In this rare insider's view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom.
"The General will now enter the room."
Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il’s face will soon appear.
As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.
Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing exposé told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung's escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world’s most secretive and repressive regime.
©2014 Jang Jin-Sung. All rights reserved. (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
This is an excellent book. I was throughly entertained. I have always wondered how life is inside North Korea.
I loved the escape across the River that separates China from North Korea.
I listened to this book on my way back and forth to work.
Thats easy!! A plagiarist of George Orwell, a pedophile, and a narcissistic sociopath. I am not overstating when I say this book could change your life. Your own problems will simply disappear into an embarrassing haze of utter meaningless. Forget North Korea's violations concerning nuclear proliferation, this government has inflicted genocide using starvation against its people, and should lose their sovereignty. The suffering of the Korean people most notably the execution of the soul is a repeat of man's worst history. Never has a such a high ranking official from North Korea defected and lived to tell about the horror left behind. There is actually a "Room 101" used for practically the same atrocities as in Orwell's 1984. Speechless and heartbroken, there is nothing else to say. A must read!!!
Warning this book my cause you problems at work and or in your relationships. Because once you start listening you can't stop.
All the information revealed to me.
Jang meeting Kim for the first time.
Jang and the other North Koreans.
The Truth Exposed.
A great book about a mysterious government.
This work of non-fiction is not only informative, but it also offers the drama of a novel. It's impossible to stop listening once you start.
A captivating and richly detailed recap of the authors escape from North Korea. Very interesting to hear exactly how it was done.
This is a great non fiction book that tells a horrible truth
I enjoyed what North Korea is like for the regular people
Just an incredible book...better written than the others about north NK. Really heart-wrenching.
Esape from the 14th and a few others about NK. This wasn't about the prison camps like those, which I liked. This was about real life during the famine.
Not much...a little overdone with the female characters
Fantastic. Can't stop thinking about it.
Well, after listening to "Escape From Camp 14" I was prepared for most anything, and that preparation served me well. No one denies that the poor, enslaved souls of North Korea live under a regime second only to Stalin and his Gulag Archipelago (have we forgotten that he murdered almost twice as many people as Herr Hitler?). From that vantage point this book reinforces the notion that the torture of these people is one of the most heinous crimes of this and the last century.
With that in mind we find ourselves at "Mr. Jin-sung's" book. Does it stand as fiction, the truth, or on ground somewhere in between. I say the latter and for the following reasons:
1) The circumstances of his escape are too incredible to be believed. His month long journey at times rings impossible and leaves the listener in a state of bewilderment. Maybe it was written as it was for good reasons, but it is hard to believe that his trip occurred as he would have us believe;
2) The grammar and sometimes use of Western phrases raises the suspicion that his ghost writer (and I surely do believe there was one) added a Western tone that I found obvious and disturbing;
3) The author comes off as too naive by half. He wants the listener to believe that at the tender age of 27 he worked his way into the very CLOSEST circles of Dear Leader, I mean among the top ten, if not five, confidants, and yet when he is in China he finds the culture and "wealth" there incomprehensible. For a man whose job partially included the task of learning to think like a South Korean by learning everything he could about them this unending litany of shock over encountering a culture in northern China-not far removed from South Korea-as a bit much.
Okay, even with those flaws I recommend the listen. The description of how North Korea and its "government" worked in the 1990s and early 2000s (which I chose in the main to take at face value) leaves one speechless.
OK but that is not a reason to listen to the book.
Only as set out above.
Someone who doesn't mind fiction portrayed as non fiction.
This is not a question related to Dear Leader.
To my knowledge I haven't.
I feel this is a book BASED on fact. It's impossible to believe it all. It is poorly written. I hope the author is held to account for selling mostly-fiction as non fiction.
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