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Run Me to Earth

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  70 ratings  ·  37 reviews
From award-winning author Paul Yoon comes a beautiful, aching novel about three kids orphaned in 1960s Laos—and how their destinies are entwined across decades, anointed by Hernan Diaz as “one of those rare novels that stays with us to become a standard with which we measure other books.”

Alisak, Prany, and Noi—three orphans united by devastating loss—must do what is
Paperback, Advance Reader's Edition, 272 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Simon Schuster
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  • Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon
    Run Me to Earth
    Release date: Jan 28, 2020
    From award-winning author Paul Yoon comes a beautiful, aching novel about three kids orphaned in 1960s Laos—and how their destinies are entwined ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 40 copies available, 1793 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 12 - Jan 24, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 3.67  · 
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     ·  70 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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    Angela M
    Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I have read and been moved by the beautiful writing and affecting stories by Paul Yoon with two other books, one a novel and one a collection of stories, but this one - omg - is just so stunningly horrific and beautiful at once! It’s eye opening, shedding light on a conflict in Southeast Asia, not Vietnam and Cambodia which I felt I knew a little more about, but the conflict going on in Laos in the 1960’s. The CIA with the Royal Lao Government fighting the Communist Pathet Lao with bombings, ...more
    Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
    This novel starts out in Laos in 1969 and revolves around three orphan teenagers. Prany, his younger sister Noi and their friend Alisak. We are quite quickly immersed into the storyline of these three as they ride their motorcycles across bomb laden fields. They have been hired by Yang, the medical doctor at the field hospital, to run errands, fetch medical supplies, etc back and forth from one field hospital to another. The teenagers love the thrill of riding the motorcycles and the money that ...more
    Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This was a very intense, heartbreaking, yet beautiful book.
    The struggle of three teenage orphans to survive in Laos, beginning in 1969.
    Tons of bombs were being dropped and many of them never detonated..a state of constant danger.
    The three...Alisak, Prany and his sister Nori, friends and neighbors from the same village are left to care for each other and they end up at a bombed out hospital where they learn to care for patients and make runs for hospital supplies on motorcycles. There is an
    Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Three orphans struggle to survive amid the relentless bombing of Laos. The bombs leave in their wake death, carnage and unexploded remnants making travel by foot or vehicle a potentially deadly undertaking. And, the sky: The hopelessness reflected in a sky obliterated by bombing. A partially visible sky reveals a glimmer of optimism. Birds flying a sky in all its blue glory mirror freedom and flight from a country damaged and devastated. There are so many metaphors for the discerning reader to ...more
    Elyse  Walters
    Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Alisak, Prany, and Noi were paid in American dollars for helping keep the ward clean and for assisting people who were trying to save as many civilians as possible in a war that had been going on in various forms for most of their lives.

    Alisak and Prany were 17 years old -in the fall- of 1969.
    Noi was a year younger. They had spent three years surviving the rainy seasons and strangers. They wandered the country finding work where they could, ( riding motorbikes and helping at the hospital),
    4.5 Stars

    A story that spans decades, and yet still manages to gracefully intertwine these different times and places together with beauty and a simple elegance through the storylines of Alisak, Prany and Noi – three young teenagers whose lives and families have been torn apart in 1960s Laos.

    Loss is their original bond, these three who soon become their own family, each quietly reliving a conglomeration of memories they can neither forget nor truly share. And yet, still, in order to survive,
    Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This story primarily focuses on the effects of warfare on innocent civilians living in a war-torn society. While the beginning starts off in a 1969 Laos town with bombs dropping like rain and airplanes swarming over like flies, this is a minimal part of the story. The results after the war are the central emphasis.

    It begins with three teenage orphans Alisak, Prany, and Noi who scavenge supplies and help a farmhouse-turned-medical facility in exchange for money, shelter, and food. They risk going
    Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
    The edges of an active war zone are just as dangerous as the war zone itself, especially during the Vietnam War. The author's note in Run Me to Earth, by Paul Yoon, explains that more bombs were dropped on Laos during the War than were dropped during World War II. This novel of escape and the desire for reunion begins on Laos’s Plain of Jars, at a makeshift hospital that mostly treats people who are injured by one of the unexploded bombs that cover the Laotian countryside. (Approximately one ...more
    Kasa Cotugno
    Run Me To Earth, this compassionate, powerful novel, concerns three young people whose lives were uprooted in Laos in the late 1960's. Their entwined fates are presented in prose so evocative it's impossible to believe Paul Yoon did not witness the events first-hand. The carpet bombings of Laos, one of the most shameful actions by the Americans in their misguided efforts to rout out North Vietnamese supply lines during the Vietnam war, reverberates through the present day. That there is still ...more
    Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: release-2020
    Review coming soon.
    Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Run Me to Earth has received some enthusiastic pre-publication buzz—and I want to open by saying that buzz is well deserved. At less than 300 pages, Run Me to Earth is a relatively quick read, but its characters and scope consistently invite the reader to slow down and to appreciate what author Paul Yoon has accomplished.

    Run Me to Earth tells the story of three children in Laos, orphaned by war, who work together as couriers for a "freelance" field hospital run by a very independent doctor. As
    Nov 22, 2019 marked it as physical_to-read_stack
    I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways.
    Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Paul Yoon has taken a sad and sore subject for 1970’s Americans and rotated it to a realistic and compassionate angle that allows some degree of light in through the cracks of humanity.
    The Vietnam War is a sad and lonely smear on America, affecting so many men and women who served their country then came home broken and crippled to an angry mob who blamed them individually for the actions of a political machine.
    Paul’s book pulls back the curtain on the people who called the war-ravaged country
    Claudia Silk
    Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
    A moving and sparse novel about 3 orphaned children in Laos during the war. Beautifully done.
    Jennifer R
    Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: fiction
    Some books wander, circling a point they never really end up making. Run Me to Earth is definitely one of those wandering books, but it does make its point; you just have to work for it. We are inserted into the minds and lives of a cast of characters from various points in time and place, from 1969 Laos to 2018 Sa Tuna, Spain.

