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Publisher's Summary

Bestselling author Keiichiro Hirano offers a timeless ode to love’s fragility and its resilience in this delicate, award-winning novel.

Classical guitarist Satoshi Makino has toured the world and is at the height of his career when he first lays eyes on journalist Yoko Komine. Their bond forms instantly. 

Upon their first meeting, after Makino’s concert in Tokyo, they begin a conversation that will go on for years, with long spells of silence broken by powerful moments of connection. She’s drawn by Makino’s tender music and his sensitivity, and he is intrigued by Yoko’s refinement and intellect. But neither knows enough about love to see it blooming nor has the confidence to make the first move. Will their connection endure, weaving them back together like instruments in a symphony, or will fate lead them apart?

Blending the harmonies of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nocturnes and the sensuality of Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love, At the End of the Matinee is an enchanting and thought-provoking love story.

©2016 by Keiichiro Hirano. Translation © 2021 by Juliet Winters Carpenter. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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What listeners say about At the End of the Matinee

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    5 out of 5 stars

Platonic relationship at its best

Beautifully knitted-together story of two people that had too much going on in their lives and the people they cared about. The story is heavy laden with details of the characters' professional world: classical guitarist, international affairs journalist, record label staff, film maker, economist. I didn't mind the slow pace of the story because it is full of long philosophical passages, opinionated conversations, and description of the setting or circumstance. This is the second novel by Keiichiro Hirano that I listen to, and again the theme of the present that can change the past or how the present and the past can transform a person virtually overnight is in both.

1 person found this helpful

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Love this author

This author sensitively creates wonderful stories and characters with a deep moral core. I have also listened to his other book translated into English, "A Man" and will read or listen to anything else he has written that becomes available in English. The audio performance is excellent too. I totally recommend this author.

1 person found this helpful

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Bad narrative performance; confusing contents

It’s very hard to distinguish characters. Sometimes i don’t even know if it’s male or female speaking. Content wise, bad mixture of eastern/western style. No zen feel. No love. No grasping plots. Disappointing!

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  • ti
  • 05-29-22

Very Engaging

Beautifully written and exquisitely narrated, I am so delighted to have had the experience of listening to this audiobook. Richly textured, touching on many worldly happenings as well as questioning numerous moral issues and societal responsibilities, although not preachy, I found this a gem of a book. It’s also a love story.

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Lovely story, but meanders a bit

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and it especially moves along well with the excellent vocal interpretation of the reader. The tale is far more philosophical than a typical romance we'd find in the U.S., which helped me to remain interested. But it did begin to drag across the last third of the story and could have used a bit of trimming of the various points of view. Still worth listening to, and I was surprised how much I was moved emotionally at the end.

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Great

Kept my attention from beginning to end, which says a lot. For the past couple of months, I have been getting bored with books before I reach the end. If I had one (slight) negative it would be the voice used for Yoko, and that might me being a bit too picky.

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  • KA
  • 09-18-21

Awful narration

The narration was so annoying that I couldn’t continue listening. He sounded as if he is out of breath.

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I didn't want the story to end

beautifully written truth about the irony of life... it was an easy "read." narrator's voice told the story well.

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  • juozas kasiulis
  • 11-01-21

Interesting audiobook

Did liked this listen. Just a nice story how unpredictable life can be and you never know than change will come. To be fair got a bit annoyed in a middle of a story how characters got separated but got used to it at the end. Shame this production didn't have real guitar music as well😁 Great narration.