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Publisher's Summary

A charmingly warm and hopeful story of love, friendship, and the power of human connection. Award-winning Japanese author Shion Miura's novel is a reminder that a life dedicated to passion is a life well lived.
Inspired as a boy by the multiple meanings to be found for a single word in the dictionary, Kohei Araki is devoted to the notion that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words. But after thirty-seven years creating them at Gembu Books, it's time for him to retire and find his replacement.
He discovers a kindred spirit in Mitsuya Majime - a young, disheveled square peg with a penchant for collecting antiquarian books and a background in linguistics - whom he swipes from his company's sales department.
Led by his new mentor and joined by an energetic, if reluctant, new recruit and an elder linguistics scholar, Majime is tasked with a career-defining accomplishment: completing The Great Passage, a comprehensive 2,900-page tome of the Japanese language. On his journey, Majime discovers friendship, romance, and an incredible dedication to his work, inspired by the bond that connects us all: words.
©2012 Shion Miura (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2017 Juliet Winters Carpenter.
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Critic Reviews

"Brian Nishii is the perfect narrator for this audiobook... The book's translation combined with Nishii's narration makes the story sound and feel Japanese - there's a subtle choppiness, and certain word choices and phrases aren't what native English speakers would say - and it's all entirely fitting and charming....a unique and fascinating listen." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jay Quintana on 06-10-17

A Fun, Light Novel

It's not going to change the world. The characters are pretty much stock characters -- the nerd, the guy who thinks he's much cooler than he is, the beauty who sees beyond beauty (and thus, hope this isn't a SPOILER, falls for the nerd).

The goal isn't that important. Creating a physical dictionary in the internet age? And yet, if you love words and reading, this is a worthwhile, but not a profound, listen. Think of this as dessert, rather than a meal with all major food groups represented.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By careful reader on 09-12-17

Interesting read about another culture

What did you like best about The Great Passage? What did you like least?

Cultural study bestIt seemed long and drawn out.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The descriptions of how the characters thought. Nice people to know about.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

He did a good job with interpreting a foreign thinking.

Was The Great Passage worth the listening time?

Only because I was doing something else.

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