a towering white flower blooms on a barren deserted mountain. Such is the humanity, love and freedom found in Johnson's North Korea, He sets up the isolated mountain well in first part of the book, purposefully and carefully imparting the utter nothingness of Jun Do's life onto the reader. In this way we neither love or hate Do yet there is an attachment to the story. Johnson keeps us reading through the merits of his writing and unique mix of imagination and attention to authentic details alone. The second part of the book showcases the white flower . "He began his story how a love story might open with a beauty and an insight that combined pity with the need to protect". Johnson begins a love story between the reader and the character Jun Do in this same way and runs it in parallel to the story of Do(or shall I say commander Ga) and Sun Moon. Both blossom slowly but in stunning beauty. We find ourselves suddenly struck by Do's humanity as he is faced with unimaginable scenes of the inhumane. Johnson draws us into Do this way and sets the foundation for an epic love story truly worthy of the Casablanca comparisons drawn by Johnson. He tells this epic through the breathtaking imagery and heartbreaking emotion of Ga's "confession". It creates a story so powerful it is able to remind the hardened investigator what he has forgotten, that love and intimacy are all that matters, that inside his father is holding his hand . In this way love really does conquer all. Ga's love for Sun Moon is able to free her and her children, it is able to free himself and is ultimately able to free the investigator and his parents.
I thought the ending was unworthy of such an amazing book, however. I think Johnson should have ended the book sooner leaving a fresh taste of this love in the reader's mouth
"In the dream I believe this night will be different, that when we arrive home she will finally let me touch her. She is wearing a platinum choson-ot, shimmery as crushed diamonds. On the street people in black pajamas dart into our path........people carrying bundles and groceries and extra work to take home but I do not slow. I am commander Ga in the dream. my whole life I have been steered by others, I've been the one trying to escape from their paths but commander Ga is a man who steps on the gas."
This novel blew my mind! From the beginning to the end I hung on every word. The story was dynamic, exciting, disturbing, and heartbreaking. I really loved this book- I wish it was longer!
Say something about yourself!
Outstanding story and performance. The story was complex and engaging. The performance was amazing.
This is my second time listening to this book. It's very well written and very well perform I enjoyed it the first time and will continue to enjoy it for many more years to come. The only thing I have to say on a sad note is there are no other books by this author.
Loved this book. An amazing epic story of survival, love and crazy politics. I would recommend to anyone. Great narration too.
This is a fascinating story. That being said, it was very hard to understand. I loved getting a glimpse into the authors experiences and understandings of North Korea and his afterward was very important to my understanding. Still, most of this I didn't enjoy very much.
it seemed the profanity was coming from the author, not the characters personality. Not even worth the short amount of time that I endured it.
A strange mix of poetry in well narrated prose, this book stands alone and has no real comparison. Recommended by a colleague, I listened and found myself mesmerized and immersed in a whole new world. This book challenges our idea of culture and opens you up to the struggle to maintain one's sense of self in the face of impossible circumstances. The story is brutal and frustrating but written so well that you almost float through the experience. Well done!