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Tanıdık Şeyler

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  523 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Çiçek Adası’nda zorlu bir gün daha başlıyordu. Çöplükteki mahallenin sakinleri, ateşin çevresinde toplandılar. Üzerlerinde çöplerin içinden seçtikleri kıyafetler, boyunlarında bezden maskeleri; teneke kutulara koydukları yiyecekleri atıştırdılar.

Sonra kapkara bir bulut çöktü. Bu, bir sinek sürüsü değildi. Daha karanlık bir şeydi.

Tanıdık Şeyler, eşyaya meftun kentlilerin
Paperback, 172 pages
Published December 12th 2018 by Doğan Kitap (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  523 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When recently asked to describe Familiar Things in a nutshell, two things came to mind: first, that it is an endearing book and second, that it is an excellent comment on modern day society.

Full review at
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 한국
One of those where 3 feels harsh and 4 too high...
Paul Ataua
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this on several levels. ‘Familiar Things’ follows the lives of 14-years-old Bugeye , his mother, and others that live and survive on a vast landfill site on the outskirts of Seoul. I liked the way it comments on modern consumer society. The community is

“filled with things used up and tossed aside, things people had grown tired of using, and things that were no longer of any use to anyone at all ... The people who lived there were likewise discards and outcasts driven from the
Sana Abdulla
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bugeye and his mom move to flower island, the city's dumping site after his small time crook dad is taken to a correctional facility. The book describes the lives of trash workers in great detail, there are classes and hierarchies, power and money to be made, even bribes.
They merge with another family and Bugeye gets a smaller stepbrother, we see him grow up before his time as he moulds himself into a stinky grime covered life with luminous but rare moments of happiness and enjoyment, with
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the way Hwang Sok-yong imbues Bugeye’s arrival at a landfill site with wonderment and promise, I knew early on that Familiar Things would be thought provoking. But it is his juxtaposition of opportunity with the harsh reality of his character’s circumstances that leaves a lasting impression. Read full review >>
Hannah Swanwick
I liked it, that's what my review is.
Scribe Publications
Five stars … Readers expecting this novel to develop into a savage take on Seoul slum life will be disappointed … [Hwang Sok-Yong] wants to tell a different story altogether. Familiar Things turns out to be less about simple disposal than movement between different worlds … resonant.
The Daily Telegraph

Hwang Sok-yong is one of South Korea's foremost writers, a powerful voice for society's marginalised, and Sora Kim-Russell's translations never falter.
Deborah Smith, Translator of The Vegetarian

Lolly K Dandeneau
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
via my blog:
"People live here, just like anywhere else.” She said.

“People? All I see are flies and garbage. It stinks.”

It may be garbage now, but they say it turns to gold.” His mother said playfully.

Flower Island may as well be another world existing outside the city in South Korea. A landfill where families and single people dig through the trash for recyclable goods for their survival, Flower Island certainly doesn’t live up to its pretty name. Stinking
Cass Winters
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is few and far between when a book leaves me shellshocked, but this one has done that. I finished it ten minutes ago and I still feel myself ready to cry over this ending and this book overall. It is a truly powerful read. Right now I honestly cannot put into words how I feel about this particular book except I think this one will haunt me for awhile.
Set on a massive landfill site on the outskirts of Seoul in South Korea, Familiar Things by Hwang Sok-yong gives voice to the city’s marginalised population.

To read my review in full, please visit my blog.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Each item carried with it an air of sadness or regret, and maybe it was that air which left Bugeye feeling so frightened and out of place."

It was an intense and eerie read, but I feel like it didn't deliver. Can't say I didn't like it but I don't know if I would recommend it, it felt as if the author tried to include so many plotlines in just 200 pages, but when he realized he couldn't, just ended everything.

"What to do, what to do? Can't live, can't die
What to do, my poor babies? Can't
James F
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although not a folktale retelling like the previous two novels I read by Hwang, this novel also blends fantasy with reality. It is the coming of age story of a fourteen year old boy, Bugeye, who lives in a shantytown and works on the garbage dump called Flower Island on the outskirts of Seoul, with his mother and his younger friend Baldspot. The supernatural element is their friendship with a family of dokkaebi, who are a kind of ghosts with some of the characteristics of fairies. The main story ...more
I would give this 3 and 1/2 stars...The main thought from me is how vastly different people's lives can be lived. I was impressed that even though the characters live in poverty their first instinct is to share whatever they have with each other. It took me a long time to finish even though it should have been a quick read just because of life, but glad I finished it in November because it left me with a deep feeling of gratitude for what I have.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy
“…she had tried to console Bugeye at first by saying people lived there just like anywhere else, but he knew it was a garbage dump filled with things used up and tossed aside, things people had grown tired of using, and things that were no longer of any use to anyone at all, and that the people who lived there were likewise discards and outcasts driven from the city.”

Once in a while, a book comes along and forces you to face head on with things that you subconsciously try to sidestep. The
All the struggles of life; family, relationships, love and community set in the backdrop of a vast landfill site called Flower Island where the poorest of the poor dig through the trash to find recyclables to sell.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be a complete gem; so heartwarming and poignant.

It is set in South Korea where we meet 'Bugseye' a 12 year old street smart boy who lives with his Mum and Dad in a slum area of South Korea. Dad is sent off for 're-education' so Mum and son have to fend for themselves.

