I was very quickly drawn into this compelling story about life in North Korea. You may think it reads like science fiction but, unfortunately, life in North Korea is about as frightening as the world can be. This book is not a beach read at all. As we follow the main character through his life of trials and tribulations, we experience his evolution as a man and his awakening to understanding this country. This fictional account is loaded with very factual information about North Korea. The balance of fact and fiction allows the reader to feel more acutely and experience the insight of characters/people as they try to make sense of life in a country of insanity.Thoughts of this story will linger and haunt you long after the last word.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
This story was really engaging and a bit frightening if this is really how life is in North Korea. The paranoia, the games, the "rehabilitation camps" the propaganda is so cold war it is hard to believe that this still exists. I immediately cared about the characters and couldn't wait to continue the story each time I had to stop the book.
The narrators were really excellent as well. The added alot to the story and really added life to the story. I am interested to read more from this author and this story made me want to learn more about this mysterious and dangerous place called North Korea.
One of the top audiobooks I have heard.
I liked how the stories wove together and built in intensity as they intersected.
Captivating, original, fascinating
Utterly fantastic book. Narration is top-notch as well. I picked it up because the North Korea "angle" seemed intriguing. The book sure delivers in that respect. And although North Korea itself is the utter center of this book, the characters and their stories are absolute gems. I am so glad I took a chance on this book.
I didn't know what I was in for with this story and was mesmerized by the insight into North Korea..stayed with me for weeks after I finished. Great story. So glad it won the Pulitzer.
This book is impossible to describe well. Parts are very dark, but the story is compelling. The multiple readers are excellent. While I didn't always like the story line, I found I could not stop listening! Well derserving of the Pulitzer!
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.