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A Geek in Korea: Discovering Asian's New Kingdom of Cool

(Geek in)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  23 reviews
For every fan of K-Pop music, Korean Wave dramas and Kimchi—or anyone intrigued by Korea and Korean culture—A Geek in Korea is a hip, new guide to the land of the Samsung smartphone and Gangnam Style.

Author Dan Tudor first arrived in Korea on the eve of the 2002 World Cup when South Korea played Italy in the finals. What he saw inspired him to return and work in Korea. Tud
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by Tuttle Publishing (first published March 11th 2014)
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John Owen
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a easy-to-read, interesting overview of Korea, this is the book. Each chapter covers an aspect of Korea but it is mostly focused on Seoul. I read it while in Seoul and it helped me to understand a lot of what I was seeing. It explains why there are so many coffee shops and places to drink. Where to find the crazy shopping markets. There is a good discussion of the food and there is lots of good, inexpensive food here.

It is an overview and is only one person's impressions b
Brian Pagano
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
An Englishman's Anglocentric view of an Eastern country. Gets two stars because there we some nice nuggets, genuine enthusiasm, and because I don't the huge bias was intentional. Nonetheless, throughout the book, things that were closer to the way they are done in England were described as "the real deal" (music) and superior to the Korean way. Best to learn about this interesting country elsewhere I think.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: korea
Throughy enjoyable brief yet varied guide to South Korea. Read this for sure if you’re planning a visit as this is exactly the sort of information you want (video game rooms, food, public transportation, whats up with all animated penguin characters etc). Not an in-depth look but you don’t want one of those right before you hop on a plane to Seoul. It’s a few years out of date (like former President Park Geun-hye was mentioned so passively... who could have predicted?!). The author’s tone is def ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great book if you're short on time to read a detailed book on the history and culture of this country.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Since I am preparing to travel to Korea in a few months, I found this book to be incredibly helpful. It provided an excellent overview of contemporary Korean life and culture, from a westerner's perspective. The blending of text and photos made reading this book an enjoyable and energizing experience. I suspect I'll review it right before I leave for Korea in the spring.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great overview of a country I knew very little about.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: korea
Don't be put off by the slightly awkward (and somewhat misleading) title of the book. It's actually a really fun and accessible 'rough guide' to South Korea that touches upon a wide range of topics, focusing mainly on the social and cultural aspects of the country throughout its history all the way up to the modern age. It is not particularly in-depth, but serves as a really nice introduction to the country and its culture. I would definitely recommend this as a place to start if you have an int ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed A Geek in Korea! I'm a Korean American and this was a perfect introduction to the traditional and pop culture of an amazing country. From the fascinating factoids to the cool photographs scattered across all the pages, it was easy to read and the author's voice and personality shined through with hilarious personal anecdotes. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Korea or thinking about visiting it sometime.
Burcu  Babal
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
It was a fun read, but without mentioning Park Chan Wook in cinema section is really questionable. On the other hand, I actually don't like the way how it is describing k-dramas and k-pop at all. The book seems like underestimating all the talent, based on just some examples...
Shaun Kim
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impressively detailed and knowledgeable book, almost a reference or encyclopedia .

Enjoyed very much and learned a lot. Well researched and written . Highly recommended . Anyone who wants to go to Korea , this book will vastly expand the options.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

An informative book about a variety of subjects, however repetitive at times. Overall enjoyable for the average consumer of foreign cultures without complicated history and political explanations.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very well written and I recommend to read it before/during/after the South Korea trip. All times are good for it.
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
read in one sitting. it was a good and entertaining overview. i don't know what else one would need to know about cultural aspects if planning to stay for a short time and/or consume K-media.

tudor even referenced Ask A Korean, where i'd mostly read about korea prior to reading this book. (i also watched various VICE documentaries and such that were on a similar level to this book, with AAK being more comprehensive on certain aspects [which is to be expected, given the respective scope and forma
Speaking about K-pop, movies, food, native spirits, social relationships, tourism and what-not, Tudor makes South Korea come alive with this visually stimulating and satisfying book. Though this acts as a travel and tourist guide, the informal view on South Korea is excellent. A reader would definitely be prompted to visit the place as soon as possible.
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a must-read for all the Koreaboos out there. The author gives us useful and interesting information about modern-day Korea as well as about its history, political evolution, customs and beliefs. The abundance of pictures makes the given information easier to picture and understand. Truly a wonderful, useful and entertaining read.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is almost like an abridged version of the author's previous book, 'Korea The Impossible Country' though it has several personal accounts and opinions that the first does not have. Quick, easy, informative and fun with many photographs on every page. Any foreigner living in or working in Korea should read this if not 'The Impossible Country.'
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved it!! I wish I had read this while in Korea -lots of things would have made more sense to me. But I was surprised of how well the general ambiance in Korea was captured in the book and how easy it seems to assimilate the particularities and facts....
Maxi Bolongaita
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Helped me a lot in preparing for my 3-week backpacking trip around SK. It was a good guide but it was mostly about Seoul. Which isn't bad, really, but when you venture out of the Capital, it becomes another world.

Thanks, Daniel, for the tip about Reggae Chicken.

Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
A surprisingly very comprehensive book about South Korea - past, contemporary and near future.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this before moving to Korea and found it very accurate and helpful :)
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fun introduction to Korea - a bit of history, a bit of geography, and quite a lot of pop culture and thoughts about day-to-day life in Korea.
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This book covers a lot of topics but doesn't really go into any of them very deeply. Also, the way the book is structured can be a bit confusing to read.
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Daniel Tudor is The Economist's Korea Correspondent. He was born in Manchester, England, and is a graduate of Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and also holds an MBA from Manchester University. His first book, 'Korea: The Impossible Country' was released in November 2012.

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