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Publisher's Summary

As a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial for murder on an island in Puget Sound, snow blankets the countryside. The whiteness covers the courthouse, but it cannot conceal the memories at work inside: the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, an unrequited love, and the ghosts of racism that still haunt the islanders. First novels rarely attract as much attention as Snow Falling on Cedars. Remaining on best seller lists for months, it has cast a spell on listeners across the country.
©1994 David Guterson (P)1996 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Richard Delman on 12-18-17

Unforgettable. Masterful. Remarkably creative.

I can't imagine any reader not liking this book. Mr. Guterson has created a masterpiece, and George Guidall reads it with his usual style, warmth and aplomb. The plot is dense but easy to follow, as it is unique in its setting, relationships among the primary characters, and interweaving of several intensely involving stories. It is set in the Pacific Northwest, on a small island that is a fishing village and home to many strawberry farms, virtually all of them personal rather than corporate. It is not true that everyone knows everyone, because the book is set about ten years after World War II, and the split between the Japanese populace and the Americans is wide and deep. The plot involves the death or murder of a fisherman on his boat, late at night, fishing for salmon and anything else that gets caught in the net. The alleged killer is a Japanese fisherman who seems to be a thoroughly good man, with a loving family and absolutely no history of any kind of trouble. However, the hatred between the two factions of people runs so deep that the murder trial is the event of the century for the residents. The plot switches from the present, which includes the trial and many other, smaller events, and WWII, in which the Japanese were "interned," which is to say, put in prisons with no gas chambers but no resemblance of a normal life. There is also a brief view of the hostilities of the war.
I loved this book. I loved George Guidall's performance. The writing is so good that the book won many prizes when it was published at the end of the 20th century. Mr. Guterson had written two novels by this time, the first one called East of the Mountain. I read this book with my eyes. I can't recommend the audio version of it. The book is completely different from this one, so different that it is hard to see one author creating two so different stories, with both of them being just great literary accomplishments.
Snow falling on Cedars was made into a movie, which I did not see. Just as well, as the movie people would have had to cut out so much great stuff that I would have felt a bit cheated. One rule about great writing is that the author really must love his characters. Mr. Guterson clearly loves his characters, and we are all the richer for that love. I recommend this book to you with no reservations. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Patricia on 01-12-18


Have listened to books since they first came out on cassette tapes, probably since the middle 1985’s. I have M.S. and reading is a problem. I am so grateful who developed the records, cassettes, CDs and sending books straight to my iPhone !!

George Guidall and Frank Mueller are my favorite artists to bring a book alive.

I wish I could tell you how many times I’ve listened to Snow Falling on Cedars. I was born 02/02/1946. The book is very revelant to me as I grew up in Leland Mi where we lived a block from Lake Michigan. North and South Manitou islands were 11 miles away. We also had cherry migrant workers. It Is such a tender and lovely story. It is in my top 10 favorite books. It has lots of twists and turns so you do not want to put the book or in my hit the stop button. I would recommend it to all my friends baby boomers or not. Thank you Mr. Guterson and God bless your future books!!!
Patty Bach
This my normal signature
🎄(joy Johann father deceased son JAMES
💝(love Lucille my mother
🕊(peace Petersen my maiden name

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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