    The writing of this book is beautiful--Yoon has a knack for constructing his world all around you. I did find myself questioning the organization of the story, as well as
    Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Excellent. Yoon has a lot of talent, and with well-formed characters and a style that helps tell the story effectively, this works well. Recommended.

    I really appreciate the advanced copy for review!!
    President Obama went to Laos in September of 2016 "in a spirit of reconciliation" (but not to officially apologize.) He finally exposed the US "shadow war" (not exactly a secret) and made yet another financial commitment to Laos to clean up more unexploded ordnance still maiming and killing people:
    From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions—equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years – making
    Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This book is heartbreaking and achingly beautiful. The writing is gorgeous. Three orphans/ friends (a brother and sister and a friend) live through the horrific 1960s Laos. I won't summarize the book since there are so many other Goodreads entries that have done a terrific job.

    I was shocked and devastated to learn about the American CIA's role in the conflict and aftermath of the war in Laos. I cannot even fathom living through the conditions that these orphans and other Laotians lived through.
    Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
    Run me to Earth by Paul Yoon is an important story to be told about what happened during the Vietnam War in Laos. The author’s note in the beginning of the book gives the actual history during this time with important facts. From 1964 to 1973 there were over 580,000 bombs that went off in Laos. Over 30% of those bombs failed to explode making the country extremely dangerous to navigate. The story starts in 1969, in Laos, during this time. It is about three lost orphans who are roaming the land ...more
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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    In 1969 a secret bombing mission devastated the people and land of Laos. Paul Yoon's novel, Run Me to Earth, focuses on three young orphans, Alisak, Prany, and Noi. The young teenagers came from villages near the famous Plain of Jars, close to Phonsavan. The kids' savior is a doctor, Vang, who gives them shelter in a once opulent house owned by a French ex-pat who has since fled the area.

    Alisak, Prany, and Noi use motorcycles left behind
    Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: arcs, netgalley
    "Run Me to Earth" by Paul Yoon is the heartbreaking story of three orphaned teenagers and their struggle for survival in war-torn Laos. Alisak, Noi, and Prany are recruited by a make-shift hospital where they are tasked with making runs on motorbikes across the minefields for hospital supplies. When the time finally comes to evacuate, the characters are forced to go their separate ways and the rest of the book follows the different paths they take. This book opened my eyes to the horrors of a ...more
    Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: giveaways
    Run Me to Earth, following three orphans in war ravaged Laos, is beautiful, haunting, and very sad. These three children, with only each other to depend on, begin working for a field hospital where they are paid to drive motorbikes through fields with unexploded bombs to get needed supplies. The doctor at the hospital arranges for them to be airlifted out and the second half of the story follows what happens to them after that event. This short novel was powerful and also lovely in the language ...more
    Jennifer M.
    Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
    We all have those books we are super looking forward to. Waiting and more waiting, and then the book releases and, then, sometimes it's just not everything we thought it'd be. That was Run Me to Earth for me. I'd was really excited about this book, and then about 80 pages in, I decided it was a DNF. The story is that of three young orphans and it takes place in 1960s Laos. To me, there's not much more compelling awesomeness. But once I started to read (and to be clear, the writing is on point), ...more
    Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I received an advanced reader’s copy of Run Me To Earth from the publisher.

    This book focuses on the impacts of the war in Southeast Asia following the stories of lost and made families from 1969 – 2018. The stories are borne of tragedies and hardship, of class, war, violence and immigration. The characters' stories of love, generosity, reinvention, and memory are compelling. (I am a very slow reader and read the book in two days.) The impact of early relationships with family and neighbors and
    Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
    I won an advance reader's edition of the book in a Goodreads giveaway. I welcomed the opportunity to learn something about the history of Laos. I liked the structure of the book - each chapter being narrated by a different character and the progression from the past to present day. However, parts of the story felt disjointed and didn't manage to keep me captivated.
    Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
    3.5, this cover is going to be hard to beat - so beautiful!! This is a story of war & the after-effects. It is haunting. It tells the story of 3 orphans & what is required of them to survive in 1960s Laos. There are sections of this short novel that are devastating but there are also moments of redemption & grace. Worth the read.
    Mili Ferr
    Such beautiful resilient characters to instantly fall in love with as you travel in their shoes throughout this story over the decades.

    Note: I received this ARC from a goodreads giveaway. Thank you
    Briana Gadke
    Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
    I was not a fan of this one. It could have been me personally but I found the narrative style to be hard to follow. With a loose timeline and weaving in the multiple points of view I didn't really connect to the plot or any of the characters.
    Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I can't explain why this book haunts me so, but it does. Three children's lives fractured by the war in Laos ___ the shards of their stories and the tenuous but significant connections to the pieces of others' lives create a powerful mosaic.
    David V.
    Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
    Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 10-9-19. Finished 10-13-19. Story of 3 children in Laos during the end of the Vietnam War, how they are separated by circumstance, and their talk about reuniting. Parts of this book are beautifully written but I had trouble with the transitions between the childrens' viewpoints and the different timelines extending from 1969 to 2018. I always felt that there was information that was missing.
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    Paul Yoon was born in New York City. His first book, ONCE THE SHORE, was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and a Best Debut of the Year by National Public Radio. His novel, SNOW HUNTERS, won the 2014 Young Lions Fiction Award.

    A recipient of a 5 under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation and a fellowship from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, he is