Convenience Store Woman
by Sayaka Murata

Review
Apr 25 2021

A novel that explores what it means to have an atypical relationship to work.

This is another Absurdist story. The premise is ridiculous yet believable, in that the main character finds fulfillment in her job, to the detriment of her social standing. While working is good, not all work is regarded equally.

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Expectations aren’t universal. The rules are always changing, which confuses the dear protagonist.

There was an occasion where the same phrase was used by two different characters, and not in a situation where it would make sense. It interfered with believability somewhat, since it sounded like the author’s opinion instead of being in-character. I don’t know if the story in its native language would have this repetition, or the translator fell back on repeat vocabulary by mistake, but that was the one part that was distracting.

If you’d like a modern take on Absurdist literature, I would recommend this book. It’s a shorter read, and the unflappable narrator makes for some funny moments.

Verdict: 4.5 / 5

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