With such advanced communications in our world today it is amazing that an entire country can remain so secretive and sheltered from the rest of the world. While I had heard that North Korea was very isolated I had no idea the extent. Barbara Demick does an excellent job of illustrating how that manifests in the daily lives of North Koreans. This is the stuff you expect to read in history books... not the stuff you think is happening in our lifetime. Fascinating from the first chapter, I couldn't wait to find out what happened with each of the characters.
The narration took a bit to get used to, but as the book went on I appreciated her slow nature, especially with many of the names I was unfamiliar with and trying to keep straight. I also felt the rather monotone narration fit well with the monotonous oppression prevalent throughout the stories in the book.
This is a very good book especially for those that don't know really anything about North Korea (that's me). All I really knew is it's an extremely repressed regime and they threaten to develop nuclear weapons. This book brings you all the way down to civilian life in North Korea in vivid detail. Very good, recommend to anyone.
I was so grateful for the intimate look inside North Korea through the lens of personal stories of its defectors...and so grateful that they were willing to share their stories. This book is fascinating!! I want to know more.
One of the most memorable moments to me was the realization by one of the defectors that he may not be alone in his inability to feel grief and cry real tears over the death of Kim Il Sung. Just the fact that nobody talked about it! That he was surprised by his own thought that he and all these
No. I thought she was very professional, but at times too static...very much like a news anchor. Maybe that's good in the book reading world, but as an audio book, I found it hard to follow the change in the tone of the story without a change in her general tone.
The woman leaving her abusive husband and two children. I was so moved by the fact that she left her children and couldn't come back for them...and never speak to them. Still thinking about her heartache breaks my heart. I hope they can be reunited someday.
Very good book. I have recommended it to several people.
I'm a piper and a knitter, and reading is my drug of choice.
I would--and have--recommend this book to a friend. It is a seldom-glimpsed insight into life in North Korea, important especially since the recent death of Kim Jong-il. I know that now, for example, that the North Koreans are in a period of forced mourning where everyone has to take a turn going to the statue of Kim Jong-il in their city center and wailing for several hours, whether or not they are sad. If they don't show up, consequences are dire.
It is unbelieveable what those people have endured. My heart aches for them. I wonder what the future holds in store for them under Kim Jong-un.
I loved the personal stories, the successes and failures, trials and tribulations
Getting to China or South Korea was not a happy ending, it was a new beginning. Not easy to adjust. This was told wonderfully by the author.
A peak into lives of ordinary people living in today's North Korea .... a horrifically repressive and dehumanizing society. Although at times I felt I was reading a dystopian science fiction novel, I was impressed that there are people who can resist the 24-hour-a-day brainwashing that they are subjected to. I wondered where they get the strength to do so, and in the case of these 6 people, how the summoned up the courage to escape from this brutal failed regime.
Nothing to Envy is at once saddening and inspiring .... and an example of fine journalism and storytelling. I'll be listening to it again.
i bought this out of a vague sense of interest and obligation to be interested. it turned out to be so well written and full of such interesting and dramatic stories that i could not stop listening.
there is potential to be moralistic or overly sentimental in telling these stories, but the author allows them to speak for themselves which i greatly appreciated. they are poignant enough on their own.
No, the narrator is excellent!
I forgot their names; I listened to this a few months ago, but it is the young couple that were in love in North Korea,
She reads it with emotion, so the listener can feel the intense internal struggle within each character.
I love the format - written by a journalist formally of N. Korea in fictional form. It gives her a different freedom of expression.
It helps you see inside this country we would never see otherwise. Like they have only state TV, no internet or news of any kind about the world around them. They live a hermit life in a sense, but a very hard life under a communistic regime. The author follows several characters so we see life from different perspectives. The dictator sees himself as a god and demands he be venerated as such.
Haven't listened to her before to my knowledge.
I would put N. Korea in the title.
I'm fairly new to audio books and find it much different than reading a book.
This is an amazing account of life in North Korea, right up to the last decade. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author balanced the accounts of multiple lives under the harsh regimes. It was well written and I would recommend it, except for the narrator. She narrated the entire book in a staccato that at times made me want to quit--except the stories were so compelling! A different narrator would make this book perfect. It's still a great read.
This book was incredibly written. It followed several different people through their lives in North Korea, documented their living conditions and experiences. The stories were inspiring, heartbreaking, and painted a vivid picture of everyday life in this oppressive Communist regime. This is a must read!