Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson

This book is astonishing, whether Johnson has North Korea and Kim Jong-il 100% right or not.  The two parts are so different -- Part 1, the strange, convoluted, quietly horrifying life of Pak Jun Do, orphan, tunnel fighter, kidnapper, spy; and Part 2, the stories of Jun Do's reincarnation as Commander Ga, Sun Moon's acceptance of her replacement husband, the interrogater assigned to get Commander Ga's confession, the lunatic rant of the loud speaker, and the loopy but shrewd Kim Jong-il.  But each section is completely satisfying in its own right.  The cast of readers, Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, were amazing.  Some readers found Part 2 hard to follow.  Kang, Lee, and Lee made it effortless.

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