I gave this only two stars because of poor editing. It is worth a listen, but there are parts that could have been pared down. After starting to listen three times, I finally made it through the whole book. Once I got to the meat of the story, I stayed interested, although I was often thinking to myself that excessive histories and descriptions detracted from the plot.
After listening to about half of this book, I just had to stop. The dialogue becomes next to "preachy" and its reasoning sophomoric. The descriptive narrative is just something to get through. Although I found the premise promising, it delivered a disappointing tone and story.
The narration was excellent and I will look for other books narrated by Mr. Mueller.
I would have to say take it or leave it. You might get into it and be able to finish.
I didn't have any trouble with the beginning of the book. I actually started it twice, thinking that the second time I'd be prepared and would be able to stay tuned. It is good. However, the unending LISTS made the voice very predictable, and to me, a little maddening. The plot and messages are good, and I will probably fast forward to the end to see what happens, but I'm skipping the meat
Being left in its submission envelope
He could have made his jokes funnier by not trying so hard to be crass
Didn't listen long enough to comment
I love personal memoirs, and this one is particularly well done and engaging. There is a good balance of Shen's personal story and the overall politics of North Korea and how it fits into the world.
The pace of the story and its editing are very good. The story kept my attention and the reader/author is better than most. I was leery, because I find that authors who read their own works are usually not the best narrators.
Although many memoirs are touching and emotionally provoking, I found this book to really hit a chord about understanding the impossibility of growing up to be a normal functioning human when one is raised under inhumane conditions. PTSD to the nth degree. Shen and similarly neglected and abused persons, I think, require much support to live in the world at large, with all of its sensory overload and social complexity. Although I knew about North Korea and many of its deplorable conditions, the people of North Korea now have a daily place in my heart, and I pray for them, each and every one.
The story was interesting enough to listen to all of it. Having said that, I thought parts of the book dragged a bit.
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