A fascinating look at the workings of North Korea especially at this tense time in diplomatic relations with the North. No wonder westerners have trouble conceiving of the way North Koreans think - the inner workings of this book match with the descriptions of prison life in the North conveyed by a recent life-long prison dweller. Hard to imagine how this culture damages the psyches of its citizens.
The plot was different than anything I'd ever read before.
This was a really great book with lovely story telling. The book was really long, so there are sometimes when you are not totally in the mood, particularly when initially the story is a story without much light, but the stories were really engaging and dragged you into their world.
I loved the way that it made you really consider how others in the world live, particularly North Korea which I knew very little about before, also how countries with dictatorships really can function and how out of adversity some lovely stories of hope emerge. Some parts were really graphic and shocking, some even a tad distressing. I was really lost when this book finally ended :-(
I would listen to The Orphan Master's Son again. It was so beautifully written, so rich and full of details. I'm sure there will be things I missed, the first time listening.
Of Course, Jun Do. He is such a complicated character. There are times you want to hate him, but mostly he is a triumph in the face of so much tragedy.
The Interrogator. I loved that voice and thought it was portrayed so realistically.
I would not rename it. A major theme throughout the whole book is the lack of names and the unimportance of names.
This is my very first review. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks. This is the first one I ever felt strongly enough about to write a review. It's an involved story with lots of twists and turns. It is a story which is sometimes difficult to piece together - - but perhaps this is indicative of the reality of a life lived in North Korea. Apparently there are many stories from North Korea for which there is an abrupt end and no one really knows what happened. I especially liked the propaganda announcements. I like how they were performed, I felt they were oddly comical.
compare to Lisa's Dream. Get the true picture of life lived under socialist freedom.
The Glorious Leader
So many moments you want the characters to rebel. The anxious moments at the end. What will happen to Sun Moon and her children?
The young, the idealist will profit in their thinking about just what kind of government nurtures the human spirit.
Yes this is a novel. However I could not help but come away with a new understanding of how people could come to hate us. I know the author, Adam Johnson, did his research and it shows in each vivid scene. By having the story read I was free to listen and paint each scene with my own version, very much a plus.
The characters were full and rich, brought to life by the wonderful narraters. I would encourage anyone who is the least bit curious (and has a strong stomach for the very dark nature of the book) to find out for yourselves what makes a Pulitzer Prize winning novel.
I did find it repulsive in spots, yet I could not tear myself away for too long, so intriguing were the story lines. This was an investment which continues to pay me dividends. Highly recommended!
Loved this. I've read a few non-fiction books about North Korea, but never before a fiction.
Adam Johnson did a wonderful job crafting this story. And I have no idea where he got his ideas from. If he's even half right about life in North Korea it would be scary enough. I understand he spent time there, but when no pre-scripted person can speak to you without significant fear of arrest it must be pretty tough to get a story.
However much is based on stories from ex-North Koreans & how much is pure imagination I wouldn't know but it makes for an attention grabber.
Well written & well narrated. Definitely something out of the ordinary & very special.
Modern day 1984.
The narrative was compelling and well researched. It is a very disturbing book, and makes me question my tolerance for the atrocities that are active in the world today, rather than simply expressing disgust at what has gone on in the past. I really feel for the people of North Korea.
Commander Ga. I believe that his story is the national anthem of the common man of North Korea.
Fantastic story and extremely good performances. What a bizarre world this book takes us to. I was engrossed from beginning to end.
This is a good time to learn about North Korea. Having listened to the biographical "Nothing to Envy..." earlier, this novel seemed the logical next choice.
This book is fascinating, disturbing, and surprising at every turn. The first half of the book is stronger than the second and the story becomes less grounded as you go, but it never loses momentum. The characters would be unbelievable were they placed in our society, but given how other worldly North Korea is, they make sense.
The readers change as the point of view moves between characters. The reader during the title character's view is more effective, but as a group, they are very good.
If you don't know much about North Korea, my suggestion would be to listen to "Nothing to Envy..." or another slice of life book about the country before this one. By all means, though, take the time to enjoy "The Orphan Masters Son."