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Another Man's City

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  33 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Another Man's City is structured as a virtual-reality narrative manipulated by an entity referred to variously as the Invisible Hand or Big Brother. The scenario is reminiscent of Peter Weir's 1998 film The Truman Show and Kazuo Ishiguro's novel The Unconsoled. The novel begins with a series of seemingly minor juxtapositions of the familiar and the strange, as a result of ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published May 1st 2011)
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Jan 26, 2015 Jonfaith rated it liked it
Behind a facade of peace and tranquility they were deceiving him, they were preying on his frailties.

3.4 Stars

My first novel of 2015 was appropriate, one both disorienting and quotidian. Dalkey's Korean endeavor is an encouraging one. Another Man's City is a brilliantly weird snapshot of a world in flux, featuring K an out-of-joint protagonist -- one besieged by the numbing details of life, yet plagued by minutiae not entirely his own. Identities become blurred, K is convinced that cheap actors
Chad Post
Dec 11, 2014 Chad Post rated it liked it
I'm flying back from Seoul right now (actually sitting in Vancouver, suffering a 10-hour layover) after one of the best editorial trips of my life. I fell in love with Korea, with the people, with Seoul, with the authors, publishers, translators, food, women, soju, etc., etc. As a result, I'm planning on starting a Korean literature series at Open Letter, and publishing at least one South Korean book every year. (With the help of Yoonie and all the amazing people at the LTI Korea!)

Anyway, I rea
The premise of this sounded fantastic - if not entirely original. A man, known only as K, wakes up one day with a vague suspicion that things around him have subtly changed. This starts with minor details, such as the suspicion that his aftershave has been swapped for a different brand; it escalates to the point that he believes his wife and daughter have been replaced by impostors. Over the course of a weekend, as K's paranoia grows, he embarks on an increasingly manic dash around Seoul in the ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
K wakes up and his aftershave is the wrong name, and his wife and daughter seem like actors. He spends the novel trying to unravel what happened to his real life, suspecting Big Brother is manipulating the events.

Not a lot of new concepts but nice to read something translated from a South Korean author.
John Armstrong
Nov 14, 2014 John Armstrong rated it it was amazing
Shelves: korean-modern
I do not write many reviews, and I post the few I do write in a different place, but I like this book so much and see it in so different a light than the other GR reviewers that I decided to share my review of it here.

The protagonist-narrator, who we know only as K, is awakened by his alarm clock Saturday morning and notices (starting with the clock itself, which shouldn’t have gone off on a weekend day), that things aren’t quite right. He remembers that he was out after work last night but can’
Paul Fulcher
Feb 26, 2016 Paul Fulcher rated it liked it
"Something was messed up. It had started at seven, when the alarm came on by itself - nobody had set it. And then, for the first time in his fifteen years of married life, he had risen from his bed naked, his bedclothes(*) having vanished like a magician's dove. And finally his aftershave had disappeared, replaced with a brand he wouldn't be caught dead with.

Where had this string of events began? Or was he imagining it? No - it was real, and the tricks had started last night. Maybe with the men
Sep 07, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it
Ch’oe Inho’s Another Man’s City (translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton, review copy courtesy of the publisher and Australian distributor Footprint Books) is an intriguing story set over the course of a weekend. Businessman K is rudely woken by his alarm clock at seven o’clock in the morning, dutifully crawling out of bed. That’s not unusual in itself, except for the fact that it’s Saturday – so why was it set? As the morning progresses, he notices a few other odd details and begins to wonder ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Christopher rated it liked it
I think that Another Man's City works best if you take it as a chance to experience some relatively well-trodden Sci-Fi tropes through the lens of a different culture. What we have here is a story that borrows a great deal from Kafka and Orwell (explicitly) and from the general science fiction hive mind that has led to more recent products like The Matrix, but filters it through contemporary South Korean society.

