Japan, and I can only hope that my stay here will be as full of exciting things as hers was. Unfortunately, my love of all of these things left me absolutely HATING her by the end of the book. Hating her for the type of person she is and some of the things she did. Funny story: the day after I finished this book, I met up with a friend at a cafe in Paris, and I just do happened to end up at a table RIGHT NEXT TO Amelie Nothomb. And it was very difficult to me to conceal my disgust with her. I literally had to stop myself from getting up and asking her "HOW DARE YOU!" or telling her how disgusted I felt with her after reading her book. She was so egotistical, spoiled, ridiculous, and self-centered that it was a wonder anyone could manage to fall in love with her. It was therefore hard for me to enjoy the book as a whole, even though the writing style was quite lovely and some of the content was brilliant and extraordinarily honest. Because I sort of hated her, the protagonist. And yet it was at the same time compelling enough that I want to go back and read her previous works. To give her the opportunity to redeem herself in my eyes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Taghreed Jamal el deen

    Here is a review by Eliyanna: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... الريفيو المرفق يمثل رأيي تماماً 👌🏻 Here is a review by Eliyanna: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... الريفيو المرفق يمثل رأيي تماماً 👌🏻

  6. 5 out of 5

    Randee

    My passion, besides reading, is watching and collecting Asian movies and dramas. I watch a great deal of Chinese and Korean cinema and TV, but my specialty is Japanese. I was at my library when they put the film 'Tokyo Fiancee' on the shelf and my hand shot out and grabbed it in a blink of the eye. I found the film intensely interesting. I haven't been so upset by an ending in quite a long time. I returned the film and took home the book. I can say the same for the book and remark the book's end My passion, besides reading, is watching and collecting Asian movies and dramas. I watch a great deal of Chinese and Korean cinema and TV, but my specialty is Japanese. I was at my library when they put the film 'Tokyo Fiancee' on the shelf and my hand shot out and grabbed it in a blink of the eye. I found the film intensely interesting. I haven't been so upset by an ending in quite a long time. I returned the film and took home the book. I can say the same for the book and remark the book's ending added to my feeling of devastation. I would not recommend this book to everyone. I gave it five stars because of my own interest and reception to the story. I find it to be a story I would like to live. Moving to Japan and finding 'love' with a Japanese boy. I parenthesize the word love because one was in love, the other was not. Never has the phrase 'it is cruel to be kind' rang so heavily. I am not so cruel as the author and I would never consider her actions kind. Cowardly and selfish and unsurprising that she loves the book 'Dangerous Liaisons.' Nonetheless, I will read more written by her. I looked up some of her other books and found that she has written others of her time in Japan and her relationship with Rinri. Because I am me, I am sure I will find them equally as fascinating.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    I enjoyed this immensely. A fun read with a vivacious protagonist. It’s irreverent and clever with a sly pathos that sneaks up on you. If it sticks with me, as I hope it will, that might push it up to a 5.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved this book, but it broke my heart. Immediately I identified with Amelie and I truly felt like I became her while I was reading this book. So much so that when she decided to leave Rinri, I was devastated. She might not have been in love with Rinri, but I sure was, and I did not want to leave. I wanted everything Rinri had to offer me and I couldn't believe that I was getting on that plane and flying away from my perfect life in Japan. That's what it felt like. But then I had to force myse I loved this book, but it broke my heart. Immediately I identified with Amelie and I truly felt like I became her while I was reading this book. So much so that when she decided to leave Rinri, I was devastated. She might not have been in love with Rinri, but I sure was, and I did not want to leave. I wanted everything Rinri had to offer me and I couldn't believe that I was getting on that plane and flying away from my perfect life in Japan. That's what it felt like. But then I had to force myself to be Lisa again (it was hard) and appreciate Amelie's honesty and quirkiness. Her writing is sublime. I marked so many passages (lightly in pencil, since this is a library book. My daughter caught me and was horrified. I told her I would erase them. I guess I will... But I'm sad about it). Here are just a few of those passages, recorded here mostly for my own personal record. "I noted with pleasure that my lessons on the use of the informal pronoun had borne their fruit. Upon parting he was very sweet. I watched him leave with his Swiss-cheese fondue suitcase". "I went back to the concrete chateau. Rinri's parents no longer called me Sensei, which confirmed their perspicacity. His grandparents called me Sensei more than ever, which confirmed their perversity". "It was a luxurious colony where idle young people strolled. So bizarre were the outfits the girls wore that I was invisible. The place gave off the gentle atmosphere of a sanatorium". I enjoyed my time as Zarathustra tremendously. Probably too much. I just wasn't ready to go back to being Lisa Eggers, aged 37, and distinctly not Japanese. But I'm sure I'll soon find another Japanese life to hijack again, if only briefly.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thurston Hunger

