I picked this book up while waiting for "Gone Girl" from the library. It started out positively, and I was enjoying the plot and storyline. I enjoyed...moreI picked this book up while waiting for "Gone Girl" from the library. It started out positively, and I was enjoying the plot and storyline. I enjoyed the jumping back and forth in the timeline to tell the story. However, the story went downhill for me about midway through, when the author veered too much into the 'devil worshiping' territory. It seemed too 'easy' and really wrecked the book for me. It's one thing to include it in the book, but it didn't need to go on and on, chapter after chapter, and in detail. I lost interest and found it boring and myself wanting to get to the next chapter or another character's chapter (mostly Libby). Gillian Flynn is a great writer, and I thought this book had so much potential to be greater than it was. I really enjoyed the character development through out this book-- especially that of Libby. I started out disliking her and finding her really irritating. As the story progresses, she reveals more and more and her true character and humanity start to emerge. What we are left with is a hurt, lonely, shaken, and overwhelmed girl who has been hiding from herself and the world as a means of "coping". I loved seeing her relate to certain characters in the book (Chrissy), and feeling sympathy and empathy for them. She becomes someone you can somewhat relate to (we all struggle with certain things from our past), and I ended up liking her and feeling sorry for her. I liked that every chapter ended up being a different year and/or character's viewpoint. It made it interesting to read, and I looked to seeing each characters story progress and develop. In the end, I felt disappointed with the ultimate direction the novel took. I do like the 'resolution' at the end, and how it was more complicated and complex in terms of typing and implicating more than one character. I did find many parts unrealistic and overdone (especially the reason Libby went into hiding, Ben protecting her, and the drastic measures they take at the end of the book).
I'm looking forward to reading "Gone Girl" and possibly her first book "Sharp Objects", as she is a talented author and they're different stories and plots.(less)
This is an absolutely beautifully written, poignant story about family, life, loss, coping, and the intricacies of family dynamics, bonds, bottled up...moreThis is an absolutely beautifully written, poignant story about family, life, loss, coping, and the intricacies of family dynamics, bonds, bottled up emotions, and the ties that bind us to each other. I didn't know exactly what to expect of this book, but once I got into the story, I couldn't put it down. Catherine Chung is an immensely talented writer and I look forward to her next book.(less)
So far I'm in love with this book. Adam Johnson's writing style is unique and very much his own. This novel is beautifully written, capturing you from...moreSo far I'm in love with this book. Adam Johnson's writing style is unique and very much his own. This novel is beautifully written, capturing you from the very first line, enchanting you with each successive sentence and paragraph. I have tried to read all I can on North Korea, and Mr. Johnson definitely did his due diligence in researching as much as he could. So far a beautiful story and novel (first half of the book).
Update: I'm on the second half of the book now, and it definitely is different than the first half, which I immensely enjoyed.
I really enjoyed this book as a whole. Once you get into the rhythm of the second half and realize what has happened, the story becomes fascinating from a different angle. I loved how the chapters start with propagandized "Citizens' state announcements" and how the indoctrination and propaganda is woven into ever sentence. This book had a lot of subliminality to it, which I appreciated. I loved the interview at the end with the author as well.
I've studied and read a lot about North Korea as I've always had a fascination with it. In the end, I most appreciated that the author made us see these characters as humans. I find that with the intrigue and mystery surrounding N.Korea, we often forget that these are human beings- people just like us, that have families, feel the same things, hurt and yearn for the same things as we do. Mr. Johnson put a human element to an otherwise faceless and largely stereotyped peoples. I think he definitely captured the harsh lives of the people, put still put a human story to the travesty these people live in.
Masterfully told, beautifully written... The Orphan Master (The Dear Leader himself), is a fantastic novel worth reading.(less)