I have to disagree with Tim ??? quite strongly actually.
This story comes together like a jigsaw puzzle. Different characters give us their (incomplete) part of the story so the reader/listener is left to figure out what is actually happening. The Korean names and dialogue made my understanding slower but after listening to it a couple of times, I can???t stop thinking about it. I think Mr. Johnson did a brilliant job of telling a complicated story.
The level of human misery, cruelty and pathological ideas depicted makes North Korea, in my opinion, the leader in long list of notorious practitioners. History books as well as novels are not shy about adding imaginative ways to hurt people and/or animals but the NK regime certainly beats them all in that respect. It is so hard to believe it has gone on for so long.
If a North Korean slipped through Alice???s looking glass, he/she would no doubt feel right at home in Wonderland ,, well , if you add lots of cruelty.
The book is well written and the narration is spot on.
Eric Raymond is the author of "Confessions from a Dark Wood" published by Sator Press, 2012. He lives in San Francisco.
This is probably the finest audio book I've ever listened to, and it the novel earns every bit of the hype surrounding it. The stunning imagination, the bejeweled detail, the immaculate voicing and structure of this novel makes it one of the best books I've read in the past ten years. You will find it horrific and entertaining in equal measure, and no piece of fiction has worked so hard to counter totalitarian terror without being dogmatic.
The realistic horror of North Korea was too much for me. I have traveled in Asian countries (not NK) and it just struck home so much I could see that this is probably an accurate portrayal of life there. It is so horrible that I couldn't take it after 1/2 of the book and just quit. This book is too real.
Probably many will like the book because of that. I just couldn't bear thinking about how these people live every day any more. No thanks.
Great narrator, well written.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
Not only did Adam Johnson's "The Orphan Master's Son" (Orphan) win the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but Stephen King listed the book as the 2013 top work of fiction (Entertainment Magazine, 12/2013). The purpose of Johnson's book is to expose the world to the way of life North Korea citizens must endure. The author accomplishes this by depicting the life events of one man, Jun Do, whose adventures covers the spectrum of citizenship; orphan to hero.Through Jun Do’s story, the reader is exposed to North Korea’s exploitation of citizens, government propaganda, philosophy of leadership, and control of the masses through coercion.
Jun Do’s story is interesting enough, but the books purpose is to put you in touch with the daily living conditions of the North Korean people as controlled and dictated by a sinister ruling party. The genius of Johnson’s work is that the information gleaned by the reader never seems forced or a work of nonfiction. Elements of the North Korean lifestyle are woven seamlessly into the overarching story. The reader never feels they are attending a lecture or education seminar.
As a reader, I had some basic background information about the repressive North Korean government ruled by the now deceased Kim Jong-Il. However, Orphan brings to life the graphic reality the North Korean people experience. Orphan will open your eyes to the despotic/Orwellian nightmare of North Korea.
The narration of Orphan is excellent. My only criticism of Orphan is it’s about 100 pages too long. There are small sections of the book that are overwritten that serve to collectively frustrate the reader. However, this is a truly important and revealing book that will change your perspective on world events.
Gruesome, dark and depressing. That must be what is required for a Pulitzer. It's not a light read! I had to slug through it.
No, I was sorry that I spent time on this melodrama. I am not a big fan of melodrama, but kept thinking there would surely be something more than what was so predictable.
The narrators did do a great job with depicting the different characters. Can't fault them for what they had to read.
No. No spoiler from me, but I don't think there is anything left to say.
I have read a lot about the awful situation in North Korea, and I am not averse to reading a novelized version. But this one went over the top, creating its own version of a propaganda script. If that was Johnson's intent, he succeeded, but I found myself increasingly bored with the idealized caricatures of his "good" characters.
Impossible to follow aurally, especially if you listen off and on or as you fall asleep.
short, fat, and stupid.
Buy this book. I dont normally read fiction but this book was top notch. North Korea is such a great topic setting for a book. I LOVED IT.
Say something about yourself!
Incredible book taking place in North Korea. It is quite unfathomable that a country like this still exists in this day & age.
The lead character is really well-developed & although his actions were truly incomprehensible at times, it forces the reader to go beyond thinking what 'normal' is.
Definitely recommended & no question Pulitzer-worthy!
This was an extremely well written book; I could not put it down. However it is a very disturbing book. The narrators are great!