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Customer Review

on April 29, 2009
What I really love about this book is it provides a lot of meat in a very small package. The book is both small enough and complete enough, that you can simply grab it on your way out the door, to work on when you're standing in line, or on the bus, etc. Each story is less than two small pages, so you get your sense of accomplishment quicker. :)

On the pages opposing the Japanese stories are the english translations; but I don't find the translations so useful as the sentence-by-sentence destruction (which repeats the Japanese, but with furigana) and commentary that follows after each story. Each sentence is further decomposed almost word-by-word, and includes such things as explanations of common idioms, and even pointing out puns and wordplay.

Since the decompositions provide all the readings for the kanji and explanations of the vocabulary, the book is really all you need to read the passages. You don't need to grab your kanji and wa-ei dictionaries (though I tend to anyway, in case I want to gain a little more insight).

Because of the furigana, I don't think strong knowledge of kanji is necessary to enjoy this book (though of course it will make it easier: you may not need to flip to the commentary as often). A working, intermediate knowledge of Japanese grammar, however, is important, as you're generally assumed to understand various verb forms and sentence patterns.
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Product Details

4.9 out of 5 stars
$12.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime