Adventures in Reading

Snow Falling on Cedars + Samurai’s Garden
April 7, 2008, 3:19 pm
Filed under: thoughtful

My last two reads for One Book were Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. Unfortunately, my library and the surrounding branches do not carry Tsukiyama’s book and it was not in stock at the shop. Thus, I forwent this title and I lept straight into Snow Falling on Cedars. I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about this book.

It was made into a movie, has been a popular choice on the One Book circuit, and a lot of people seem to like this book. I was not one of them. In fact – I couldn’t finish it. Personally I thought it was dull (definitely not a page turner), long-winded, and I gave up roughly 20-pages in. Snow Falling on Cedars is my do not read suggestion for One Book.


I agree. I read Snow Falling on Ceders around the time the movie came out. I saw the movie trailer and thought “hey, it looks good, better read the book before I watched it.” I also heard good things about the book, but it took two tries for me to finish it (that was a time when I didn’t abandon books). Each reading felt like a forced reading and I had to pinch myself to keep myself awake. I was starting to feel bad that I wasn’t enjoying it. I mean, all the critics liked it, maybe I wasn’t as smart as the critics, maybe I wasn’t up to their level? Now, I realize that it was just a boring book and I’m still surpised that such a book can garner so much recognition. I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone where bad books are praised and good books are ignored.

Comment by T Y

We read Snow Falling on Cedars in my grade twelve English class, as well as Obasan. By that point in the year I was heartily sick of reading “that sort” of book. Our teacher was a one-issue sort of woman; everything we read that year was about racism. Othello, Harlem Duet, Obasan, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Bluest Eye… everything. I don’t think I gave Snow Falling much of my attention, being so sick of the general theme.

Comment by shereadsbooks

TY: I think one of my happiest moments was realizing, like yourself, that I don’t have to finish a book. Perhaps I would have made it a bit more into SFoC if I hadn’t had a stack of more enticing books next to me, but probably not. I spent some time reading the Amazon reviews for it and it has left me with the sensation of, “What did I miss?” Despite this, I doubt I will be returning to the novel any time soon.

Shereadsbooks: Yikes, if you’re not specifically signing up for a “one issue” course it can indeed lead to some dry reading. For SFoC, I don’t think you’re missing too much (though the majority of Amazon ratings disagree).

Comment by bookchronicle

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