Recounting his three years in Korea, the highest-ranking non-Korean executive at Hyundai sheds light on a business culture very few Western journalists ever experience in this revealing, moving, and hilarious memoir.
When Frank Ahrens, a middle-aged bachelor and 18-year veteran at the Washington Post, fell in love with a diplomat, his life changed dramatically. Following his new bride to her first appointment in Seoul, South Korea, Frank traded the newsroom for a corporate suite, becoming director of global communications at Hyundai Motors. In a land whose population is 97 percent Korean, he was one of fewer than 10 non-Koreans in a company of 5,000 employees.
For the next three years, Frank traveled to auto shows and press conferences around the world, pitching Hyundai to former colleagues while trying to navigate cultural differences at home and at work. While his appreciation for absurdity enabled him to laugh his way through many awkward encounters, his job began to take a toll on his marriage and family. Eventually he became a vice president - the highest-ranking non-Korean in the history of Hyundai - but at an untenable price.
Filled with unique insights and told in his engaging, humorous voice, Seoul Man sheds light on a culture few Westerners know and is a delightfully funny and heartwarming adventure for anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water - all of us.
©2016 Frank Ahrens (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
The book is well read.
This book is pretty shallow and superficial. Very much an average American goes to Korea and learns some predictable and average lessons. I didn't really think it was as funny as the blurb advertised. On a few occasions the author's cultural tone deafness and incuriosity could be considered funny I guess but I was annoyed by that point. Not badly written just not insightful. The reader and audio quality were very good.
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