- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reprint edition (Nov. 3 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0151004439
- ISBN-13: 978-0151004430
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16 x 3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 635 g
- Average Customer Review: 610 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,176,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Snow Falling on Cedars: Movie Tie-in Edition Hardcover – Nov 3 1999
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Ishmael Chambers, the one-man staff of the newspaper on San Piedro Island in Puget Sound, is covering the 1954 trial of a high school classmate accused of killing another classmate over a land dispute. Actor Peter Marinker--a stage veteran who has appeared in such movies as The Russia House and The Emerald Forest--takes us deep inside the world created by David Guterson in his award-winning 1994 novel. We learn the sensory details of life in a small fishing community; the emotional lives of people scarred inside and out by World War II; and the deep and unresolved prejudices toward the island's Japanese Americans, who were interned during the war--a tragedy that led to financial advantage for some islanders. Marinker deliberately but nimbly moves from the characters' distinctive voices to the poignant interior perspectives of the soulful, wounded Chambers as he tells a combination love story, murder mystery, and painful history lesson. (Running time: 15 hours, 10 cassettes) --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
First-novelist Guterson presents a multilayered courtroom drama set in the aftermath of the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
the characters were real and the problems understandable. lots of good and bad things happened
Perhaps the most effective part of the book is the characters and their stories. The author David Guterson develops each character entirely; every character seems as a main character and each of their histories are told throughout the book. In the beginning it seems as if they have no relation to each other, like they live in completely opposite worlds. Then as the book further develops, it becomes lucid they all weave together, their stories and lives intertwined as one. The conclusion ties everything together and writes the whole meaning of the book flat out. This book digs into the depths of love with a tear-jerking love story, the humiliation and pain of racism with a story about the Japanese in America during World War II, and an endless and inexplicable murder mystery thought to tie into both of them.
As I read into this book, I felt myself falling into their world in the Island of San Piedro. I felt involved in their past, then as the book jumped into the present I could not wait to read the truth about the murder trial of Carl Heine. I felt emotional when a man's heart broke, when an American spoke cruelly toward a man of Japanese decent, and when a woman lost her husband whom she loved far more than anything.
Affecting me in so many ways, the lessons this book taught me seemed unending. I discovered the hurt resulting from selfishness and the anguish caused by racism. I learned about accidents and forgiveness, and putting the past behind oneself. This book opened my eyes to the delicacy of a human heart and how easily one can shatter.
This captivating novel will forever hold a special place in my heart. I appreciated the book for everything it stood for and for every lesson I learned. I love the book for the characters presented and for the immaculate plot and conclusion. As a novel I will read many times over, "Snow Falling on Cedars" stays close to me as my own map to my very own heart.
I've had this on my bookshelf probably 15 years or so, ever since one of my sister's bought it for me as either a birthday or Christmas present. It was the sort of book that you went, hmmm that's nice, all the while thinking I'd have preferred socks. I have tried a couple of times over the intervening period to get into it, but it was always discarded after a chapter or two.
Anyway, this time with a new found resolve, to reduce the "stop-start-put aside" pile, I tried again.
Extremely glad I did, as it was well worth the effort.
I'm fairly sure this book appears on those lists of 100 best books or 100 books to read before you die type thing and did win the PEN/FAULKNER award for fiction in 1995.
Cutting to the chase, Guterson writes of a mixed community; American and Japanese-American still divided and struggling to deal with the aftermath of Pearl Harbour and the Second World War. The Japanese interned shortly after Pearl Harbour, losing everything and dependent on the goodwill of those more charitable neighbours who viewed them as friends and fellow Americans and not as an inscrutable Oriental enemy to be feared.
A truncated mixed race and clandestine teenage love story, which along with a land-deal that gets reneged on when the Japanese-Americans are interned, festers over the years in the hearts and minds of the protagonists.
Guterson explores racism and discrimination both from an institutional level with a large swage of the Japanese community unable to legally become landowners and on an individual basis where neighbour mistrusts neighbour because of the happenings of the previous ten years.
With a fisherman found dead in his nets, and a cursory investigation leading to his Japanese childhood friend, who was supposedly at loggerheads with him over the previously lost land, the murder trial allows the resentments and grievances of the past to resurface.
Guterson's writing is very descriptive and he brings the plot slowly to the boil, rather than providing a fast paced read. The sense of isolation on the island when the storm gathers is palpable.
Usually one of my yardsticks of measuring enjoyment from a book is to ask myself if I want to read more from the author. In this case, probably not, having read a selection of his short stories either late last year, or earlier on in this one. No particular reason why - maybe too many other books to consider.
Still very well written and enjoyable though,
4 from 5......not such a bad present from my sister after all!
(Read and reviewed back in December, 2012)
I wish there is another sequel to it, maybe when they get old they get back together.
Thanks David you are the best.