Sophie Zhou's Reviews > The Surrendered

The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee
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's review
Jun 27, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in June, 2012

It's amazing that a book can make you squeamish. There were so many moments in this novel where I wanted to close my eyes and plug my ears. I felt as if I were watching the scenes play out in front of me. Unlike a movie, however, I could not close my eyes and block out the images - they were all ingrained in my mind. The level of detail and the precision of the words helped to paint the vivid world of the book. There was no escaping the morbid or the grotesque. Just like the characters are trapped in their lives, readers are too. You feel a heaviness on your chest as if you were participant in all of the tragedies.

A great book captures not only a reader's imagination, but also their breath. It wasn't that I couldn't put down the book - I wanted to, badly, many times - it was that even when the pages were shut from the light, my mind couldn't help but race over what was happening to June and the others. The book existed as if in an alternate universe. I was afraid that if I stopped reading, I would be left behind to a greater tragedy.
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