The author's style of writing makes this book a very enjoyable read. She tied together the stories of several North Koreans along with a history of the country.
We all know governments can do good or make life worse. This book is the definitive proof that: 1) governments can make life infinitely worse, 2) power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, 3) communism eventually just kills a lot of the people it is supposed to be helping, 4) the pursuit of freedom is a stronger force than a dictator for those who will not accept being a slave to the state, and 5) when the chips are down, your family is your greatest strength. An amazing story of small triumphs and huge tragedy. Very sad. It does not reflect well on China. It shows that China continues to have no regard for people, only the state/CPC.
The most important thing to remember about this book is it isn't a political piece. This book is made of stories, and not those of great men, but everyday people. And as such they are average stories, at times happy, sad or shocking, but they are real, and true.
This is a fascinating book that nicely weaves together the history of Korea and the creation of North Korea, with the stories of 6 defectors from North Korea who were interviewed in their new home of South Korea. Not just the stories of their defections, but of their lives in North Korea for decades before that......what their lives were like in the North Korea of Kim Il-sung and, later, Kim Jong-il. The book was published in 2009, a few years before the current leader, Kim Jong-un took control, though he is mentioned as Kim Jong-il's son. What really makes the book interesting is that it's a look at the lives of these average people (factory workers, students, teachers, farmers, etc) inside what is the most secretive and unknown country on earth. Their families, their homes, their jobs, the totality of how their entire existence was created, maintained, and shaped by the whims of the current leader. The continued existence of the repressive regimes well into the 22nd century remains a fascinating mystery.
A look into the lives of North Koreans through the eyes of half a dozen defectors with shared experiences. Feel more like objective reporting that story-telling. Leaves you wanting to know more about both the defectors and the country from which they came, and thus makes for an excellent read.
Loved the story, had trouble occasionally keeping track of the characters. At times it appeared that the author either did not understand the cultural significance or did not like the tradition, for instance the description of the soup celebrating the birth of a child. Also, I did not care for the narrator. At times I found the recording difficult to listen to due to the narrator's style..
Fascinating story of people from NKDRP that was finished in 2009. Good research made an excellent book. You won't be disappointed.
This book follows the lives of several NK defectors to China and South Korea. Their stories cover their lives back in NK, what drove them to defect, how they defected, who helped them, and their struggles adjusting to the free world. Fascinating perspectives into how NK mistreats their population.
The narration is OK. She needs to show a little more emotion, especially considering the topic.