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Spice and Wolf, Vol. 1 Paperback – December 15, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Isuna Hasekura's debut novel, SPICE AND WOLF, earned the Silver Prize in the 2005 Dengeki Novel Prize with the series going on to total seventeen novels and both manga and anime adaptations.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Yen Press (December 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759531048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759531048
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By BMU on December 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll keep this short and sweet. Fans of the anime will love reading the original story and will gain a greater understanding of Lawrence & Holo. Little gestures you may not have even noticed the first time you watched the series, become clear and meaningful after finishing the book.

If you haven't heard of Spice & Wolf before, then either this book or the anime series are good places to start. You'll get more life out of the series, but the book is a bit easier on the wallet. Despite the unusual premise this is a slower-paced and more dialogue heavy story, suited for an older audience. A healthy interest in economics isn't needed, but it'd be a plus.

EDIT: I just have to update this after completing Volume 5 of the Spice & Wolf...everything I originally said about the rocky translation was just wrong. Paul Starr is doing an AMAZING job, this is by far one of the best translated light novels I have read to date, it perfectly captures the tone of the series.

Five volumes down and I am even more in love with this series than before, here's hoping we get to see the rest brought over!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By T. Smith on February 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
While one might not be surprised to find a wolf-girl and a fantasy setting in a book aimed at young adults, plots based on the principles of free-market economics are unexpected. Yet Hasekura combines a very unusual romance with economics and comes up a winner. Who'da thunk it?
The teasing romantic interplay between Lawrence and Holo is a delight. Two world-wise adults, albeit in different ways, they tease and flirt in an amusing and yet sexually-tense manner. You know that if either of them pushed things even a bit, they'd be...well, you know. But both are aware of the inevitable outcome of love between an immortal and a human. Not to mention Lawrence is a little afraid of being with a god (quite reasonably) and Holo has her near-arrogant pride to hold her back.
Anyway, a fun read. Note that it is for young adults, so don't expect Lord of the Rings. But for what it is, it's satisfying.
I'd like to note the translation was a surprise. It's excellent. Very smooth, vivid, and accurate. I might even say it reads better than the original (although I only read two chapters of that some years ago). A pat on the back to Paul Starr who deserves much more credit than a tiny line almost lost on the indicia page. In Japan translators are properly respected and their names are even on the front cover. Shame on American publishers for treating their essential contribution so poorly.
The front cover art is odd. I suppose they're trying to attract "mainstream" readers of light novels and maybe this is a way to do it. I suppose we'll see if that does any good, and the fans will buy it anyway. But Holo should at least have had fangs....
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Arie N.B. on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Because of the picture, I was worried that this volume was printed with the photograph cover-- Especially since I heard that for the original American release the Japanese cover was only available as a dust cover for a short period of time. Luckily, the dust cover was the American title and the Japanese cover was on the actual book.

Haven't read it myself, but this was a birthday gift for my husband and he was ecstatic!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sammy on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those still wondering, I can confirm that the books now have the anime style art work as the cover. Mine did not come with any dust jacket. The picture you see displayed is the image on the book. As for the content, I enjoyed it very much and have also read the other books. Recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Raul Panther on August 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of the anime you will most likely be a fan of the light novel. You pick up on a few things you will have missed if you had only watched the anime.

Also, if you're not a fan of the American artwork on the cover - fear not! It's only a sleeve. The original artwork is underneath the removable sleeve if you don't like it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SharkoutofWata on November 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am only a few dozen pages into the book so far, so I can not review the book as a whole but with my memory, if I don't say this now it will never get said. Many of the pictures and reviews are saying the western art, the photo-realistic shadowed nude girl, is the true cover of the book, with the manga styled art as a dust cover. Perhaps it is just me, but my copy is reversed. The photo-realistic is my dust cover while the book itself has the manga version of Holo. Perhaps I'm just a lucky one, but letting folks know the possibility is out there.

As for the book itself, I came from watching the English dubbed anime before even knowing that this series was originally a light novel. At only a few dozen pages in, I can't review the book as a whole, but so far, I am not disappointed in the least. The translation is a bit rocky in places with sentences being more stiff than can be considered good writing, but these sentences are much shorter than others, making one assume that the original Japanese phrase doesn't have a direct translation and only the meaning can be turned to English. Like I said, these parts are stiffer than other areas and can throw off the tone if the reader pays attention to writing styles like I do.

After watching the anime multiple times, in particular the first episode, there are points where I can hear Holo's English voice saying things slightly differently or Lawrence reacting differently while reading, but I actually enjoy the way the characters are portrayed more in the light novel than in the anime. Already, Lawrence seems more weathered and more adult than he does in the anime, and Holo is played in a far more layered light than her arrogant and care-to-the-wind attitude in the show.
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