As the novel begins, protagonist K awakes to discover that things are ... a little o
Juli Rahel
Jan 07, 2016 Juli Rahel rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-translation
A while ago I read and reviewed The Republic of Užupis, another Library of Korean Literature read, which really interested me in reading more Korean literature. Another Man's City was the next one on my list and it's a fascinating read, one which takes the reader on all kinds of strange journeys, has twists where you least expect them and leaves you flabbergasted, in a good way. Thanks to Netgalley and Dalkey Archive Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest ...more
Aug 23, 2015 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Shelves: 20th-21st-asian
A simple and familiar plot (a man wakes up; his entire life, unchanged except in some minor particulars, feels out of joint) hides some important questions about the life well lived. The underlying perspective is Christian (although I may not have noticed hadn't I read about the author), but not a doctrinal kind of Christianity, and so a complete nonbeliever such as myself had no issue with it.

I cannot help but feel that this book is underrated by the Goodread community because of its apparent f
Oct 14, 2014 Mandy rated it liked it
This Kafkaesque fable, the protagonist of which is even called K, begins when our hero wakes up one morning to find that everything seems slightly off-kilter. His alarm rings, for a start, which it never does on a Saturday. His usual after-shave has changed from brand V to brand Y. His wife just doesn’t seem the same. Everything is familiar but just isn’t quite right. Over a single weekend K’s experiences become more and more dislocating and he begins to feel more and more confused and troubled. ...more
Jun 12, 2014 endrju rated it liked it
As the description says it is somewhat similar to "The Unconsoled" by Ishiguro, however I will have to disagree with the movie reference. If it is reminiscent of any film it is David Lynch's "Lost Highway". Similarly to the Lynch's film the novel also begins with the sudden event of impotence after which all the hell breaks loose. Given the hiccup in functioning of the Phallus, all signifiers melt down - people who used to be familiar become strangely unfamiliar (members of the nuclear and ...more
I'm torn about this. It's well-written, it's interesting, but I can't help but feel that I've read it all before. A middle-aged middle-class family man suddenly feels like nothing around him is real, and there are women trying to seduce him, and men cross-dressing, and they all appear to be a handful of people taking on different roles. It's not bad-- it's a competent story that raises salient questions about reality. On the other hand, it's been written before and it's been written better.

I ca
Mar 21, 2014 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: korean-read
A man wakes up to find himself in a familiar world, filled with unfamiliarities.

Definitely a page-turner
Interesting concept of Doppelgänger

Far too reminiscent of "1Q84" by Murakami Haruki
Same old Big Brother continues to rule our world.
Nov 19, 2015 Hodges rated it really liked it
I think I understood this book though I am hesitant to say what I thought it was about. I really just want to say to Dalkey Archives, "Proofread this one again. It is littered with issues."
Sep 22, 2015 Coral rated it liked it
Got 60% through and just could not read any more. I didn't like it, couldn't figure it out. There were some things there but not enough to keep my attention.
Anna rated it it was ok
Sep 20, 2016
Minju Kim
Minju Kim rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2014
Adriana rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2015
Algren rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2016
Joshua Fuller
Joshua Fuller rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2015
Matthew Spencer
Matthew Spencer rated it it was ok
Nov 27, 2014
Ernesto Hegi
Ernesto Hegi rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2016
Meg rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2016
Hsk rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2014
Chris Choi
Chris Choi rated it liked it
Oct 19, 2016
Byeongun rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2012
Yikay Chan
Yikay Chan rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2016
Viet Nt
Viet Nt rated it it was ok
Nov 27, 2016
Maksim Karliuk
Aug 04, 2016 Maksim Karliuk rated it really liked it
My first Korean novel, very engaging and quite impressive.
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Choi In-ho was born in 1945 in Seoul and graduated from English literature from Yonsei University. He first came to public notice when three of his stories were selected in competitions sponsored by the Hanguk ilbo and Chosun ilbo newspapers and the journal Sasanggye (World of Thought), in 1963, 1967, and 1968. In 1982 he received the sixth Yi Sang Literature Prize.
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