This is an amazing insight into North Korea. The feel you get about the lives of a whole country ruled by this dictator is saddening. Makes one appreciate not living there.
Good story, was a little lost in the beginning. Not a book you can go in and out of. But it never lost me completely, and was overall good. Sometimes the narrator's "asian" voices were borderline racist sounding (think Mickey Rooney in Breakfast and Tiffany's), but otherwise narrator was good.
Holy cow. This will be required reading in history classes around the world. So much to sink your teeth in. Beautiful but tragic. I enjoyed every minute.
I liked the book, but I didn't feel that enough explanation was given, I needed more background. As I got towards the end of the book it made more sense but the author jumped from scene to scene it was very confusing.
While the beginning of the book could represent a challenge for anyone given the pace of the story, but once you go through the first chapters you will start to understand the main character and his circumstance.
The story is Dantesque from start to finish, with the main character following a path that brings him from one hell to another, each providing him knowledge to survive the next one, until in a final realization he is in the last ring, where the a reality worthy of Kafka sets the final confrontation.
I liked the book. It is well written and the characters are well developed.
While this book is well written, the story is unremittingly grim. The characters, except for the female love interest are as finally drawn as ivory cameos. However, the story itself is pedestrian and uninspired. I could guess the ending half way through the book.
I forced myself to finish the book; I guess the fact that it won a Pulitzer in 2013 is what made me want to finish it. I purchased it because it was compared favorably to Donna Tartts The Goldfinch. Both writers are excellent in fleshing out their characters. There the similarity ends. The Goldfinch had an immersive plot and a sense of forward movement and well, Joi de vrie that The Orphan Master Son lacked.
The story itself was one long didactic screed against the evil North Korean regimine. If you really want to learn about this regimine, I would suggest a good nonfiction book. If you want an enjoyable an immersive novel, look elsewhere.
The beginning of the book is a little slow, but still very interesting as we follow a young man from an orphanage through early adulthood. Then it picks up, and is an interesting, exciting read. The end is a little drawn out - the author could have gotten to the ending a little quicker, but all in all a very good book.
I did some research on the author and on North Korea after I read Orphan Master's Son, and by all accounts it appears that the author does a good job of representing life in North Korea. This is a unique book - a very interesting and unusual plot, good characters, good writing, and good narration.