The stories, and the way they are told, are gripping, suspenseful. I am not very emotional, but I teared up multiple times.
It crawled under my skin, and told me about a country that I intellectually knew existed, but never really thought about, until I had nightmares that I and my family were among them. It was that kind of book.
The dark side of the coin
Wow, listen. And then re-listen. As soon as I finished this book, I restarted it to listen a second time in case there was anything I missed while I lived my day to day life.
Nothing to Envy provides the reader with insight into the opressive regime that controls North Korea and how the individual and family unit has been affected. A true cautionary tale of what happens inside a totalitarian regime and why it is so difficult to change.
It was an informative and interesting look into a world much different than our own
Will read (or in this case, listen) to just about anything.
Excellent book about a common news topic that most people still know amazingly little about: North Korea. The stories of real-life North Koreans who made it out and lived to tell the tale are riveting. Strongly recommended.
short, fat, and stupid.
loved it. A great true tale of normal North Korean citizens. Loved it loved it loved it.
It was really hard to decide if I was a sexist pig that didn't like books written and/or read by women or if the narration style was awful. I wrestled with that question for most of this book. Fortunately the next book in my queue was written and read by a woman and was good and the tale was told. Cutting to the chase, in my opinion, this breathy narration would better serve Winnie the Pooh. Lady, we're talking about the DPRK, not unicorns. Frankly the narration is so miserable I have no idea if the book is any good or not. Perhaps we would be better served by the print version,
Say something about yourself!
The story of the people of North Korea as told by those who were able to make it out to South Korea is told with compassion and insight. The details provide strong images and we get to know several people in depth and really come to care for them. Karen White describes well what it is like for people who are hungry and also for people who have maybe just enough to eat and must live among the hungry. A powerful picture of what it is like to live in a country where the government is not functioning to help people yet still all powerful--as in it is not okay to complain.
Very well. A haunting story to be certain.
The fight between Mrs. Song and Oak-hee. Oak0hee proved she was stronger then her mother's blind devotion.
I hadn't before.
I really enjoyed this title. The author really did a good job of weaving together the story of these defectors with the politics and history of N Korea in a way that transcends the individual pieces. By the end you feel like you really care about these people, and the story is proof that sometimes truth is as compelling as fiction.
The narration was pretty jarring at first to the point where I almost returned it - but I got used to it after a half hour.
Even though I've listened to NPR stories about the severe, authoritarian North Korean government, I really had no idea about what was/is happening there. I can't imagine crying more at the death of my president than that of my spouse and/or parents. Especially if I was out eating weeds and starving to death while my government wouldn't give me rice because it had been donated by the U.S. (our flag on the bag).
I might compare Nothing to Envy to 1984 because of the way citizens had to hide their feelings about their government. I'm sure there is a better book to compare it to (fiction vs. non-fiction) but I'm not claiming to be "well-read".
The narrator, Karen White, does an excellent job of bringing these folk's lives out, without over or under doing the painfulness. I would have to say that she was the perfect choice for this book because if the person had been monotone, I would have struggled listening to the history (as I sometimes struggle with non-fiction keeping me awake).
I really hope that people will read this book, if for no other reason than to appreciate their own lives more (however, please don't think that sentence means that this book shouldn't be read for its quality all by itself--It is amazing what Demick has been able to show with her storytelling ability). The U.S. government is corrupt but at least we can still catch them at it and go after them.