Mum chooses to leave the slums and move to 'Flower Island'.
Sounds like a holiday destination but NO!, it is a shanty town built on the cities land fill.
Mum gets a job as a rubbish picker and because Bugseye
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another book that caught my attention from the pedestal in Foyles, it was an impulse buy, to try a new author and expand my bookish horizon a little further.
Bugeye and his mother move to the improbably named Flower Island, a massive landfill site at the edge of Seoul where outsiders make a meagre living collecting recyclables from the rubbish.
As his mum moves in with the group leader, Bugeye ends up with a younger step brother, Baldspot, who takes him to a secret hide out some of the kids have
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teresa-favorites
This book was great. The entire story was set in a landfill exploring the lives of the people who work every day looking for salvageable items in the trash. The two main characters were two Korean boys, ages 13 and 10. The 13 year old worked as an adult and the 10 year old worked on the sidelines supporting him.

On one level this book is giving voice to those living in poverty. And on another level it's just a good story. I read this book quickly and enjoyed every bit of it. There were never any
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My library rejected my requisition request so I bought this outright. I've never read anything by Hwang Sok-yong before but from a quick author search, the realistic socio-economic topics mixed with fantasy element-type stories he writes seemed right up my literary alley. This didn't disappoint in that regard.

Told in six easy to read chapters, we enter thirteen-year-old Bugeye's world of poverty on the outskirts of Seoul. He and his mother have just relocated to Flower Island, effectively a
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short novel is about a Korean boy whose family works as trash sorters in a dump on the outskirts of a South Korean city in the early 1980s (the exact year is not specified, but there are references to Mario Brothers and Star Wars.) Despite grim subject matter, the exuberance and humanity of the boy jump out from the page. It has elements that reminded me of Italian neorealist films and the first part of 'Slumdog Millionaire.' It also has elements of magic realism, which connect the lead ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-tranlsation, korea
Familiar Things is set in the not so distant past (early eighties I think) and, although South Korea is forging forward, alongside there are still people working as rubbish pickers and living in shanty towns built on landfill sites. Bugeye is one of these, having moved there with his mother after his father is sent to a re-education camp.

On the whole the writing is deceptively simplistic, and, although there is no hiding away from the harshness of the lives portrayed, there is plenty of
Lauren (Cook's Books)
on the outskirts of a large South Korean city lies flower island, a beautiful village polluted by a growing landfill site. At the start of the novel Bugeye, our main character, moves to the island with his mother to scrape a living by collecting what other people throw away. Whilst sorting recyclable goods from the rubbish, an entire community is built up, with hierarchies and outliers that made the characters so realistic. In fact, I cared about them so much that they left me with a numbness on ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bugeye doesn’t have much going for him at the beginning of Hwang Sok-yong’s Familiar Things (translated by Sora Kim-Russell). Things are so hopeless that when his mother takes a job as a trash picker at Seoul’s Flower Island landfill, it’s actually a step up for their little family. And, strangely enough, the trash heap turns out to be a land of opportunity for Bugeye in this strangely charming coming-of-age story...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haunting yet beautiful book about the tragic lives of the rubbish pickers on the outskirts of Seoul. Two boys work their way through the stinking and dangerous rubbish cast out by the ‘high-rise’ middle classes from the city and find escape only through ethereal friendship with the spirit world. Real or imagined these spirits offer them hope and dreams and remain loyal even in tragedy and death.
I will certainly be seeking out more works from this author and know this story will stay with me for
Tanushri Saha
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-uwu
What an amazing/haunting/tender book. I read this over 3 or 4 days because I was so in awe of it. A beautiful pace and temporality to the book- it is quite character driven, with a slow meandering plot. One of the best books I have encountered so far in relation to its exploration of consumerism, and how it presses or perhaps squashes societies most vulnerable. A complex meditation on the things we buy and discard, and what becomes of the refuse. I am seeing the themes covered in this book all ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hwang is now one of my favorite authors (for the moment), and this translation reads as smooth as can be. I am somewhat puzzled about what this book is saying, though, because beyond the surface level examination of poverty, immobility, interdependence, and regeneration I’m coming up a little short.

This book is pretty unique in its not-quite-so-magical realism, and was an important read in its very real and detailed descriptions of the social divides caused by poverty. Hwang also captures the
Very good book, interesting commentary on how people choose to live their lives and what we currently don't see without self reflection on our society.

at times the book is thought provoking, gentle and relatable. I feel like this book aims to make the reader think not of their carbon footprint but more about their relationship to objects that we use every day and sometimes with little regard to their value, sentimental or otherwise.

different perspective and would definitely read this author
Jessica Barrett
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really honest depiction of class and of a corner of society that is lesser considered. Although set in a fictional district, the families and characters and relationships described throughout are believable and exist and it is an interesting exploration of capitalism and class constructs.

I adore the characters, and find Hwang's story telling technique to be relatable and natural, however I found the end a little rushed compared to the rest of the novel, yet still striking in content.

Very much
Becky Viers
I really liked this book but gotta say, it might not be for the faint of heart. It sucks you in and really makes you feel a kinship with the characters. A quick but fun read.
On a kinda personal note, I haven't been doing that well lately and reading a book about characters who have it way worse than me but still find joy in life, even at just the little things, was kinda helpful and put things a little more in perspective. Life and death will happen no matter what you do, where you live, what
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소설가 황석영

He was born in Hsinking (today Changchun), Manchukuo, during the period of Japanese rule. His family returned to Korea after liberation in 1945. He later obtained a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Dongguk University (동국대학교).
In 1964 he was jailed for political reasons and met labor activists. Upon his release he worked at a cigarette factory and at several construction sites around the