    This is my third translation of Nothomb's work. With each book I find her writing more and more closer to the autobiographical bone. The other two stories I read seemed to deal with love in an unorthodox manner (a child in love with another child) and weird office politics (love/hate). Here is a capture of a seemingly all-too-real relationship, where one loves and the other likes. So, to me there is a bit of strained pain in reading through the passages and plight of their relationship. It almost This is my third translation of Nothomb's work. With each book I find her writing more and more closer to the autobiographical bone. The other two stories I read seemed to deal with love in an unorthodox manner (a child in love with another child) and weird office politics (love/hate). Here is a capture of a seemingly all-too-real relationship, where one loves and the other likes. So, to me there is a bit of strained pain in reading through the passages and plight of their relationship. It almost feels like the Amelie character is toying with her friend, like a cat with a bird? Not so bad as that, but see what you think. Meanwhile the love story being couched in interesting aspects and customs of Japan (Mt. Fujii) is what propelled me through the reading. Enjoyable with a bittersweet aftertaste.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    I devoured this book. I couldn't get enough. The English translation (thanks Europa Editions!) is called "Tokyo Fiancee" and centers around Amelie's love affair with a fella named Rinri while living & teaching in Japan. This book is just written so beautifully that I couldn't put it down. Amelie is committed to freedom as much as she is committed to Rinri and watching her navigate that tension is simply perfect and beautiful. I underlined nearly every sentence in the last chapter of the book. "Th I devoured this book. I couldn't get enough. The English translation (thanks Europa Editions!) is called "Tokyo Fiancee" and centers around Amelie's love affair with a fella named Rinri while living & teaching in Japan. This book is just written so beautifully that I couldn't put it down. Amelie is committed to freedom as much as she is committed to Rinri and watching her navigate that tension is simply perfect and beautiful. I underlined nearly every sentence in the last chapter of the book. "The concept of freedom has been spoken of so often that from the very first words I want to yawn. The physical experience of freedom, however, is something else all together. You should always have something to flee from, in order to cultivate this wonderful sense of possibility. Besides, you do always have something to flee -- even if it is only your own self."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Yulia

    This would have better titled You'll See, what Amelie's boyfriend always replies when she asks what they're going to do when they meet. Amelie is a Belgian who left Japan at the age of five and has returned at 21 to learn Japanese by teaching French in Tokyo. Rinri is her 20-year-old student, who majors in French in his "train stop" university. It is a well-written, amusing, insightful, and frequently philosophical autobiographical tale, but this is not a love story. Rather, this is a story of te This would have better titled You'll See, what Amelie's boyfriend always replies when she asks what they're going to do when they meet. Amelie is a Belgian who left Japan at the age of five and has returned at 21 to learn Japanese by teaching French in Tokyo. Rinri is her 20-year-old student, who majors in French in his "train stop" university. It is a well-written, amusing, insightful, and frequently philosophical autobiographical tale, but this is not a love story. Rather, this is a story of tenderness, fondness, "playing" (leisure, or anything but work), misunderstanding, awkwardness, double negatives, adventures, and escape (both from others and from the self). I could sympathize with both Amelie and Rinri, but wish Nothomb had spent more time exploring how the relatuionship between the two developed over time and how it persisted in not developing in other ways, how it met hrer needs and did not. All this can be understood implicitly, but I wish she'd shown more interest in the relationship she's writing about. As it is, her care-free tone is probably best in capturing her attitude towards Rinri. She is simply playing. Her love for freedom and fully living is what stands out the most. So if this is a love story, it is about her challenging relationship with Japan and not a singlwe Japanese individual.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elia

