The Orphan Master's Son

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Linny says:
**Mention of light spoilers - nothing revealing**I finished it. I finally finished it. I was bound and determined to not have this book end up as a "couldn't finish." Is this book bad? No. Does it have interesting ideas? Yes. I really appreciate the exploration of identity. The movement between perspectives and tones (the shifting between people and the radio broadcast voice) was interesting. As of right now, I feel that the loudspeaker broadcast chapters carry the most weight in that they really drive home the place of propaganda and the manipulation of perception. At the end, though, I am left feeling as if it didn't reach the depth it could have. With that said, about the time they leave Texas in the book is when this novel became my bathroom reading material. I'm not saying that to be vulgar. It's just that I could only stand to get through a few pages at a time before I was wanting to read/do something more interesting. I ended up putting this book down and moving onto
...another book about three or four times before finally deciding that I just needed to sit down and finish it (and the fact that I have been bed ridden for the past week with illness made it all the easier to do so).
Niilo says:
This book was terrifying. However, the interview with Adam Johnson, the author, at the end of the version of the book I read, made the book even more terrifying. You see, when you read the interview, you come to realize that the atrocities described in the novel were not pure fiction. Johnson spent years investigating North Korea and speaking to North Korean defectors. It's chilling when you come to realize the torture chambers, the frequent, unexplained disappearance of citizens, and the daily propaganda broadcast over loudspeakers was not simply an invention to add to the drama of the main characters' story, but a pointed description of life in North Korea based on thorough research.I gave this book four stars. It's a Pulitzer-prize winner for good reason, and an incredible read. Since I finished it 24 hours ago, it has stuck with me. I can't stop thinking about it. I didn't give it five stars because I didn't love it like the five-star books on my list, but part of me feels like it deserves five, and I wonder if I'm biased toward the book because it made me squeamish. I don't know. I'll stay with four stars for now, and I think I'll revisit it in a few years, and see how it feels then. Maybe then, I'll be able to just enjoy the beauty of the story told, and not be so troubled about the plight of the characters in that story.If you don't know anything about North Korea, you should read this book. If you think you know North Korea, you probably want to read this book, too. If you take the time to read it, the next time you see a news story about Kim Jong-un thumping his chest about his country's nuclear pursuits, you won't be able to help but feel like you have a little bit more insight into his brain, into his world, into his country, than you had before you read The Orphan Master' Son.
The Orphan Master's Son
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Guest 6 years ago

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Guest 7 years ago

It's long but compelling to the end. The changes of perspective reflect the disassociative feelings the author is trying to convey. It reminded me of kite runner

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