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.
Now THIS is a thriller! What a ride! The characters are well rounded, complex and unpredictable. The author paints one tense scene after another, making it almost impossible to stop the story for ANY reason. It will keep you up all night and in the morning you get to play the Creativity Game -- trying to think up a believable excuse to be late or completely absent from work. I told them I was held hostage. I don't think they bought it.
The downside of this book is that it ruins the listener for so many others. Great story, tightly written, perfect narration. Tough act to follow
This book is a symphony of all my favorite things about audio books and books in general.
Zafron is a master story teller who delivers unforgettable imagery, vibrant humor, and poignant historical references for his characters. He deftly weaves a riveting and intricate narrative that is hard to put down (this is not a book you can listen to while doing something else - you have to pay attention)
Jonathan Davis is a wonderful narrator and makes the story all the more inviting. He could have helped me a little by letting me know when the main voice changed to a female character. It wasn't a big deal; I figured it out; but it kept me confused for a while!
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