    This is not my first Nothomb book. For those of you in the same position, this explains a lot. I couldn't wait to embrace the book as soon as I read the first page. At the near end, I simply wanted more. Even though you could not imagine a more satisfying ending, a more consice expression of emotion and never a lack of, you are always fascinated with the author. She manages to be brief enough to let you know that she still has volumes left in her. You never doubt the complexity of her feelings n This is not my first Nothomb book. For those of you in the same position, this explains a lot. I couldn't wait to embrace the book as soon as I read the first page. At the near end, I simply wanted more. Even though you could not imagine a more satisfying ending, a more consice expression of emotion and never a lack of, you are always fascinated with the author. She manages to be brief enough to let you know that she still has volumes left in her. You never doubt the complexity of her feelings nor the simplicity of her syntax, yet it captures episodes that you thought were only your own before then. I highly recommend this book to anyone who considers themself as an independent spirit. This might help as a guide.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cadao

    Perfect. It's an incredible simple love story Perfect. It's an incredible simple love story

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Oh, Japan is so wonderful 3 But the ending made me sad, and I don’t want to be sad now :( Love stories should have happy endings :(

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    For me the ending feels so right. May be because it reflects how I perceive the world now.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clara

    Orientalist garbage. The whole book is her expressing her "love" to Japan but this love never goes further than considering it as that weird and incomprehensible yet appealing culture and never makes an effort to see them as actual human beings. She constantly mocks their people while showing a weird obssesion with being "a real japanese", apparently much more worthy of the title than any other actual japanese person. All of this is obviously more evident in her relationship with Rinri; she stat Orientalist garbage. The whole book is her expressing her "love" to Japan but this love never goes further than considering it as that weird and incomprehensible yet appealing culture and never makes an effort to see them as actual human beings. She constantly mocks their people while showing a weird obssesion with being "a real japanese", apparently much more worthy of the title than any other actual japanese person. All of this is obviously more evident in her relationship with Rinri; she states since the beginning that she doesn't love him and the more you read, the more you notice that, in fact, she doesn't consider him an equal, but rather a weird and interesting companion for whom she feels some affection, the same type you feel with a cute dog. (view spoiler)[The novel ends when miss Nothomb, grossed out that Rinri has the nerve to consider his 2 year relationship as something serious and not a pastime as she does, leaves the country in order to "escape" of their wedding. Considering how mature and well-behaved is Rinri one would think it would have been more correct to explain the whole situation to him and break the commitment with him, even if it would be embarrasing, like a normal adult would do and not ghost him like that. But since when do dogs deserve explanations?(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    I'm between projects right now and cannot come up with any good ideas, so I'm just going to write about that time I lived in Japan for a while and dated a Japanese guy. I can't remember a lot of details, so I'll just keep it vague, which is fine cause it just needs to be 150 pages. The time wasn't significant: I didn't learn anything, grow as a person, or, even in retrospect, see how the event molded me into who I am today, so I don't need to establish what kind of person I was since I'm still t I'm between projects right now and cannot come up with any good ideas, so I'm just going to write about that time I lived in Japan for a while and dated a Japanese guy. I can't remember a lot of details, so I'll just keep it vague, which is fine cause it just needs to be 150 pages. The time wasn't significant: I didn't learn anything, grow as a person, or, even in retrospect, see how the event molded me into who I am today, so I don't need to establish what kind of person I was since I'm still the same person now. The guy doesn't really matter, aside from a few cute foibles I'll mention in passing. I'll pad it out with some shameless plugs for my other books. This book will be a bestseller and be turned into a movie one day. I'm a brilliant artist.

  18. 5 out of 5

    BaiLing

    A romance happened between a French girl (Amelie herself) and a Japanese rich boy. Just feel she's taking an advantage of him all the way but she never feels sorry about it. It sucks. A romance happened between a French girl (Amelie herself) and a Japanese rich boy. Just feel she's taking an advantage of him all the way but she never feels sorry about it. It sucks.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Juliet

    What am I missing here? I found this "novel" so fatuous and self-congratulatory I wasn't sure what the author's intention was besides celebrating how quirky she finds herself. What am I missing here? I found this "novel" so fatuous and self-congratulatory I wasn't sure what the author's intention was besides celebrating how quirky she finds herself.

  20. 4 out of 5

    مـيّ رفعت

    To be reviewed after exams

  21. 4 out of 5

    Remi

    Some cringe worthy Orientalism in this book... weirdly ill considered for someone who often touts their ties to Japan? A shame, I’ve found some other work by Nothomb to be laugh out loud funny.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    I've read enough of Amélie Nothomb's books to be convinced that I greatly prefer her autobiographical novels to the rest of her output, which seems to be mostly short potboilers designed to shock the bourgeoisie. I loved Metaphysique Des Tubes, her memoir of her life between birth and the age of 5, and Stupeur Et Tremblements was hugely entertaining. This novel covers the two years she spent in Japan in her early twenties, including the same period as that covered in Stupeur et Tremblements. But I've read enough of Amélie Nothomb's books to be convinced that I greatly prefer her autobiographical novels to the rest of her output, which seems to be mostly short potboilers designed to shock the bourgeoisie. I loved Metaphysique Des Tubes, her memoir of her life between birth and the age of 5, and Stupeur Et Tremblements was hugely entertaining. This novel covers the two years she spent in Japan in her early twenties, including the same period as that covered in Stupeur et Tremblements. But here she eschews the daily trials of her working life and instead describes her inadvertent relationship with and engagement to a Japanese boy to whom she is teaching French. She is much gentler with the Japanese here than she was in Stupeur et Tremblements, probably because Rinri is so utterly charming. There are her trademark jokes about being Belgian, and funny set pieces, notably the evening when Rinri cooks her dinner for the first time (Swiss fondue from a kit) and an excruciating dinner party with 11 of Rinri's friends. But she also has a chapter in which she reveals her passion for mountains during a night alone in a snowbound refuge and an epic 10-hour descent from the mountain the next day. As always, apart from the humour and mordant asides, what I love about Nothomb is the elegance of her style. She is not afraid of writing in the first person, and she ignores the modern fad for writing in the present tense. Past historic all the way here, and lots of lovely imperfect subjunctives. She is ever-curious and observant. Waiting for Rinri after she has watched the sun rise from the top of Mount Fuji and then run down to the bottom in 45 minutes (it takes Rinri several hours), she reflects, "Heureusement, il est impossible de s'ennuyer en regardant passer des êtres humains, surtout au Japon." It's equally impossible to be bored reading Amélie Nothomb.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Oksana

    I don't know anything about Amélie Nothomb, but I picked this particular book on a whim and endedd up enjoying it a lot. It's not like it has any special message in it, but 'Tokyo Fiancée' is fun, and Amélie's thought process is quite entertaining to read about.Basically, it's a story about a 22 year old woman, who returns to Japan where she was born, after spending the biggest part of her life in Belgium. In Tokyo Amélie meets Rinri, a guy who helps her get reaccuainted with the country, it's l I don't know anything about Amélie Nothomb, but I picked this particular book on a whim and endedd up enjoying it a lot. It's not like it has any special message in it, but 'Tokyo Fiancée' is fun, and Amélie's thought process is quite entertaining to read about.Basically, it's a story about a 22 year old woman, who returns to Japan where she was born, after spending the biggest part of her life in Belgium. In Tokyo Amélie meets Rinri, a guy who helps her get reaccuainted with the country, it's language and customs that for her have been long forgotten.Entangled in the process is romance, nostalgia, excitement to learn something new and fear of losing herself in the life she's not sure is really for he - that's what Amélie goes through in this book. And this story was surely a pleasure to read. Not only because Amélie has that rare gift to write freely and very expressively, but also because this book gave a very interesting point of view on this mysterious country called Japan.I'm glad I picked this book, and it's surely not the last one by Amélie Nothomb that I'm planning to read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marlowe

    I really enjoyed the author's Stupeur et tremblement, which is set in the same time period of her life. While that explores her time working in Japan, this book is about her time off, when she is dating a Japanese man named Rinri. Typical for the author, the book is quite funny and insightful. It was especially amusing to read about a woman's adventures trying to relearn her childhood language (in this case Japanese) while I, myself, was doing the same (in this case French). And language plays a h I really enjoyed the author's Stupeur et tremblement, which is set in the same time period of her life. While that explores her time working in Japan, this book is about her time off, when she is dating a Japanese man named Rinri. Typical for the author, the book is quite funny and insightful. It was especially amusing to read about a woman's adventures trying to relearn her childhood language (in this case Japanese) while I, myself, was doing the same (in this case French). And language plays a huge part in the story. Several pivotal plot moments involve linguistic misunderstandings between Amélie and Rinri, and a lot of the humour has to do with bilingual puns (not to mention the cultural differences). As with all of Nothomb's books that I've read so far, I really enjoyed this!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trin

