A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea
Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittin...more
This was published through AmazonCrossing, which is a translation service that Amazon runs that I'd never heard of before. This explains why there have been so many foreign Kindle First selections over the past year! There's an article about it here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...
So Amazon invited the author to submit the work, and the two translators are freelancers working for Amazon. It's a total mystery how they heard about the story... maybe it was originally published in Korean or Japanese, but I don't know either language and so can't really look. The author is presumably getting paid like any other Kindle direct self-publisher, thought probably not a ton of money. It's a fair question, though, whether the author is doing all this himself, or if someone is helping/exploiting him.
Hopefully someone will come along with more info! I'd love to see an interview with the author, but haven't found anything yet.(less)
I don't know how he got it published, or maybe he found a loophole publishing it with an American company rather than a Japanese one. I too was shocked when what should have been a happy ending, ended with him still in limbo.(less) (hide spoiler)]
Serfdom is freedom. Repression is liberation. A police state is a democratic republic. And we were “the masters of our own destiny.” And if we begged to differ, we were dead.
This is one powerful little memoir. It's a true story that sounds like dystopian fiction - for most of us, it is difficult to imagine families being lured to a new "paradise", only to be met with famine, concentration camps and violence. It's hard to accept that this is still part of our world.
I, like many, am fascinated a ...more
The long version: Some years ago, I realized that my view of North Korea was overly cartoonish. I didn't want to think of it as "the most hilarious awful dictators ...more
Masaji Ishikawa and his family moved to North Korea during the great migration of Japanese/Korean immigrants to the communist state in the 1960s. Promises of a paradise and jobs for all duped many a family at the time, but the reality was far from what was expected.
This is by far one of the best first hand accounts I've read of life in North Korea, and in some respects it completely overwh ...more
If only the world was not so full of suffering. If only people were not beaten, killed, starved or worked to death, what a better place this would be. But what happened in North Korea, and could still be happening for all I know happens in many countries, and it makes me wish that the U.N. could step in and correct ...more
Masaji Ishikawa, a 13-year-old boy who is half Japanese and half Korean move from Japan to North Korea with his family. Once in Korea, they will have to adapt to a completely new life and a new world.
“There’s a saying, “Sadness and gladness follow each other.” As I see it, people who experience equal amounts of sadness and happiness in their lives must be incredibly blessed.”
This memoir is very hard to read for several reasons. It shows how l ...more
I’m not a history buff, I will never claim to be. I know enough that I was able to graduate from school but never really gave much thought to what was being ...more
This is not the first non fiction book that I have read, regarding real people's lives in North Korea. It probably won't be my last, either. Much of the information in this particular account wasn't new to me, but this did not stop the utter disbelief washing over me, as I was reading.
This very personal memoir is just gut-wrenchingly tragic, and it is told with such honestly, that the ...more
What first got my attention was the cover. I don't really know how else to explain it other than say it intrigued me so much that I didn't even think twice before I clicked it.
Second, the title makes you think it will be a happy-ish book. Or that it will have a happy ending after all of the doom, sadness, and torture thrown upon you. Don't get your hopes up high people because this is one spoiler you will get fr ...more
Ishikawa tells his story in a very straight-forward conversational manner. This memoir delivered educational information about l ...more
"So there we were—the beneficiaries of smug humanitarianism—prisoners in paradise on earth."
After reading this book, my first inclination is: What right do I have to judge Masaji Ishikawa's life story? Not much as far as I can see, my opinion is irrelevant.
"I soon learned that thought was not free in North Korea. A free thought could get you killed if it slipped out."
This is a raw, honest story of extreme suffering told in a unique voice—I'm not sure if it was the tran ...more
“Someone once said, ‘If a crying baby could tear down the universe, it would.’ Thats how I felt that day. I wanted to demolish the whole universe, but the sad truth was, it had already come crashing down around my head.”
This story is so personal—you feel as if your friend is telling you a story. It’s not over ...more
I've read both Fiction and Non-Fiction books about North Korea which has provided me a pretty good background about what life is like there. What I didn't know until reading this memoir is nearly 80,000 Japanese moved to North Korea after WWII. They were told North Korea was a land of paradise. The author was born in Japan and moved to North Korea in 1960 when he was 13 years old. He lived there for 36 years. It is truly astounding that so many mo ...more
Wow. Like...woooooooow. I bought this book on a whim when it was a Kindle deal of the day earlier this year. And then I promptly put off reading it up until now. And I'm sorry I put it off for so long because this book was astonishing.
There've been quite a lot of biographies published recently about North Koreans escaping through China. This one was actually published back in 2000 in Jap ...more
I'm giving this 5 stars because I am absolutely not qualified to review or rate this book. A true glimpse ...more
I think I need a break from reading for a bit now.
|Non Fiction Book ...: * A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea (Sep 8-Oct 7, 2019)||25||53||Sep 17, 2019 07:18AM|
|Around the World ...: Discussion for A River in Darkness||3||21||Aug 15, 2019 06:12PM|
|Kansas City-Girly...: March||1||4||Mar 26, 2019 09:30AM|
|Reading the World: A River in Darkness - Spoilers||24||16||Feb 25, 2019 05:54PM|
|Play Book Tag: A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea - Masai Ishikawa - 4 stars||3||25||Jun 27, 2018 12:26PM|
|Play Book Tag: A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa||8||70||May 17, 2018 02:11PM|