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  • Posted November 10, 2008

    Kokoro Book Review

    ¿In my day parents were supported by their children. Today the children are supported by their parents¿ (Soseki 98). These wise words were said by a man named Sensei, he is a teacher of sorts in this book by Natsume Soseki called Kokoro. It takes place during a time in Japan¿s history called the Meiji Era. This story tells the relationship between the narrator and his friend Sensei. I would recommend this book to people who like to read stories about old world Japan and about relationships between generations of people.<BR/> <BR/>A reason why people would like this book is because it is during a simple time in Japanese history, the Meiji Restoration. Also this is a very slow paced book there are no gun fights or car chases, because this book is place four hundred of years ago An example is at the beginning of the book the narrator talks a little bit about sensei ¿I always called him Sensei, I shall therefore refer to him simply as sensei¿ (1).<BR/> <BR/>Another reason why someone would like this book is it shows the relationship between two people who are completely different when it comes to their ages. But they some how have a relationship that is strong enough that they can talk about anything. An example of how they can talk about anything is ¿I remember sensei saying, ¿Which one of us will die first.¿ And I thought, how can someone answer such a question? And if sensei knew the answer what would he do?¿ (79-80). <BR/> <BR/>Some people may say that Kokoro is very boring, that its dialog is not interesting, that it is old and doesn¿t make a lot of sense, also that the relationship between the narrator and sensei is not intriguing, but dull and creepy. But in the end the book was written not so long ago but still has old dialogue that makes it sound a little different but some people might not relate to it is so old which might affect their thoughts on the book. Although I really didn¿t like the book, I still think it would be great for people who like books about old world Japan and relationships between the generations.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    Well lets just say not so good!

    Have you ever looked up to someone, besides your father, as a father-figure? I have, once in my life. Likewise, in the novel Kokoro, the narrator, looks up to a man who he meets on a beach as a father figure. In this novel by Natsume Soseki, the narrator follows this man, who he calls Sensei, as a friend at first, then later develops feelings for him and asks him to help him find a job. Set in Japan, after the isolationist period, Kokoro is a story about relationships. This is a book that I would not recommend to anyone, especially if you like action. One weakness of the book is the theme and how it is communicated. I felt kind of sad for myself that after reading the entire book, in the end, there was really no theme or message. The narrator just had a talk with sensei. Before he could say anything else sensei left the room. So he started to have a conversation with his wife and they talked about why sensei was so lonely. The narrator starts to get his things and head out. ¿I left sensei¿s house a little after ten o¿clock. As I was due to go home in two or three days¿ time, I said a few words of farewell before rising from my seat.¿ (p.73) Another weakness of the book is the story¿s conflict and plot. The book, to me, did not have very strong plot. I did not like the way the narrator just traveled through the book without feeling he was a very static character. Narrator receives a letter from Sensei and has waits a long time to read the letter. He finally sits down, on the train to Tokyo, and reads the letter. ¿The noise of the engine filled my ears as I sat down in a third-class carriage. At last, I was able to read sensei¿s letter from beginning to end.¿ (p.124) One strength of the book is the book¿s point of view. It showed the different people and their personalities, but it always lead back to the narrator. The narrator is talking to sensei¿s wife and doesn¿t want to be taken as argumentative. ¿I wanted to say more. But I was afraid of being taken for one of theses argumentative men, and so I became silent.¿ However, overall this book was ok in some ways. I didn¿t like it because I am a man who likes action and suspense. I need a real page turner. I wouldn¿t recommend this book to people who like action and suspense books.

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