    I liked this a lot more than the last Nothomb book I read: it didn’t make me squirm-in-my-seat uncomfortable, for one thing. Fear and Trembling is all about humiliation and degradation and having to work a shitty job for a living; Tokyo Fiancée is about travel and wonder and love—the dark sides of all the above, too, but still, it’s no contest, is it? Nothomb would roll her eyes at me (for a number of reasons), but this book just increased my desire to go to Japan. I liked this a lot more than the last Nothomb book I read: it didn’t make me squirm-in-my-seat uncomfortable, for one thing. Fear and Trembling is all about humiliation and degradation and having to work a shitty job for a living; Tokyo Fiancée is about travel and wonder and love—the dark sides of all the above, too, but still, it’s no contest, is it? Nothomb would roll her eyes at me (for a number of reasons), but this book just increased my desire to go to Japan.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ozma

    A pleasant little novel with some nice poetic touches. Very spare though. It's the opposite of the lush, dramatic novel. I think this is more or less a true story, in which case, I am surprised at how the author dumped her Japanese boyfriend. But I respect that the female protagonist wanted to live life on her own terms and didn't see marriage as the right thing for her. The book is described by the publisher as a "modern love story" in which the woman doesn't totally disappear into the man. It A pleasant little novel with some nice poetic touches. Very spare though. It's the opposite of the lush, dramatic novel. I think this is more or less a true story, in which case, I am surprised at how the author dumped her Japanese boyfriend. But I respect that the female protagonist wanted to live life on her own terms and didn't see marriage as the right thing for her. The book is described by the publisher as a "modern love story" in which the woman doesn't totally disappear into the man. It seems that the narrator is in love with her Japanese boyfriend, but the narrator needs to be her own person and be independent. I think a lot of women can identify with that.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ali Kennedy

    This is my first Nothomb experience and I love her style of writing. Very concise and no overuse of adjectives. She doesn't go into depth with her character descriptions yet they come to life so well - I feel that I really got to know these people. In me, it developed a greater curiosity for Japan and the beauty that she sees in such an interesting, and traditional country. I can't say I am a fan of her attitude/morals at the end; the way she understood that Rinri would respond like a gentleman This is my first Nothomb experience and I love her style of writing. Very concise and no overuse of adjectives. She doesn't go into depth with her character descriptions yet they come to life so well - I feel that I really got to know these people. In me, it developed a greater curiosity for Japan and the beauty that she sees in such an interesting, and traditional country. I can't say I am a fan of her attitude/morals at the end; the way she understood that Rinri would respond like a gentleman made me feel a little like she was manipulative. However, I will be reading more of her writing if it follows this style.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Writerlibrarian

    This one was a bit disappointing, especially after rereading her previous Japanese inspired book. It has bits and pieces of brilliance but over all it's more a "dialogue de sourds" where Amélie, the narrator does her thing and kinda has a love affair with this very atypical Japanese young man Rinri, who seems interesting but we never get to know him, we know even less at the end of the book, even why he was interested in Amélie. The words and style is gorgeous but they have no substance to make This one was a bit disappointing, especially after rereading her previous Japanese inspired book. It has bits and pieces of brilliance but over all it's more a "dialogue de sourds" where Amélie, the narrator does her thing and kinda has a love affair with this very atypical Japanese young man Rinri, who seems interesting but we never get to know him, we know even less at the end of the book, even why he was interested in Amélie. The words and style is gorgeous but they have no substance to make them sing, unfortunately. This one is a miss for me. But the book cover is gorgeous.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Malena Watrous

    Why doesn't Goodreads have the American title for this novel? Anyhow, I have been following Nothomb for a while now and I admire the way she can write a slim novel--novellas, really--dramatizing a single idea. Her perspective on Asia is also interesting to me, the way that she admits to romanticizing this place where she spent her early childhood, and still loves it as an adult, even though it never quite matches those memories. She's smart and reflective and simultaneously earnest and funny. Why doesn't Goodreads have the American title for this novel? Anyhow, I have been following Nothomb for a while now and I admire the way she can write a slim novel--novellas, really--dramatizing a single idea. Her perspective on Asia is also interesting to me, the way that she admits to romanticizing this place where she spent her early childhood, and still loves it as an adult, even though it never quite matches those memories. She's smart and reflective and simultaneously earnest and funny.

  30. 5 out of 5

    lynn

    Amelie Nothomb is a stitch. She writes a very wry and funny story, of her years in Tokyo and falling in love (or not) with a student there. She wants desperately to embrace Japanese culture, but remains very Belgian to the core. Her bits about Americans were scathingly funny, and told as much about her prickly personality as it did about the Americans she met.

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