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Earthlings: Sayaka Murata by [Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori]

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Earthlings: Sayaka Murata Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 711 ratings

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Review

"Exhilaratingly weird and funny...Unsettling and totally unpredictable."

-- "The Guardian (London)"

[A] shocking story about the consequences of nonconformity in a society with rigid expectations."

-- "Shelf Awareness"

"A critique of cultural expectations that limit what women can be and what they can do...[using] horror and science fiction to explore real-world problems."

-- "Kirkus Reviews"

"It enthusiastically challenges most of our most deeply held societal taboos."

-- "BookPage"

"Societally defiant, shockingly disconnected, and disturbingly satisfying."

-- "Booklist"

"This eye-opening, grotesque outing isn't to be missed."

-- "Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)"

"A celebration of nonconformity that is both joyous and unsettling."

-- "New Yorker"

"A gem of a book...A gift to anyone who has ever felt at odds with the world."

-- "Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being"

"As intoxicating as a sake mojito...A literary prize-winner that's also a page turner."

-- "Vogue"

"Casts a fluorescent spell...A thrifty and offbeat exploration of what we must each leave behind to participate in the world."

-- "New York Times"

"I loved this book! It easily converted me to being an alien. Radical, hilarious, heartbreaking."

-- "Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot"

"Immensely charming, strange, and heart-stomping...Earthlings should be one of the main fictional events of 2020."

-- "Literary Hub"

"A new statement by Murata that finding your own freedom is a struggle against family and society which takes sacrifice."

-- "Books and Boo"

"This is one that should be on everyone's wish list."

-- "Japan Times"
--This text refers to the audioCD edition.

About the Author

Sayaka Murata is the author of many books, including Convenience Store Woman, winner of the Akutagawa Prize. Murata has been named a Freeman's "Future of New Writing" author and a Vogue Japan Woman of the Year.



Ginny Tapley Takemori has translated works by more than a dozen Japanese writers, including Ryu Murakami. She lives at the foot of a mountain in Eastern Japan.



Nancy Wu has narrated audiobooks since 2004, winning three AudioFile Earphones Awards. A New York theater, television, and film actor, she has recorded in studios all over the world--from Italy to Switzerland to Thailand. Her credits include Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Hope & Faith, All My Children, Made for Each Other, and the Oscar-nominated film Frozen River.

--This text refers to the audioCD edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08DY7HH4D
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Granta Books; 1st edition (1 October 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 656 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 201 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 711 ratings

Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5
711 global ratings

Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 25 March 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a ride it was!
By Ren on 25 March 2021
Tbh I didn't know a single thing about the Plot. I heard about Convenience Store Woman a lot so I picked the other work.

Where do I even start with this book?

The cover is the most deceiving part, I must say.
Don't let it fool you.
I didn't expect this book to be this dark.
I didn't want to put down this book but I had to because my mind wasn't able to digest some of the scenes.
I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a heart to keep up with the dark surprises.
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Reviewed in India on 3 November 2021
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One person found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 4 September 2021
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Reviewed in India on 14 October 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

PippaM
3.0 out of 5 stars Well. That was weird.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 December 2020
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24 people found this helpful
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The Girl With the Plants and Books!
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow…what a read!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 January 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow…what a read!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 January 2021
Where do you begin with a review for Earthlings!
There are so many elements of this book to talk about, making it if you can stomach it, a fabulous book group read.
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Convenience Store Woman, I had bought this one for the festive season, coming to it quite late. But I kept it and started it on New Year’s Day and subsequently devoured it in two days – and what a way to start the new year!

Sayaka Murata just has the ability to get deep into those characters that don’t always fare well in society and, through no fault of their own, are often side-lined. Going beyond, she sees and portrays society from the other side – and nowhere is that more evident than in Earthlings.

Natsuki could have very well been your usual typical little girl – but by the time she hits her teens and adulthood, it's very clear she’s suffering some form of mental health issue. However, it could also be argued that her fragile state of mind didn’t so much start out as mental health, but rather as a product of her horrible family.

The way Natsuki thinks and behaves is her coping mechanism and when you meet the immediate members of her family you understand more. Her mother is a complete b***h, her sister follows her mother’s example, and the father is just useless. It’s little wonder then that Natsuki feels as though she’s a huge burden.
She lives her life being told she’s useless and has simply accepted the fact that she’s a pain to anyone and everyone. Added to this, she’s being sexually abused by an adult.
Little wonder then that Natsuki believes she comes from another planet - and that there must be an escape route from this life, but she has to stay strong in the meantime.

During one of their family vacations, a time she lives for, an incident occurs and while yes, it may a little disturbing, the way the entire family/clan behaves afterwards towards Natsuki is truly awful.
Therefore, it's little wonder that Natsuki meets her husband online, but this again is no normal standard marriage more a marriage of convenience to keep everyone out of their business (The fact they both have to resort to this type of contract clearly shows how wrong society is).

The concept the book digs at here is ‘the factory,’ and how we are all products of that factory. The fact that men and women are designated to grow up, get married and produce children, and then watch as that cycle begins again is all some people believe life is about. But, for those who dare question it or decide against it, they’re considered the aliens as such.
This is evident when Natsuki only becomes relevant to her family when she enters that phase of womanhood, being told what her role is and how she’s not fulfilling it by getting pregnant. At this stage, it becomes suffocating listening to all her family members give their own ideas on what Natsuki and her husband should and shouldn’t be doing, completely highlighting this concept of women/men merely being tools for the ‘baby factory.’

Murata pulls you into her side of the argument so well and though we know Natsuki is mentally unbalanced by the end, the concept that she, her husband, and Yuu are fighting against, that of the factory, really does resonate.
How anyone cannot feel for Natsuki is beyond belief. When her abuse is finally spoken about, she’s told by more than one person it was her fault and that she encouraged it – bearing in mind she was just an innocent child at the time (little wonder she is so unbalanced).

And that ending – wow… all I will say is that you may not want to be eating or reading it on a full stomach because boy, it's brutal (and also hugely shocking as to how it all comes about!)
As for the entire premise of this book, I could not stop replaying it all in my mind for days after!

Sayaka Murata is my new favourite author of all time and I strongly recommend Earthlings. Yes, it's dark and brutal in places and uncomfortable at times, but for the message it is trying to convey, it is so worth the read (and a book you will not forget in a hurry!)
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Adam Bowie
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable follow-up to Convenience Store Woman
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 February 2021
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3 people found this helpful
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Owen W Knight
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange, disturbing and engaging
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 May 2021
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One person found this helpful
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Magda
1.0 out of 5 stars A Horrible, Disgusting book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 October 2021
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