Botchan, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Catcher in the Rye, is a classic of its kind, a sly, funny, poignant tale about a young mans rebellion against the system. Since its original publication 100 years ago, it has enjoyed a timeless popularity among Japanese readers both young and old, making it, according to Donald Keene, probably the most widely read novel in modern Japan.
The setting is Japan's deep south, where the author himself spent four years teaching English in a middle school. Into this conservative world, with its social proprieties and established pecking order, breezes Botchan, down from the big city, with scant respect for either his elders or his noisy young charges; and the result is a chain of collisions large and small.
Most of the story seems to occur in summer, against the drone of cicadas and the sting of mosquitoes. And in every way this is a summer book--light, sunny, and fun to read. Here, in a lively new translation much better suited to the American reader, Botchan should continue to entertain even those who have never been near the sunlit island on which these calamitous episodes take place.
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BotchanUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Published in 1906, this comic novel remains popular in Soseki's native Japan. A precursor to the rebellious school youth works popularized by Salinger and others, it follows a city teacher who ... Read full review
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announced anyway asked Assistant Principal back to Tokyo Badger better Botchan bother called character couple course desk dumplings eating Edokko eyes face faculty room feel felt fight figured fish gave geisha getting give going grasshoppers Hagino haiku Hanger Hanger-on hard head hear heard hot spring Hotta Japanese Kabuki Kado-ya keep kids kimono kind Kiyo Koga lady landlady laughed look Madonna matter middle school Minamoto no Mitsunaka moshi na moshi Natsume Soseki never nice night duty Nobeoka noodles Pale Squash Porcupine Porcupine's pretty pulled ready realized red-light district Redshirt replied resignation seemed Seto ware shouted sitting soon sound started stay stood stop stuck suddenly sure sweet potatoes talk Tankei tell tempura there's things thought told took town tried turned voice walked wanted wonder word Yoshikawa