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      Secondhand Souls

      Christopher Moore 9780061779787

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The Love We Share Without Knowing


The Love We Share Without Knowing Cover

ISBN13: 9780553385649
ISBN10: 055338564x
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author of the acclaimed debut One for Sorrow explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.

On a train filled with quietly sleeping passengers, a young mans life is forever altered when he is miraculously seen by a blind man. In a quiet town an American teacher who has lost her Japanese lover to death begins to lose her own self. On a remote road amid fallow rice fields, four young friends carefully take their own lives—and in that moment they become almost as one. In a small village a disaffected American teenager stranded in a strange land discovers compassion after an encounter with an enigmatic red fox, and in Tokyo a girl named Love learns the deepest lessons about its true meaning from a coma patient lost in dreams of an affair gone wrong.

From the neon colors of Tokyo, with its game centers and karaoke bars, to the bamboo groves and hidden shrines of the countryside, these souls and others mingle, revealing a profound tale of connection—uncovering the love we share without knowing.

Exquisitely perceptive and deeply affecting, Barzaks artful storytelling deftly illuminates the inner lives of those attempting to find—or lose—themselves in an often incomprehensible world.


One of the virtues of "serious" literature is that besides opening up unexpected worlds to the reader, it offers a way for generations to communicate. The oldest of the main characters in this collection of linked short stories (labeled as a novel) is in her 30s, elderly in this context. Another is 16, and the rest are in their 20s. About half of them are Japanese; the others are Americans who have... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)


From the author of the beautiful, honest and heartbreaking ("Washington Post") debut novel "One For Sorrow" comes a haunting tale about the intertwined lives of foreigners and locals in modern-day Japan.

About the Author

After two years as an English teacher in Japan, Christopher Barzak returned to his home state of Ohio, where he teaches writing at Youngstown State University. His stories have appeared in the anthologies Trampoline, The Coyote Road, Salon Fantastique, Interfictions, and The Years Best Fantasy and Horror, as well as in the publications Lady Churchills Rosebud Wristlet, Realms of Fantasy, and Nerve, among others. He is also the author of One for Sorrow, his debut novel.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

psyche7363, January 12, 2011 (view all comments by psyche7363)
I love the down to earth writing in this book; it makes it accessible to a wide range of readers. The connections between the stories are wonderful. Sometimes it’s really obvious, and others something seemingly inconsequential becomes the main focus. This is a book I want to loan to everyone I know.
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Becky Laney, April 14, 2009 (view all comments by Becky Laney)
Have you seen Because of Winn Dixie? Do you remember the scenes where the librarian is sharing hard candy with Opal? And Opal is then sharing this candy with others? How every single person has a different way of describing how the candy tastes? That's what this novel was like. That's what this novel was trying to do, in my humble opinion, capture the 101 different flavors of life itself.

This isn't your traditional novel. If you know that going in, I think you will appreciate it more. Think of it more as a collection of loosely woven short stories. Some stories are more 'connected' than others. The stories share a common thread or two--mainly that of theme. To sum it up in one word: Humanity. What it means to be human, to experience the ups and downs, highs and lows of being human. Love. Loss. Pain. Anger. Bitterness. Frustration. Disappointment. Heartache. Homesickness. Loneliness. Some stories are darker than others. Some seem to be without hope or redemption. Others are more uplifting. What they all have in common, however, is the Barzak touch. He, quite simply, has a way with words. Even if you don't like where the story is going, he keeps you so in love with the words on the page, that you just have to keep reading.

All of the stories are set in Japan.
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Product Details

Barzak, Christopher
Barzak, Christopher
Psychological fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.22x5.23x.67 in. .53 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Love We Share Without Knowing New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Bantam - English 9780553385649 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the beautiful, honest and heartbreaking ("Washington Post") debut novel "One For Sorrow" comes a haunting tale about the intertwined lives of foreigners and locals in modern-day Japan.
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